How many of you would’ve thought that we’d be praising Trent Edwards? Not many, I can tell you that. In fact, a common phrase that was yelled at training camp was “Go back to Buffalo.”
Well after a 197 yards and 2 touchdown game tonight against the New York Jets, people may have sided with thee ole Edwards. Mike Kafka, good luck.
Going into the preseason, there was no doubt the Eagles had a killer offseason. With the best draft in the league and a bunch of new names added to the roster, the Philadelphia Eagles are dealing with a rather unusual situation. Too many players have been proving their worth…and the Eagles will have to cut the roster down to 53 players. Let’s just say it’ll be a stressful 24 hours for Andy Reid and the rest of the organization.
There are four positions in particular the Eagles have a “problem” at; quarterback, running back, wide receiver and defensive tackle.
At quarterback, the Birds have the fragile Mike Vick (who was hurt in two out of three preseason games), Nick Foles (who shocked the team and impressed his way up to the backup position), Trent Edwards and Mike Kafka. Now we all know how Vick is and has been. While he is a great player who can make unthinkable things happen when he’s on the field, there is no denying he is as breakable as a twig. To save the day, Foles came in and is responsible for the Eagles 4-0 preseason record. With 553 yards, 6 TDs and 2 interceptions, Foles is one of the more impressive rookies shown off this August. When Kafka got hurt, Edwards came in for third string and also did a great job. 489 yards with 4 scores and no picks= impressive. So who will the Eagles cut? The man who got hurt in Kafka for the impressive veteran Edwards? Only time will tell. Here are the QB stats:
|Player||Att||Comp||Yds||Comp %||Yds/Att||TD||TD %||INT||INT %||Long||Sck||Sack/Lost||Rating|
Now onto the running backs. We all know LeSean “Shady” McCoy is the starter and one of the best in the league. Behind him are three players that all possess great potential and running ability needed to make an impact in this league. Bryce Brown is the one player that the team has grown particularly fond of and has certainly shown his talents on every play. The undrafted free agent Chris Polk has also been mildly impressive with his power and speed combination, making this Eagles offense even more deadly. Below is the two players stats throughout the four preseason games:
Second year man Dion Lewis has shown some improvement since last season, but is the last man projected on the depth chart. If the Eagles had to cut one (and they would favor against it), I’m thinking it would be Dion. However, since the fullbacks on the roster aren’t as impressive and play a dying role in the league, it would not surprise me if the Eagles kept all four running backs and decided to cut the FBs. Stay tuned on that one!
Next is my favorite analysis, the wide receivers. With already a deadly squad of starts in DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Jason Avant, it’s hard to think the Eagles would’ve been scouting this position during the offseason. Wrong. Instead, the Eagles went out and brought in a bunch of guys that are potentially starts for other teams if they don’t make the cut. One guy I’m a fan of its little Damaris Johnson. This guy is small, but fast…real fast. He made a few great plays that resulted from his blazing speed, and also offers versatility with Brandon Boykin in the return game. Mardy Gilyard is another player who came into this preseason and has also made his presence felt on the field. The final roster spot I think will come down to whether the player can stay on the practice squad or not, and that’ll be a big factor. Gilyard and Chad Hall are ineligible this year, so it’s one or the other. One thing I would like to point out is rookie Marvin McNutt; where has he been? This big guy I though for sure would’ve been a favored target with his size and great hands, but only caught one pass for 13 yards in four games. Here are the top three receivers for the Eagles thus far:
Last but not least, that defensive line. Now, there isn’t really anything bad too say about any of these guys. Each and every player on that line coached by Jim Washburn goes out and gives it 150% each and every game, and it really shows. While the first-team players didn’t play much at all for this group, the younger guys stepped in and all did absolutely phenomenal. Phillip Hunt, Brandon Graham and Cedric Thorton are the three players that I feel deserve starter-calibur money, despite where they find themselves on the roster. Hunt was a monster this preseason, forcing 2 fumbles with 3.5 sacks and 9 tackles to his name. Graham also had 3.5 sacks, as Vinny Curry, Monte Taylor and Cedric Thorton ended with 2 a piece. Frank Trotter also has an impressive series with 3 sacks and 11 tackles total. It’s real tough to see any of these guys go, but if they do, the Eagles know it will only hurt them when they face them on game day. Hopefully, the Eagles can work their magic and find a way to keep these talented players in Philly.
Now that we’ve established the Eagles have too many good players, we can finally take a deep breath and relax for a bit. We finally know if Vick gets hurt, we have a steady backup. We finally know that the defensive has players playing at the level they did back when the late Jim Johnson had quarterbacks crumbled from relentless blitzing. And finally, we can all look forward to that big day in February because fans, it’s now or never for the Birds.