Saturday, September 05, 2009

My take on the 53

Final cuts are today, so I'm almost out of time to guess at who the 53 players to make the Eagles active roster should be.

  • QB (3) - McNabb, Kolb, Vick. The Eagles could put Vick on the reserve-suspended list and keep Feeley instead, but then Vick couldn't practice with the team. And he needs a lot of practice.
  • HB (3) - Westbrook, McCoy, Buckley. Finally, the Eagles have a straight-ahead runner who can convert third-and-short. I hope.
  • FB (1) - Weaver.
  • WR (6) - Jackson, Curtis, Maclin, Avant, Baskett, Gibson. I'm sneaking Amendola onto the practice squad if I can, because Curtis isn't on the team next season.
  • TE (3) - Celek, Curtis, Myers. Matt Schobel is a year overdue for a visit with the Turk. Myers is keeping a spot warm for (hopefully) Ben Watson after trading Feeley to the Pats.
  • OL (9) - Peters, Herremans, Jackson, Andrews x2, Justice, Jean-Gilles, Cole, McGlynn. Andy Reid usually keeps 10 linemen, so I'll probably be wrong here, but I can't find a tenth guy who's earned his way onto the team. With two rookies and King Dunlap eligible for the practice squad, this seems like a good position to go a man short.
  • DE (6) - Cole, Babin, Howard, Parker, Abiamiri, Clemons. I'm tired of Clemons and his non-production, but I guess he serves a role on special teams. I'm trying to trade him if I can't get a TE for Feeley. Goodbye Bryan Smith, we hardly knew ye.
  • DT (4) - Bunkley, Patterson, Laws, Klecko. I dropped an OL to keep Klecko, but he's definitely earned a spot. I'm very comfortable cutting King Dunlap to keep him.
  • LB (6) - Gocong, Gaither, Jordan, Mays, Wilhelm, White. After the first four spots, there isn't anyone that's earned a place on the roster. But someone has to play, right? I'd keep Wilhelm just because he has experience, which is in short supply on this LB corps. White is purely a special-teamer, and his spot could be taken by Tank's a toss-up between those two.
  • CB (5) - Samuel, Brown, Hobbs, Hanson, Ikegwouno. No one's played well enough to earn that fifth CB spot, so I'm defaulting it to the highest draft pick. Jack's got the most talent, and since he's basically a rookie after being injured all last year, his mistakes are most forgivable.
  • S (4) - Mikell, Demps, Harris, Jones.
  • Special (3) - Akers, Rocca, Dorenbos.

Practice squad candidates - Amendola, Fanaika, Tupuo, Fukou, Dunlap, Gaines.

There weren't many players I'm sorry to see go. The hardest player to cut was Kyle Eckel, and he hardly registers a blip on the talent radar. But he's a hard-worker with versatility and was very helpful to the team last season. He's easily done more to earn a spot than the sixth LB, but I need that last guy for special teams.

There's a very disturbing trend this year for the Eagles - almost always as I go through this process, there are promising players at each position that I'm struggling to choose from. Instead I found several spots where no one had stepped up and I was forced to pick from a collection of equally bad underperformers. It may not seem like a big deal if the fifth CB or the fifth LB isn't very good, but competition at the bottom of the roster makes the whole team better. I don't want to overreact to the preseason, but this is shaping up to be a long year for the Birds.


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