• May 21, 2022

Young Defensive Backs Will Have Opportunity To Impress

Brandon BoykinThe Philadelphia Eagles rookies and selected veterans are reporting to Training Camp Monday. The rookies will have the field until Friday when the rest of the team reports.

Michael Vick and Nick Foles are among the veterans reporting Monday. Head Coach Chip Kelly has already announced that past success means nothing. “We’re going to have to name a starter at some point in time,” Kelly said. “That’s why I think it would be unfair right now…We have until September 9th, so we’ll see how it works itself out.”

Kelly’s philosophy does not stop with the signal caller. He has said it many times in multiple ways that he and his staff will field the best team possible. Training camp and preseason will be the proving grounds for the players who will be fighting for a starting position.

Among the positions that will have competition is the defensive backfield. The Eagles will have some faces returning among the defensive backs but fresh faces – pickups from the draft and free agency – are projected to be starters. Jordan Poyer, a seventh round pick from Oregon State, and Earl Wolff, fifth round pick from NC State, will get the early advantage to impress Chip Kelly at camp.

Poyer will likely battle second-year cornerback Brandon Boykin for the nickel corner position. At 6-0 and 191 pounds, Poyer has played all over the field. He also possesses solid, fundamental tackling, an art that has been lost in the Eagles in recent years. As a senior, Poyer intercepted seven passes while defending another 14 passes. The Oregon State Beaver was s steal for the Eagles in the final round of the draft and will fight hard for a spot on the 53-man roster.

Earl Wolff is another young body in the youth-filled safety position for the Eagles. As the only safety reporting to training camp early, Wolff will carry the workload for the first few days of camp. With 2012 starters Kurt Coleman and Nate Allen returning and Patrick Chung and Kenny Phillips joining the squad from free agency, the safety positions will be open to plenty of competition.

Wolff topped 100 tackles in both his junior and senior seasons at NC State. The fifth rounder possesses the rare combination of big-hit ability and pass coverage that will be beneficial for making the roster. With stiff competition, Wolff would make a good special teams player. Unlike many of the Eagles defensive backs from 2012, Wolff has a great sense of angles to take when tracking a ball-carrier. He also has the speed and tackling to track down kick returners.

Poyer and Wolff are both coming into crowded positions and will have tough fights to make the roster. As rookies, they will have the benefit of attending camp early and getting reps before the full team reports on Thursday. There is no doubt that the Eagles secondary will be a totally new look from a season ago.

It is still unknown what Kelly requires from his defensive players or what Defensive Coordinator Billy Davis will ask of his players. The Eagles may not name starters until two or three weeks into the preseason and any slacking in-season will surely warrant a benching. Kelly vowed to put the best team on the field no matter what a player’s past may be. With a lot of youth around in positions that needed improvement, they have a chance to make an impact early.

Brenden Peddigree

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  • I am excited to see some young and new Players to this Team which needed a big infusion of physicality, energy and forge a new Identity which was lost little by little each year under AR the last few seasons..
    I want to see clean, aggressive, physical from this Defense and see guys stand up to the challenge of stopping these high-powered Offenses of Today’s NFL
    The Eagles as a Team, were always at their best when the Defense was mean,nasty and would set the tone early in games by playing sound Defense as a Unit.. I expect this Season that we will see 20-22 Olayers rotate in and out of games and series based on opponents tendencies, the score and the multitude of Situations.. It will take a while for defined roles and formations to take place, but I see a hungry, physical Footvall that will be coached hard and to play fast and keep opponents out of the end zone. The aeagkes went from being one the Best Defenses in the Red Zone to one the worst over the last 5 Years and you cannot Win in the NFL without getting some Stops, even hold to FG’s and creat some a turnovers for your Offense..
    Let the Competition Begin..

    • Just be physical that’s all I ask. No more looking around to see who screwed up. No more running down field and pretending your gonna tackle someone. I want the 4 most physical DBs on the field. You will get beat sometimes but as long as you bring a nasty attitude and make physical tackles that’s all I as (right now). If thatmeans Colt Anderson starts at safety I have NO PROBLEM with that. Atleast I know when RGIII runs that read option Colt is ready to knock his f%%king head off. Lets get it!

      • Quiet frankly Im tired of the Tim Haucks of the world not being played(who Colt Anderson reminds me of) being told they are to slow to play. When in actuality when they play they are ALL OVER THE FIELD blowing shit up. Then Im told the Nate Allens of the world are so athletic and they cant hit and still get beat. Give me Colt and Hauck anyday of the week and generate some pressure to held them out in coverage. I will tell you this we had a pro bowl stud in the making until his freak injury. JR Reed was his name. I swear that kid was the one.

        • I liked JR Reid also, he could have been a real good one if not that injury
          He played with reckless abandon for the short time he was healthy and good return man also,, got the ball and went..

          • I forgot about his return skills he had a whole lot of Brian Mitchell in him!

          • Yeah, JR…was he the guy that said something along the lines of his approach towards the kickoff return was like running through a toll booth at full speed…just pick a lane and hope there’s no oncoming car?

  • Totally agree with you guys about JR Reid. That kid was an outright beast. He ran back kicks like a freight train smh. Just daring dudes to step in front of him. Such a shame his career ended over something so stupid. I still do not believe he cut his leg jumping a fence, and so bad that he couldn’t run anymore. I’ve never heard anything like that before or since.

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