• December 9, 2022

Thoughts On The 53-Man Roster

MC-EAGLES-TRAINING-CAMP-0728Final Cuts Full Of Surprises

There were a number of surprising decisions made by the Eagles on Saturday afternoon.

On offense, some people (myself included) thought there was a good possibility that the Eagles would keep four tight ends. However, we didn’t expect Emil Igwenagu to get the nod as the fourth tight end over veteran Clay Harbor. Igwenagu, a converted full back, went largely unnoticed throughout training camp. However, he did look good on a couple receptions, and showed some toughness, and the coaches feel that they have something to work with here. However, it came at the expense of Harbor, who had played very well and seemed like a pretty good fit in this system.

On defense, the Eagles surprisingly went with Casey Matthews over Chris McCoy at linebacker, and also decided to keep six cornerbacks. Along with Bradley Fletcher, Cary Williams, and Brandon Boykin, the team chose to keep Brandon Hughes, Curtis Marsh, and Jordan Poyer around. I can understand keeping Hughes for his special teams contributions, and Poyer for his upside, but for the life of me I don’t understand why Curtis Marsh is still an Eagle. In the three years that he’s been here, the former third-round pick has never been able to so much sniff the starting defense or even a role as a nickel or dime back. I can’t think of single moment in the regular or preseason that he’s ever impressed even a little bit.

Thoughts On The Ex-Eagles

  • Danny Watkins: Watkins will go down as one of the worst first-round picks in franchise history. The pick didn’t make sense at the time back in 2011, when the Eagles used their top selection on the 26-year old guard, and it still doesn’t make sense today. Watkins never seemed to have a burning passion for the game, and failed to hang on to a starting job despite being given every opportunity to lock a position down over the last two years. At the end of last season, he was a healthy scratch while the team started journeyman Jake Scott in his place.
  • Clay Harbor: Too little too late for the former fourth-round pick. Harbor has great physical skills, but was never able to put it all together and carve out a role for himself in his three years with the team. He’ll get another chance with a new team soon enough.
  • Chris McCoy: Pass rushing linebacker seemed to have some nice potential, but the Eagles didn’t feel like he was worth a roster spot. Hopefully they can get him to the practice squad.
  • Antonio Dixon: Dixon was once a promising young defensive tackle, but he just stopped developing.
  • Dallas Reynolds: Reynolds didn’t impress anyone when he had his chance to start a year ago. Lost the backup center job to Julian Vandervelde.
  • Greg Salas: Salas had a strong preseason and deserved to make the team, but the Eagles gave the nod Jeff Maehl instead.
  • Russell Shepard: Shepard was in the running for a roster spot, but I think only because of how he played on special teams. He really didn’t show enough as a receiver.
  • Michael Bamrio: Talented offensive lineman could be headed for the practice squad.
  • Travis Long: Young linebacker had some nice moments, but was outshined by Jake Knott and Emmanuel Acho.
  • David Sims: Spent last season on the roster, but couldn’t force his way onto the field for a team that was desperate for an answer at safety. That doesn’t bode well for his future.
  • Matthew Tucker: I really like how Tucker played during the preseason, but there just wasn’t any reason for the Eagles to keep four running backs.

Is Chip Kelly Playing Favorites?

Linebacker Casey Matthews and wide receiver Jeff Maehl were not expected to survive the final cut.

However, the Eagles made their moves and the two Oregon alumni remain with the team. The two were chosen over several other candidates at their respective positions who many favored to win a roster spot over them. Chris McCoy had shown some nice promise throughout the preseason, and wide receivers Greg Salas and Russell Shepard both seemed to be far ahead of Maehl, who didn’t do much until the final preseason game.

In particular, I find Matthews making it over McCoy to be very questionable. While I feel that Matthews has had a decent preseason, I think he’s already reached his ceiling, and its a very low one at that. At best, he’s a reserve linebacker that can contribute on special teams. McCoy on the other hand looked like he had some legitimate potential to become more than just a reserve or a special teamer. He’s got good size and speed, and showed that he can be an effective pass rusher.

Not to make too much out of this, but if nothing else it’s very interesting to me that two of Chip’s old college players got the nod over a couple of guys who seemingly had more upside and performed better during training camp and the preseason. Maybe Kelly just feels more comfortable having a couple of familiar faces on the roster, and he feels that he can help his old players take the next step in their careers. There’s nothing wrong with that sentiment, but it can’t be done at the expense of letting more talented players go in the process.

Final Thoughts

While it was certainly time for a guy like Danny Watkins to be shown the door, I found today’s moves to be very puzzling for the most part.

With all due respect to Emil Igwenagu, I just don’t see what he has to offer this team long-term that makes him worth spending a roster spot on. At least Clay Harbor was a guy who had some decent untapped potential as a tight end who could have also helped make up for the lack of depth at receiver. Does Igwenagu bring even half as much to the table?

As previously mentioned, I just don’t understand why Casey Matthews made it over Chris McCoy.

And I just can’t fathom how Curtis Marsh, a third-round pick who has done absolutely nothing in three years, made this team again. Perhaps the Eagles didn’t want to have another former high draft pick on their final cuts after already releasing a former first-rounder (Watkins) and two former fourth-rounders (Harbor, Lindley). That’s the only explanation I can think of that even somewhat makes sense.

After examining these cuts and decisions, I’m really not on board with some of these decisions, and I’m not at all convinced that the Eagles made the best decisions that will benefit the team not only in 2013, but in years to come as well.

Denny Basens

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Danny Watkins Among Final Cuts As Eagles Get Down To 53

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The Eagles’ Current Roster Is Not Good Enough

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Frank22
Frank22
August 31, 2013 7:50 pm

I question matthews over mccoy and the cb sutuation. I guess they are holding on marsh and hughes until they can get something on the waiver wire or trade..

Times yours
Times yours
August 31, 2013 7:52 pm

Casey Matthews, Curtis Marsh, Nate Allen and Brandon Hughes. This is very alarming. If you combined the four of them you still would not have a complete football player. I am almost certain the decision makers are figuring out how to replace all of these non-football players with guy’s off of the waiver wire. Lord help us if that’s not the case. Please somebody talk to me fast!

Good Day, Good Sports?

Eaglehaslanded
Eaglehaslanded
August 31, 2013 8:04 pm
Reply to  Times yours

We maybe waiting til next years draft to do this. It’s really not that much out there to upgrade our d backs.

DixieFan
DixieFan
August 31, 2013 8:21 pm

Let’s wait and see who Chip brings in from the other cuts today and see who is dropped. I will be shocked and dismayed if we don’t bring in a CB and OLB.

paulman
paulman
August 31, 2013 8:26 pm

There will be 3-4 moves by Monday
I cannot see Marsh and a 5th Safety
(Either Anderson or Coleman sticking to the 53 Man Roster)
As far as LB, I thought Acho & McCoyvwete locks with Final Spot between
Knott & Matthews. I think McCoy is better than both Jnott & Matthews
D/C Davis worked with Acho last Year while they both were in Ckeveland and expected him to make Roster
WR Maehl was not a huge surprise to me since Kelly knows him real well from Oregon Days and the fact he brought him in with 2 weeks of Camp left tells me Me that Kelly wasn’t all that enamored with Salas, Sheppard or Momah to begin with.. Maehl reminds me a bit of former Eagle Kevin Curtis Type , good Rourte Runner, knows the System and reliabke hands but is not going to run away from anyone.. Salad had a nice Pre-Season, but did have some drops the last 2 weeks and Sheppard like Momah are just not NFL ready
TE/FB Emil Igewanuga was a surprise and yes he has looked good, but just don’t see the need.. Harbor had a poor last 2 Preseason games in my opinion and simply is not physical enough as Igewangu is for Specual Teams, short yard blocking that a back-up TE/FB will be asked to do

This Secondary is among the worst in the entire NFL
I see 3-4 NFL Caliber Players out of the 11 on the Roster
That would make other Rosters
Chung, Fketcher & Williams and all as Back-Ips on most other Teams,
But Allen, Coleman, Anderson, Boykin, Hughes & Marsh would not even make most NFL Rosters.. I will defer to Wolff & Poyer as they are Rookies

seansyh
seansyh
August 31, 2013 8:59 pm
Reply to  paulman

what do you think about Fernando Velasco for OL depth

eagles0superbowls
eagles0superbowls
August 31, 2013 8:27 pm

whether Matthews, McCoy, Hughes, Lindley, Sims,Marsh, Allen, Coleman or Graham none of them can play. The Eagles need to shed about 10 more players on defense.
Jeff Maehl making the team was the only surprise I didn’t see coming. I hope it works out. I have no opinion because I never looked at him as a serious WR candidate. I have no idea if he is a good special team cover guy, blocker, or returner.
Congrats Emil Igwenagu you earned that roster spot with toughness. 3 rbs, 3 te and you who can play both and special teams.

E-money
E-money
August 31, 2013 10:39 pm

I disagree on Brandon Graham, I think he will have a good year if he can stay healthy. Graham was productive last year and I think he will have his best season rushing the passer. I’m predicting 10+ sacks if he stays healthy.
Coleman can play, special teams. He’s not fast enough to start. Nate Allen needs to go. I think Hughes is a decent 4th corner.

The Eagles should grab Tebow, he’s as good as any of our current QB crop and has actually won a playoff game in the last decade.

Times yours
Times yours
August 31, 2013 8:33 pm

Paulman, your entire narrative was right on.

Good Day, Good Sports

Keith
Keith
August 31, 2013 9:16 pm

Why is Matthews still an Eagle? You can tell me Chris McCoy didn’t outplay him! Here comes the Oregon old boy network. Salas showed he belong, instead Kelly promoted his home boy. Good luck with that!

RegalEagle
RegalEagle
August 31, 2013 9:53 pm

Bottom Line is that due to years of hype and picking nonsense in the 2nd and 3rd rounds (1st too). This roster is a Joke. It is improved from last year but that doesn’t mean much.

Please Package any combination of Vick, Cole, Allen and D jax to Buffalo for Byrd.

Eaglehaslanded
Eaglehaslanded
August 31, 2013 10:21 pm
Reply to  RegalEagle

Jairius Byrd is out with a foot injury. Seriously, the Bills would want at least a second rounder, not out crap. I wouldn’t trade D Jax, our receiving corp would look like it did with the crap receivers before T.O. came. Let us not repeat that, we would then be complaining about the receivers again, crying for wideouts. The Eagles can get a good safety in this years draft with that second pick.J Byrd would not be the final piece to getting to the playoffs anyway so his price tag is not worth it.

The Silencer10
The Silencer10
August 31, 2013 10:15 pm

Really Danny, I know it’s ur article, but what the hell do you have to offer as far as football knowledge. Chip Kelly is known to be as described, one of the smartest guys in the room. And Gamble excelling in player personnel. Your a columnist. Your no where near qualified to evaluate players. That goes for all of you on here. Casey isn’t a starter, but may be a damn good special teams player. Incase u haven’t realized, Fipp has our special teams playing the best in pre season.. Fact is, this roster isn’t talented, outside of the players we know. Shady, DJ.. Ect. Lames

eagles0superbowls
eagles0superbowls
August 31, 2013 10:39 pm
Reply to  The Silencer10

LOL, Denny’s job is to get you to read and respond.
He predicts everything in writing and then critiques his own predictions in his next article after the outcome. How more stand up can he get.

E-money
E-money
August 31, 2013 10:45 pm
Reply to  The Silencer10

Dude, who made you the authority on who’s an authority?
Having opinions about personnel is part of the fun of preseason. Chip is human, so if you think he’s infallible, you’re full of sh_t.

Also, the man’s name is Denny, if you’re going to tear him a new assh0le, at least show some respect and spell his name right.

paulman
paulman
August 31, 2013 11:39 pm

This Clemson/Georgia game is a barn-burner and a great game to watch..
RB Gurley from Ga having a big game as is Clemson’s McDowell
Gurley will declare himself for the 2014 Draft and will probably be one to first RB’s to be selected.. Clemson’s QB T Boyd having a great game so far and will be in the Heisman Race out of the gate this Season..

The Silencer10
The Silencer10
September 1, 2013 1:00 am

I made myself authority u ass clown. Who made u authority, to challenge my authority.. The fact of my comments are simple. And I know his job is to start a topic of conversation and he got one. He may not like it, but fact his he DOESNT shit and neither do u. He says he doesn’t know what Igwenago had to offer, of course he doesn’t kno, it’s not his offense, he didn’t design the playbook, and doesn’t know what chips plans are this year. Fall back don’t get all butt hurt because I’m more tighter than a Repinlican!!

The Silencer10
The Silencer10
September 1, 2013 1:00 am

Lmao tighter! Meant RIGHTER*

kenkap
kenkap
September 1, 2013 1:26 am

Totally bush league. I agree, alarm bells for the future. Matthews, Marsh suck.

kenkap
kenkap
September 1, 2013 1:28 am

P.S. Andy Reid had his mitts all over the fiasco of a defense. I hope he rots on KC.

runtheball09
runtheball09
September 1, 2013 6:58 am

Everybody’s an expert. Just let Chip do his thing for now. He hasn’t even gotten a full chance to make his team yet. He’s still working with Andy’s turd sandwich.

daggolden
daggolden
September 1, 2013 7:02 am

Draft Day was the problem. e Eagles had 4 capable TEs on their roster Celek, Casey, Harbor and obviously Igwenagu but decided that wasn’t enough and drafted Zach Ertz. A surplus of TE ona team that desperately needed defensive help. What a wasted pick. Now we are dropping NFL TEs and our secondary is horrific. That 4th pick in the 2nd round should of went to the best defensive player on he board. period. Eagle fans are overvaluing a 5th round safety in Earl Wolff, a guy who cant even beat out Nate Allen. Oh yeah I forgot if your a rookie you cant start on defense. He’s a 5th round pick, chances are he cant play either.

Biglion821
Biglion821
September 2, 2013 6:52 am
Reply to  daggolden

All I can say about your post dag is yep!!!! Right on the money with that one.

pdiddy
pdiddy
September 1, 2013 7:31 am

Man at the end of the day I am happy that football is back. Let’s get it started, but man the Eagles are going to suck. We all see it but like the sixers I will enjoy watching the young guys develop. That will be my only enjoyment this season. My prediction for the Eagles record is 5-11.

pdiddy
pdiddy
September 1, 2013 7:36 am

There are just too many holes on this defense for it to be good. Also I think that Demeco Ryans should have been cut. Let Acho play Ryans really not good in this type of defense. Hopefully I am wrong but I don’t think so, Kendricks is too small to play inside. He is a Weak side backer in a 4-3 defense period. I think Cary williams will be Ok at corner but all the rest of the secondary sucks, including Boykins. The curse of Dawkins still remains.

DixieFan
DixieFan
September 1, 2013 9:05 am

Don’t give up on Boykins

DonP
DonP
September 1, 2013 9:33 am

Now I really dont see this team going more than 5-11 Very questionable moves really dont make sense!

Frank22
Frank22
September 1, 2013 10:34 am
Reply to  DonP

I mean really? Taking matthews over mccoy, keeping 6 cbs,
releasing Clay harbour and Danny watkins… which one of these moves makes them loose a game that they were not already pegged to loose?

paulman
paulman
September 1, 2013 10:19 am

Scouring g the Waiver-Lists and I don’t see a whole lot of Help out there in the Secondary..
Dolphins release CB Richard Marshall 2 weeks ago, he may be worth bringing in for a look, but believe he had some health issues..

I like this Safety Winston Guy that Seattle released..
Also Colts released Safety Larry Assante and Giants Released Safety Tyler Sash but don’t think these guys are any upgrades over Current Eagle Roster
Why is Curtis Marsh still on the Team?? He has shown very little in 3 Years with the Eagles..
Releasing LB C McCoy is going to come back and haunt the Eagles
He will be scooped up and probably be a solid Starter by 2014 for someone..

Eaglehaslanded
Eaglehaslanded
September 1, 2013 10:49 am

Casey Mathews over Chris McCoy- classic case of nepotism. I have given up on upgrading d-backfield for this year. I’m just looking at college players who can be drafted next year to solidify the d backfield.

paulman
paulman
September 1, 2013 12:09 pm

Eagles must Start fast and go at least 2-1 in first 3 Games and then can Split the remainder and finish with about 7 Wins,
If they start slow (like 1-2) then looking at about a 5 Win Season
Pkaying the Chargers at Home and Chiefs at Home on a short week and a possible “steal” at the Redskins in Week #1 since RGIII has not seen any live Action since last January. The Eagle could actually start 3-0, gain momentum and confidence and make some noise..
3 Games in 11 Days at a High/Fast-Tempo will require Starters/Key Subs to remain Healthy and get key contributions from the entire Roster before the meat of their Schedule begins ..
Players who must stay Healthy
Vick, D-Jax, Avant, Peters, Barwin, Kendrick’s & Chung
If any of these Players go down, they are in serious trouble..

Everz11
Everz11
September 1, 2013 12:53 pm

Not a big Casey Matthews fan, but let’s not act like C. McCoy was Derrick Thomas. He’s 26, been cut by three other NFL teams without accumulating so much as a tackle and didn’t set the world on fire in the CFL either. It’s like choosing a fart (Matthews) over a turd (McCoy) either way, they both stink. This team (whether they admit it or not) is being rebuilt, especially the defense and it can’t be done in one off-season. “A 4-3 hybrid” means “we don’t have the personnel to run a true 3-4”, it semantics. I just hope to see some young guys become players (Curry, Kendricks, Cox) over the course of the season and look forward to 2014.

Eaglehaslanded
Eaglehaslanded
September 1, 2013 1:06 pm
Reply to  Everz11

True, however, McCoy played better than Mathews. I didn’t see any stand out plays from Mathews in preseason. McCoy made plays in 3 out of 4 preseason games. Mathews looked terrible in the last game. Plus, give me the more athletic guy with size. I liked the Mathews pick up when he was drafted…he, like Watkins could benefit from a change of scenery.

The Silencer10
The Silencer10
September 2, 2013 2:33 am

Look at u people.. Ur bagging me up, McCoy has one decent quarter against the biggest turd in the league n now the guy is James Harrison. GTFOH. Like I said ur a bunch of lames.. Fake ass eagle fans, don’t kno shit..