Howie Roseman shed some light on the decision to cut Chas Henry and sign veteran punter Mat McBriar.
The Eagles general manager revealed that they brought McBriar in Tuesday for a workout and noticed notable improvement in his kicks from the preseason. The 33-year-old McBriar is coming off an injury to his non-kicking foot.
“We did see a difference,” Roseman told the team’s website. “He seems healthier and he’s booming the ball now.”
Roseman said they decided to make the move because they are seeking more consistency.
While the Eagles are adding a two-time Pro Bowler to the roster, there is some concern how the move will affect kicker Alex Henery. Special teams coach Bobby April has suggested that Henery was not at his sharpest early because he bounced between different holders this preseason.
“Working with two holders is never really great because there’s adaptions and adjustments that you have to make sort of on the fly,” said April after the Cleveland game. “You can develop a couple of deals, not that it was anybody’s fault, Chas’ or Mat’s. It’s just the fact that they were different holders and he’s the guy adjusting to them.”
One theory is that Henry won a close competition with McBriar because he was the better holder.
“Chas is a heck of a holder but Mat was a successful holder for the Cowboys for a long time,” said Roseman. “We have confidence in his ability to do that. We have a full week leading up to the Giants game to get him more experience, and obviously he had some experience with Alex during training camp.”
Roseman also was asked about the tribute to Brian Dawkins coming up on Sunday night.
“It’s so exciting to honor Dawk and to see him come this game, playing the Super Bowl champs, on our home turf,” said Roseman. “You’re talking about one of, if not the greatest, player in Eagles history. Hall-of-Fame player. Someone that when we scout players, we’re looking for someone that can be that kind of guy: that kind of leader, that kind of player.”
Dawkins’ No. 20 jersey will officially be retired during a 6 o’clock press conference prior to the game Sunday in the HeadHouse Plaza lobby area at Lincoln Financial Field. Ticket holders are invited to attend, though space is extremely limited and those in attendance will not be permitted to return outside the gates once the press conference is complete. Dawkins will be honored on the field and will address the fans during a halftime ceremony as well.