Camp Notes: Earl Wolff Running With the Ones

0V3J6867Defensive coordinator Billy Davis has a philosophy when it comes to rookies.

“I believe that when they start they should start at the bottom, and they should earn their way up,” said Davis. “It doesn’t take long for the better players to push their way up. Really, it comes from basically saying, hey the vets have been here and worked at it, someone has to take it from them before you just anoint somebody. But a lot of times when you see the talented young guys come up, they take it pretty quick. And when it’s time and you’ve seen enough and they’ve earned it, then you move them up.”

For the record, Davis hasn’t technically moved Earl Wolff up just yet. But he did have him working with the first team opposite Patrick Chung for the entirety of Monday’s practice.

Nate Allen, who had his share of struggles Friday, was down with the second team.

Davis said it’s all part of an ongoing rotation and suggested that Wolff won’t be with the first unit on Tuesday. While it’s true that Davis has mixed and matched the safety pairings quite a bit through training camp, never before had Wolff seen this many first-team snaps.

“Every day we walk in [to the meeting room] as DBs we have a little depth chart on the board. And when I saw I was with the ones I didn’t think too much of it, but I was like, ‘Let me go out here and have a great day and show the coaches that I can play with the ones,’” said Wolff. “I feel like the coaches are starting to trust me more and more as the days go on. I stay after [practice] and do extra, I feel like I had a pretty decent game in my first NFL game, and I’m just trying to go up from there.”

The fifth-round pick out of N.C. State prides himself on being a sure-tackler who will lay the big hit when the opportunity presents itself. He believes he can be a fit at strong or free safety.

Davis said he hasn’t named a starter for Thursday yet, let alone for the season opener against the Redskins. But Wolff is at least getting a look.

“Right now it’s a close battle,” said Davis,” and the games will separate it along with the practices.”

Concussion For Watkins

Danny Watkins was not out on the practice field Monday. Turns out, he came in this morning complaining of headaches, and was eventually diagnosed with a concussion. A team spokesman did not know when the injury happened. There was no contact at Sunday’s practice; it’s certainly possible that it was sustained during the game Friday. Matt Tennant played right guard in his absence.

Jason Peters (hamstring) took part in individual drills but sat out the team portion of practice. There’s a decent chance he is back Tuesday. Bryce  Brown (quad), Jon Dorenbos (concussion), Phillip Hunt (knee), Dennis Kelly (back), Casey Matthews (knee), Kenny Phillips (quad) and Ed Wang (knee) did not practice.

Lane Johnson, who became a father over the weekend, was absent as well.

Williams talks with Chip

Cary Williams said that he “wasn’t trying to be a jerk” with his comments Sunday, but was just trying to highlight that the Eagles are working to build a culture on defense where fierceness is part of their DNA.

He cleared the air with Chip Kelly. 

“I had a conversation with coach about the situation. I came in because it made me uncomfortable because I think the words I used were taken out of context,” said Williams. “I just wanted Chip and Howie Roseman to understand that is not my intention — I’m here to be a team player, I’m here to promote the Eagles, I’m here to play my best football.”

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  • EaglePete

    Good, it cant get worse than Allen, at least maybe this can light a fire under him but if that fire hasnt been lit already then its not getting better for him.

  • #7

    Start Earl Wolff. I don’t care if he’s a rookie. At least he will hit someone. At least he will tackle someone. Nate Allen sucks.

    Another failed pick by Andy Reid

  • Token

    Just to note, Davis said he ran with ones as part of a rotation. Not because hes starting. He wont start even tomorrow according to Davis.

    Now, I think Wolff has about zero % chance of being a impact NFL player.

    However, I say start him. We KNOW Allen and Coleman are awful. Phillips is just physically done. Start the rookie. Maybe he will surprise you. If he sucks, well the other guys suck to so nothing lost.

  • Dutch

    If the Wolff kid shows range and ball skills he’s already a step in the right direction. But that defense is in trouble anytime Coleman is left as an available option to come onto the field under any circumstance. Another Safety is needed based on the linebackers covering in the route. Kendricks looked loss in coverage and in the gap trying to make a stop on rushing attempts.

    Wolff, Salas,Harbor, Knott and probably Squire need to see work against the opponents first teams this week.

    • G_WallyHunter

      agreed with Wolff, I want to give Kendricks a few more games before calling his card. Let’s see how he and the rest look after 4 game. Only fair to reserve judgement until after the Jets game on 28th or 29th… then we have a very large sample size

  • Rick H

    Actually it is pretty ridiculous to pick out one guy on the Eagles defense and say they are the problem. The first play of the game Cox was knocked down then D. Ryans was mainly responsible for the 62 yard run. Ryans was so out of position it was surprising. I like Ryans quite a bite but he made it look easy for the patriots. The secondary and linebackers are all very average. This team should play more 4-3 under then 3-4. Take Nate Allen or any of these secondary guys and put them in a loaded secondary and they will be much better. The problem here is there isn’t go to guy in the secondary to build around. Boykin looks good in defensive coverage but the Eagles need a guy that leads by example and has “presence” then talks about after the game. I hope Wolff is good but I didn’t notice him at all Friday night and he was one of the guys I was looking for during the game.

    • Maggie

      Monday. I just watched the replay on NFL Network. Noticed Wolff several times. He was in on several tackles, unlike a lot of his teammates.

  • EaglefaninAZ

    One day we won’t have to hear the names Nate Allen and Curt Coleman when discussing the Eagles. That will be a better day than today. I’m sure these guys are giving it their all, and that’s only to be expected, considering salaries and whatnot. But I think it’s thoroughly clear that even at their best, these are not the guys that can help this team move forward and get better.

    I’m looking forward to watching this team grow, through the casting off of lesser talents, and bringing in better through the draft. The occasional “good FA pickup” may happen the next few years, but if you’re not drafting well, success can’t last. Coach Reid left quite a legacy. Some would call that legacy “fodder”. In many cases. I would agree.

  • Seligkeit

    Was Nate Allen and Casey Mathews the picks the Eagles received for McNabb?

  • Richard Colton

    Earl Wolff is neck-and-neck with Nate Allen. ughhh.

  • G_WallyHunter

    and now he’s competing for starting Jets safety lol… Imagine he develops into something there this year. Ya right

  • #7

    You never know

  • Phils Goodman

    Obviously they are not counting on Phillips, but starting FS should be his for the taking if he can stay on the field when he needs to be.

  • aub32

    Seems to me like more of a “trust Chung covering the slot” more so than a 3 Safety look. CW has missed a lot of time, and Boykin has looked good in practice on the outside. So if they get into a scenario where Boykin goes outside, someone has to cover the slot. What if a TE is lined up in the slot? Boykin is at a clear disadvantage size wise. With no one else that can cover the slot, the Eagles may be forced to put Chung there, and you can’t just put a safety in the slot without putting another Safety on the field.

  • All In Eagles

    If we don’t get a starting safety next season, such as J Byrd, I think I’ll cry. I think Allen can still improve but Coleman is a career backup and Wolff, we have no idea. Phillips, as much as it pains me to say, I don’t think he’ll play good football ever again. Chung seems like the only sure starter now, ugh.