Eagles Wake-Up Call: Clay Harbor At Linebacker?

In the college ranks, it’s fairly common for a player to switch over from one side of the ball to the other.

A wide receiver moving to defensive back, an offensive guard becoming a defensive tackle, and so on.

In the NFL, however, such maneuvers are rare. But that’s apparently not going to stop Chip Kelly from considering them. According to Bob Grotz of the Delaware County Daily Times, the Eagles are giving tight end Clay Harbor a look on defense.

“I’m trying a little outside linebacker, actually, to be more versatile,” Harbor said. “We’ll see how it works out.”

He was later asked about it on Twitter:

The truth is, the depth chart at tight end got pretty crowded this offseason. The Eagles signed James Casey in free agency and drafted Stanford’s Zach Ertz in the second round of April’s draft. Veteran Brent Celek is still on the roster too.

If the Eagles keep four tight ends, there’s a chance Harbor could stick. But given the moves the team has made, it’s clear he’s not going to have much of a role on offense.

Harbor was a fourth-round pick in 2010, but has done very little in three NFL seasons. He has 47 catches for 421 yards and four touchdowns, averaging 9.0 yards per catch.

Meanwhile, as we discussed last week, the Eagles have a lot of question marks at outside linebacker.

It looks like Harbor will get a chance on both sides of the ball to prove he’s worthy of being on the 53-man roster.


From Kelly’s past success in the red zone to Mychal Kendricks’ tackling, here are three numbers that matter.

One national writer thinks Matt Barkley can be the next Tom Brady. Rounding up what they’re saying about the Eagles.

Eagles wide receivers better be ready to block.


Tommy Lawlor of IgglesBlitz.com says he’s all-in on Kelly, but still has questions about Bill Davis as defensive coordinator:

Davis doesn’t have a great track record as a DC. It is hard to get excited by him. I’m also nervous about the hybrid defense. Trying to use the 3-4 and 4-3 Under can be tricky. Hybrid defenses have failed more than they’ve succeeded in the NFL. Too often, coaches think Bill Belichick’s ideas can be copied, but don’t realize you need a brilliant coach like him to teach them, run them, and make adjustments to them.

ESPN.com’s Dan Graziano offers some thoughts on Michael Vick:

I believe Vick is earnest. I believe he wants to succeed, and is willing to put in the off-field work that he needs to in order to do it. I don’t think he’s lazy or aloof or not smart enough to pick up this new offense. What I think is that Vick, who turns 33 next month, is simply what he is, and that you have to take the good with the bad. He can say and do all of the right things in OTAs and minicamps, but when the games start and the play breaks down, nothing’s going to stop him from doing what he knows and what he’s always known — holding the ball too long, trying too hard to make the spectacular rescue play instead of dumping it off or throwing it out of bounds and living to see the next play. That’s the kind of quarterback behavior that has consistently, throughout Vick’s career, led to turnovers and injuries and frustration for his coaches.


Oh, we’ll come up with something.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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Eagles, James Casey Agree To 3-Year Deal

The Eagles’ first free-agent addition comes on the offensive side of the ball. The team announced Tuesday night that it has agreed to terms with versatile tight end James Casey on a three-year deal.

Casey, 28, can play a variety of positions – tight end, fullback, H-Back. The 6-foot-3, 240-pounder caught 34 balls on 45 targets for 330 yards and three touchdowns with the Texans last season. He served other roles too, including one as a lead blocker for Arian Foster.

Casey played in 51 percent of the Texans’ snaps, per Pro Football Focus. He was most commonly used as a blocker in the run game (54.6 percent of the time); he went out into pass routes 38.9 percent of the time; and he was kept in for pass protection on 6.3 percent of his offensive snaps. Casey had just one carry.

Drafted by the Chicago White Sox in 2003, Casey spent three years playing Rookie League ball before going to Rice and playing football. In 2008, he had 111 catches for 1,329 yards and 13 touchdowns.

He was a fifth-round pick by the Texans in 2009.

So, how does he fit in? We don’t know exactly what Chip Kelly is going to do offensively, but part of his college philosophy was based on getting to the line of scrimmage early and determining what to do based on the look of the defense.

Casey becomes a versatile chess piece in that respect. He can line up out wide, in the slot, on the line of scrimmage or in the backfield. He can start in one place, and once the quarterback assesses the defense, Casey can motion to a different spot to create pre-snap advantages for the offense. His versatility is likely a big part of what Kelly found attractive about Casey.

Casey’s signing shouldn’t affect Brent Celek. If the Eagles show a lot of spread looks, both Casey and Celek could be on the field at the same time. It could, however, be bad news for No. 2 tight end Clay Harbor, depending on how the rest of the roster shapes up.

And it could also signal that Kelly doesn’t plan on keeping another fullback, meaning Stanley Havili might hot have a roster spot.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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Eagles Wake-Up Call: Chip Kelly And the TE Position

One thing we are learning about Chip Kelly is that he has very specific tastes when it comes to his personnel.

“He’s going to be very defined on the things that he’s looking for in players by positions,” said general manager Howie Roseman. “Which is great for us as a personnel staff, to make sure that we know specifics for each position, dictated by the coaching staff.

“There are deal-breakers. Maybe it’s at a particular position that size is a particular function that you need there, or a certain speed.”

Gaining an understanding of what Kelly values will help us better forecast team moves going forward. What better way to begin the education process than looking at the type of players he was drawn to at Oregon?

Let’s focus in on tight ends. Below is a list of the TEs that saw action in 2012 under Kelly.

Colt Lyerla6-5238
Koa Ka'Ai6-4249
Pharaoh Brown6-6230
T.J. Daniel6-6230

What immediately jumps off the page is that Kelly likes his tight ends to have some height to them, with three of the four ends on his roster at 6-5 or above. He even tried Dion Jordan (listed at 6-6 or 6-7, depending on where you look) at tight end before flipping him to the defensive side of the ball his sophomore season. Go through the position dating back to when Kelly took over at Oregon, and you will find  very similar body types.

“That’s what we strive for and that’s what we look for in recruiting,” said Kelly heading into last season. “We’ve got some good size and along with that good athletic ability.”

Athleticism is an important part of the equation. Lyerla was Oregon’s top tight end last season, finishing with 25 catches for 392 yards and six touchdowns. He also lined up in the backfield for the Ducks and carried the ball 13 times for 77 yards (5.9 average) with a TD.

So, does anyone on the market fit the bill?

Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com released a list of the top 85 free agents to-be. Six are tight ends. They are:

17) Tony Gonzalez (ATL)
Size: 6-5, 247
Age: 37
Skinny: Tough to envision the future Hall-of-Famer playing anywhere but Atlanta if he decides to return for another season.

29) Dustin Keller (NYJ)
Size: 6-2, 250
Age: 28
Skinny: Keller missed half the ’12 season with hamstring and leg injuries.

34) Fred Davis (WAS)
Size: 6-4, 247
Age: 27
Skinny: Davis tore his Achilles in Week 7 last season.

47) Delanie Walker (SFO)
Size: 6-0, 242
Age: 28
Skinny: The height isn’t there, but the versatility is. Deemed the Niners’ “Swiss Army knife” by Jim Harbaugh, Walker has lined up at wide receiver, fullback, running back and right tackle. He also plays special teams.

48) Jared Cook (TEN)
Size: 6-5, 248
Age: 25
Skinny: A nice blend of size and athleticism. Unfortuantely, the Titans will use the franchise tag on him. [Update: Or so we thought! Despite reports to the contrary, Tennessee did not tag the tight end.]

51) Martellus Bennett (NYG)
Size: 6-6, 265
Age: 26
Skinny: Had 55 catches and five touchdowns for the Giants after four relatively disappointing seasons in Dallas. The talent level is there, as is the size Kelly likes.

How about the draft? A look at the top 5 TE prospects, as well as where they are expected to be taken, in the view of CBS Sports:

Projected round
Tyler Eifert6-6, 250Notre Dame1st
Zach Ertz6-5, 249Stanford2nd
Vance McDonald 6-4, 267Rice2nd
Gavin Escobar 6-6, 254San Diego St.2nd-3rd
Travis Kelce6-5, 255Cincinnati3rd

As you can see, there are some Chip Kelly bodies early on in the draft.

While there are plenty of pressing needs on this team, tight end will have to be addressed soon. Brent Celek has fought through a lot of pain over the years, and you wonder if it will begin catching up with him. Clay Harbor, who  fractured multiple bones in his back late last season, has yet to distinguish himself.

(Celek, for the record, is 6-4, 255. Harbor is 6-3, 252.)

Kelly may be inclined to carry four tight ends, so there will almost certainly be movement on this front. We at least have some understanding of what he will be looking for.


Sheil gives us some notes on free agency, the draft and the read option.

Teams have today until 4 p.m. to use their franchise tag. A look at tag-related moves (and non-moves) that could impact the Eagles.

Kapadia takes a look at some cornerback options in free agency.

Brandon Graham is prepping for a move to linebacker.


Geoff Mosher links the Eagles to one of the free-agent safeties.

Would the Eagles consider going after a big-ticket wide receiver in free agency? Dan Graziano addresses that in his mailbag.

The Philadelphia Eagles have a lot to spend in free agency if they want to spend it. They’re about $33 million under the cap at this point, and they can save another $11 million if they cut cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, as it’s expected they will. And they have most of their core young players locked up on long-term deals they did a year ago. So certainly, if they wanted to make a play for someone like Mike Wallace or Dwayne Bowe, the Eagles could do that.

The issue is whether, with DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin already set as starters, the Eagles want to spend their money that way. Both Jackson and Maclin have the kind of speed new head coach Chip Kelly loves, and assuming both stay healthy they look like strong weapons for whatever kind of offense he ends up running in Philadelphia. But that’s my perception. It’s possible Kelly doesn’t like, say, Maclin and would like to upgrade that spot. Again, they have the money to spend if they so choose. My guess at this point is that they use their cap room to rebuild that defense, targeting cornerbacks if they’re going to spend big. But that’s a guess, and we’ll know soon enough.


We have a couple tricks up our sleeve for this week. We’ll keep you posted.

All-22: What We Saw From Foles This Week

Here’s the All-22 look at what we saw from Nick Foles and the Eagles’ offense last week (when they weren’t fumbling, that is).

Play 1: I’ve heard Greg Cosell of NFL Films talk about young quarterbacks sometimes deciding where they’re going with the ball pre-snap. That might have been the case on this 3rd-and-3 incompletion to Clay Harbor.

Harbor ran a go-route down the left sideline. But he was matched up one-on-one with cornerback Leon Hall. That’s not a favorable matchup for the Eagles. Situation here is also important. Foles had Bryce Brown at the bottom of your screen. It was 3rd-and-3. He probably should have taken the easy throw and moved the chains. Instead, the Eagles had to punt.

Play 2: One of Foles’ best qualities is sensing pressure and creating space while keeping his eyes downfield. We see it every week. On this first-quarter throw, you can see he’s got nowhere to go when he takes his initial drop.

Foles feels pressure from both sides as the pocket begins to collapse.

But he scrambles to his left, and Jason Avant does a great job of helping him out by scurrying towards the sideline. The result is a 25-yard completion.

Play 3: When evaluating Foles, we must acknowledge that he’s playing with a bunch of backups. There was one point last week where the offense was without 10 of its 11 projected starters from the beginning of the season. On this third-down play in the first, Foles just has nowhere to go with the football.

The receivers are blanketed, and the Bengals send a blitz. Jake Scott fails to switch off to No. 93, who is basically rushing free at Foles. He has to get rid of the ball quickly.

Foles targeted Cooper on a slant, but the pass was broken up. The Eagles wanted a flag, but didn’t get one. I thought the loss of DeSean Jackson, Brent Celek and LeSean McCoy really showed in this game.

Play 4: Andy Reid admitted after the game that Brown probably didn’t need to bounce a few of his runs to the outside. I wonder if this was one he was referring to.

It was a delayed handoff in the first. You can see King Dunlap, Evan Mathis and Harbor have it blocked pretty well if Brown cuts upfield, but instead, he tries to get to the edge and is pushed out after a 1-yard run.

Keep in mind, I’m showing this image with the benefit of several replays. And even then, I’m guessing. It’s a split-second decision for Brown. Looked like he had room though.

Play 5: Love the play-call by Marty Mornhinweg in the second quarter. Love the initial execution. Didn’t love the finish.

The Eagles took a play out of their opponents’ playbook. We’ve seen the defense get burned by this on multiple occasions. They ran a fake screen to Damaris Johnson and got the cornerback responsible for Jeremy Maclin to bite.

Johnson and Foles did a good job selling it, and Maclin got free down the right sideline. But two things could have been done better. One is Foles’ throw. He made Maclin slow down and come back for the ball.

And the other, which I mentioned earlier in the week, is Maclin’s inability to make the defensive backs miss in the open field. Maclin does a lot of things well, but I don’t know if he has that one skill that sets him apart. Remember, he’s a free agent after the 2013 season.

Play 6: The Eagles had to settle for a field goal on a second-quarter drive, but had multiple opportunities to get in the end zone. Tough to blame Dion Lewis here. It looked like he initially had some room to the right, but if he cuts it back, he might score.

Play 7: And as much as we rip the Eagles for over-using the shovel pass, they probably would’ve scored had Brown held on to the football.

There was also Harbor getting stuffed at the 1 by a defensive back, Matt Tennant dropping a ball in the end zone and Dallas Reynolds being called for an illegal snap. In other words, Foles didn’t get much help from his teammates in the red zone.

Play 8: One more example of Foles having nowhere to go with the ball. This is off a play-fake. The Bengals send six at the quarterback and are in man coverage with one safety deep.

Everyone’s covered. Foles forced a short throw to Maclin that got called back anyway because of a holding penalty on Scott.

Play 9: I think Emil Igwenagu delivered the best lead block we’ve seen from an Eagles fullback all year. He starts out by chipping the defensive lineman.

Then Igwenagu gets to the linebacker.

Drives him back.

And takes him to the ground as Brown picks up 8.

Play 10: We’ve already been over the interception. Reid explained that it was a matter of mechanics, not arm strength. One thing to note: Maclin was not wide-open on the play. Take a look at the coverage at the time Foles released the ball.

Hall’s got a couple steps on him. On TV, it looked like Maclin ran past him because Hall slowed down and came back for the ball. Had the throw been better, maybe Maclin would have separated as Hall looked back. But obviously, it was a poor throw that got picked off.

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Clay Harbor Placed On Injured Reserve

Philadelphia Eagles TE Clay Harbor.Clay Harbor has been placed on injured reserve with a lower back injury, the team announced Tuesday. No corresponding move has been made as of yet.

Harbor sustained a back contusion on Thursday night against the Bengals.

The third-year tight end out of Missouri State finishes the season with 25 receptions for 188 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He was the primary tight end against Cincinnati as Brent Celek sat out with a concussion, and caught three passes for 30 yards.

Celek has been cleared to return and is expected to play against the Redskins Sunday. In his absence the Eagles activated Emil Igwenagu, who will likely get some playing time against Washington now that Harbor is out.

Five Leftovers From Eagles-Bengals

Here are five leftovers from the locker room after the Eagles lost to the Bengals last night, 34-13.

1. As we’ve discussed on multiple occasions, this team has some major decisions to make in the secondary this offseason. Nnamdi Asomugha, who would be owed $4M if released, was asked if he thinks some of the players (presumably on defense) have shown in the past two weeks that they deserve to be back.

“Here’s the thing that I know. Everybody wants to be back,” Asomugha said. “We don’t know how it’s going to shake out, but I can tell you everybody believes in this team and knows the direction that we’re going. We think it’s up. So I know everybody wants to be back.”

I understand what Asomugha was saying. He’s pointing out that the defense has improved the past two weeks. And I know the players in the locker room have to try to stay confident. But to say the direction is pointing up after the ninth loss in 10 games just seems a little off to me.

2. The other starting corner, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, is a free agent after the season. He shadowed A.J. Green all game and won his share of battles. Green finished with six catches for 57 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets. After the game, Rodgers-Cromartie was asked about playing for a contract.

“I ain’t playing for money. That’s going to come. I’m not worried about that. My main thing is I’m just trying to go out and finish strong,” he said.

“I know what I have in me. I know what kind of player I am. If nobody can see it, then that’s just them.”

Evaluating Rodgers-Cromartie is going to be one of the most difficult things this front office has to do. He’s got talent, he plays well in stretches and by all accounts is a good teammate. He holds himself accountable and is only 26. There’s no question that Rodgers-Cromartie has a (multiple) Pro Bowl ceiling.

But there’s a reason why he could be on his third different team before he turns 27. He’s incredibly inconsistent, often shies away from contact and is a terrible tackler. That’s why whoever’s coaching this team in 2013 has to be the one who decides whether or not Rodgers-Cromartie is worth keeping around.

3. And then there’s the guy coaching Asomugha and Rodgers-Cromartie: Todd Bowles. If there’s one person who has a lot to gain from the final two games, it’s him. Remember, this is someone who was considered to be on a path towards being an NFL head coach before the season. In six weeks with Bowles as defensive coordinator and Jim Washburn as defensive line coach, the Eagles allowed opponents to complete 76.3 percent of their passes. In the past two weeks, without Washburn, that number is 44.3 percent.

With a strong finish, it’ll be pretty easy to sell the Washburn was the problem narrative. Of course, there’s no telling where he’ll be coaching next. Bowles’ name has been mentioned in connection with the Temple head coaching job.

“It was good. It’s my alma mater.,” Bowles said of his conversation with the Owls. “We had a good talk. We had a good conversation. … We’ll see how it goes.”

4. I still need to re-watch the game, but Andy Reid and Nick Foles seemed to offer different explanations for the third-quarter interception.

“He’s got a real strong arm,” Reid said. “You can put his arm up against anybody in this league. You just have to make sure that he’s taking time to look people off, and you have to make sure you don’t spend too much time doing that. You have to make sure you get your feet around and that you have enough momentum to get your body and legs into the throw.”

Reid’s explanation makes sense. He also indicated the issue was one of mechanics. Foles had an issue of staring down receivers in his first couple of starts. We pointed out last week how he did a better job of looking safeties off against Tampa.

But Foles seemed to just think he threw a bad ball.

“I just made a horrible throw,” he said. “The ball came out bad and it had a little bit of wobble to it. You really have to cut it and I didn’t do that. I just have to spin it and it started fluttering towards the end. I underthrew Jeremy and the guy came back and made a play. So it’s a bad throw. It’s one that I can’t have. But it happened, and I just have to, next time it happens, just really throw it out there.”

According to STATS, Inc., Foles is just 3-for-16 on balls that have traveled more than 20 yards from the line of scrimmage. That’s certainly one area for improvement.

5. As for some of the other mistakes, Reid said Marvin McNutt was where he was supposed to be on the punt block. Ryan Rau was supposed to be in, but Clay Harbor made a heads-up play and filled in for him. That had nothing to do with the block though. McNutt just got manhandled.

Cedric Thornton took responsibility for the fumbled kickoff return. It’s funny. I remember at training camp watching some of the offensive linemen and defensive linemen fielding kicks and wondering: Why are they wasting their time with this? Now, I understand.

“Definitely should have been a fair catch,” Thornton said. “That was my fault. I was running, looking to make a big play and should have fair caught it. That was my fault. Next time I will be more focused and I will call a fair catch.”

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Eagles Snap Counts: Brasher Tightens DL Rotation

Here’s a look at Eagles snap counts from Thursday’s loss to the Bengals. We’ll go position-by-position.

Overall Snaps
Snap %
Bryce Brown4988%
Dion Lewis59%
Stanley Havili1120%

The Eagles are spelling Bryce Brown less than they did LeSean McCoy. The rookie running back only came off the field for seven snaps. He had 16 carries for 34 yards (2.1 YPC) and had the turnover on the exchange with Nick Foles in the third. After averaging 8.1 yards per carry in his first two starts, Brown has averaged 1.4 in his last two games.

Overall Snaps
Snap %
Riley Cooper5598%
Jeremy Maclin5293%
Jason Avant3868%
Damaris Johnson916%
Marvin McNutt12%
Clay Harbor4682%
Emil Igwenagu1323%

Jeremy Maclin led the team with nine targets, but finished with just four catches for 73 yards. He also fumbled on the first drive. Jason Avant had three catches for 44 yards on four targets. Despite playing 55 of 56 snaps, Riley Cooper had just three catches for 20 yards.

Emil Igwenagu saw his first action of the season, but was not targeted. Clay Harbor started for Brent Celek and had three catches for 30 yards, but he fumbled too.

I suppose I should have included Matt Tennant here. The backup center has played one snap all season. It came in the red zone late in the first half. Foles targeted Tennant, but threw incomplete in the end zone. I’m guessing many of you are not shocked at the result there.

Overall Snaps
Snap %
Trent Cole6279%
Brandon Graham5267%
Fletcher Cox4963%
Cullen Jenkins4963%
Derek Landri3444%
Cedric Thornton2633%
Vinny Curry1519%
Phillip Hunt1418%
Darryl Tapp1317%

The Eagles’ first-team defensive line is playing more. Graham played 52 snaps, his highest total since Week 1 of his rookie year (per Pro Football Focus). Trent Cole played 62 snaps, his highest total in the past two seasons. Both were productive, combining for 11 tackles and 3.5 sacks, per the game stats.

Vinny Curry is still not seeing a lot of playing time. He was only on the field for 15 snaps. Fletcher Cox has seen a bump the last two weeks. He had 1.5 sacks.

Overall Snaps
Snap %
DeMeco Ryans78100%
Mychal Kendricks7596%
Jamar Chaney3849%
Casey Matthews11%
Akeem Jordan11%

Jamar Chaney once again got the start at SAM, and Mychal Kendricks was at WILL. DeMeco Ryans led the team with nine tackles.

Overall Snaps
Snap %
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie7799%
Nnamdi Asomugha7697%
Brandon Boykin3950%
Curtis Marsh45%
Nate Allen78100%
Colt Anderson7799%

Colt Anderson once again filled in for Kurt Coleman and exceeded expectations. The Eagles didn’t have many (any?) noticeable breakdowns in the back end, limiting Andy Dalton to 127 yards on 13-for-27 passing. The Eagles didn’t allow a completion of more than 19 yards all game long.

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Eagles Snap Counts: Dion Lewis Sees a Bump

Here’s a look at Eagles snap counts from Sunday’s win over the Bucs. We’ll go position-by-position.

Overall Snaps
Snap %
Bryce Brown5066%
Dion Lewis2634%
Stanley Havili1114%

Dion Lewis had been inactive for six of the Eagles’ first 12 games. But with LeSean McCoy sidelined, he’s been called on to complement starter Bryce Brown. Entering Sunday’s game, Lewis had played a total of 16 snaps all season, according to Pro Football Focus. But against Tampa, he was on the field for a career-high 26 snaps. Lewis only touched the ball twice – once on a carry that lost 4 yards and again on a swing pass that picked up 28. I’m still going through my game review, but Brown had some issues in pass protection early. That could be a reason why Lewis saw an expanded role.

Overall Snaps
Snap %
Jeremy Maclin7599%
Jason Avant7193%
Riley Cooper7193%
Damaris Johnson1925%
Marvin McNutt57%
Clay Harbor5167%
Brent Celek11%

With Brent Celek knocked out on the first play from scrimmage, everyone else was called on to pick up the slack. Clay Harbor played 51 snaps – the second-highest total of his career.

Jeremy Maclin sat out only one play and was Nick Foles’ most-targeted (13) receiver. Jason Avant and Riley Cooper only sat out five snaps apiece, as the Eagles stuck with three-receiver sets for much of the game. Damaris Johnson had the muffed punt and played 19 snaps on offense. Rookie Marvin McNutt was active for the first time in his career and played five snaps.

Overall Snaps
Snap %
Trent Cole5374%
Fletcher Cox5069%
Cullen Jenkins5069%
Brandon Graham4765%
Cedric Thornton2535%
Derek Landri2535%
Vinny Curry1622%
Darryl Tapp1521%
Phillip Hunt1318%

Even with Jim Washburn gone, the Eagles went with a rotation along the defensive line, playing all nine guys who were active. Brandon Graham played 47 snaps, his highest number since 2010. Fletcher Cox played 69 percent of the snaps, his second-highest percentage of the season.

Vinny Curry only played 16 snaps, his lowest total in the last three games. You’d think that at some point, Curry would steal away Darryl Tapp’s snaps. But there are only three games left.

Overall Snaps
Snap %
DeMeco Ryans72100%
Mychal Kendricks7199%
Jamar Chaney3346%
Casey Matthews46%
Akeem Jordan23%

The Eagles shook up their linebacker situation. Mychal Kendricks replaced Akeem Jordan at WILL. And Jamar Chaney took over for Kendricks at SAM. As you can see from the snap counts, Kendricks stayed on the field in nickel situations.

Overall Snaps
Snap %
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie6489%
Nnamdi Asomugha5881%
Brandon Boykin3549%
Curtis Marsh1825%
Brandon Hughes11%
Colt Anderson7097%
Nate Allen7097%

Nnamdi Asomugha left the game briefly and was replaced by Curtis Marsh. Colt Anderson replaced Kurt Coleman at safety.

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Celek Suffers Concussion Against Bucs

Philadelphia Eagles tight end Brent Celek.The Eagles are down yet another playmaker.

Brent Celek suffered a concussion on the very first play of the game against the Bucs Sunday. He is the third member of the offense to be sidelined by a head injury in recent weeks, joining Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy.

Celek was tackled by a pair of Tampa defenders after a modest gain and had trouble getting to his feet. He eventually walked off and was evaluated by trainers on the sidelines before heading inside.

Celek was replaced by Clay Harbor.

The offense has been ripped apart by injuries. Four-fifths of the offensive line is gone. Same with the starting quarterback, the starting running back and No. 1 wide receiver DeSean Jackson, who is on injured reserve with fractured ribs. And now, their tight end.

Nnamdi Asomugha left early in the second quarter with a neck and thigh injury. The veteran corner jumped up to make a play on the ball and was upended by Dallas Clark. Asomugha landed flat on his upper back and stayed down for some time before walking gingerly off the field.

Eagles Snap Counts: Washburn’s Final Rotation

Here’s a look at Eagles snap counts from Sunday night’s loss to the Cowboys. We’ll go position-by-position.

Overall Snaps
Snap %
Bryce Brown5689%
Stanley Havili58%
Dion Lewis58%

There’s no easing Bryce Brown in at running back. Andy Reid is taking advantage of those fresh legs as the rookie played 89 percent of the team’s offensive snaps. Of course, Brown’s costly fumble came in the fourth quarter, and Reid said focusing on ball security becomes more difficult when a player is tired.

Even with LeSean McCoy out, Dion Lewis only played five snaps. And the Eagles ran mostly out of single-back sets as Stanley Havili also played five snaps.

Overall Snaps
Snap %
Jeremy Maclin6197%
Riley Cooper6298%
Jason Avant5181%
Damaris Johnson58%
Brent Celek5587%
Clay Harbor1524%

Riley Cooper got the start and played all but one snap. He made a great play on a 15-yard touchdown and also caught a slant for 16 yards early on.

Clay Harbor played 15 snaps and was a non-factor. Damaris Johnson played just five snaps on offense, but had the 98-yard punt return for a touchdown.

Overall Snaps
Snap %
Trent Cole4468%
Cullen Jenkins3757%
Mike Patterson3655%
Brandon Graham3148%
Cedric Thornton2945%
Derek Landri2843%
Darryl Tapp2437%
Fletcher Cox2031%
Vinny Curry1929%
Phillip Hunt812%

When Jim Washburn was hired, we heard all about the rotation he liked to utilize. Four men in, four men out throughout the game to keep fresh bodies going after the quarterback. With the Eagles often going with nine or 10 defensive linemen on gamedays, the rotation grew. Even though Brandon Graham got the start, he played just 48 percent of the team’s snaps. Graham produced with 1.5 sacks and four quarterback hits. Vinny Curry played 19 snaps. That number should increase down the stretch.

With Washburn out, it’ll be interesting to see if the Eagles continue to rotate linemen or just play their best guys more. Players like Graham, Fletcher Cox and Curry could surely benefit from more playing time in the final four games.

Overall Snaps
Snap %
DeMeco Ryans6498%
Mychal Kendricks6397%
Akeem Jordan2945%
Casey Matthews812%

Nothing really noteworthy at linebacker. Casey Matthews saw some snaps when DeMeco Ryans went down briefly and was also on the field in goal-line and short-yardage situations.

Overall Snaps
Snap %
Nnamdi Asomugha6092%
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie5686%
Brandon Boykin2742%
Curtis Marsh46%
Nate Allen6498%
Kurt Coleman5585%

This group continues to be a complete disaster. As I mentioned last week, we’re looking at a complete overhaul in 2013. Reid was asked if the backups deserve a shot at this point, but the truth is, the Eagles don’t have a lot of talented young players at either cornerback or safety. Curtis Marsh could maybe see some added snaps, but beyond that? Who’s he going to play? David Sims?

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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