Ready Or Not, Wolff Could Get His Shot
Earl Wolff is running with the first team and is expected to start if Nate Allen can’t get past his hamstring injury in time for Sunday. Asked how Wolff has been progressing in practice over the last few weeks, Chip Kelly didn’t exactly sing the young safety’s praises.
“Earl’s been okay. I think he needs to be a little bit more consistent from that standpoint. But he’s okay,” said Kelly.
Wolff did not seem to agree with the idea that he’s been inconsistent.
“I know the defense well. I know the little details,” said Wolff. “I might have one mistake but that’s the same mistake that Nate and [Malcolm Jenkins] have. Every day you’re going to have mistakes but it’s all about that next play, how you do after that. I don’t feel I make multiple mistakes a day, I might make one a day, but that’s what everybody makes. And I feel like when I do make that mistake I don’t make that same mistake that day or the next day.
“At practice, I feel like I play the defense pretty well that is called.”
Wolff has been a contributor on special teams but has played just 16 defensive snaps this season, per Pro Football Focus. He was beaten out by Allen this summer and, besides brief cameos against Jacksonville and San Francisco, has been relegated to the sideline.
“He’s ready,” said Jenkins, who has served as a mentor for Wolff since arriving in Philadelphia. “He’s been looking forward to the reps he’s getting, the opportunity to be with the ones. He made a few plays today. The biggest thing for him is to communicate and take control of his side. He’s a younger player, but the safety position is all about getting guys lined up, making calls, being loud and confident with your calls because the guys to the left of you, to the right of you and in front of you are all waiting for you to tell them what to do. That’s the biggest thing that the coaches and his teammates want to see from him is can he get out there and lead his side of the field and get everybody lined up, settled and comfortable.”
Asked about his knee, Wolff said he has soreness from time-to-time but that overall it hasn’t been a big issue.
“I feel like after you have a knee injury it takes a while for it to feel the way it used to,” he said. “It may swell up here or there but as long as there’s no ligament damage or anything crazy, it’s not anything serious.”
It remains to be seen whether Allen will be healthy enough to play against Houston. He missed practice for the second straight day Wednesday and is considered day-to-day. The Eagles technically have a few options. Chris Maragos is the other safety on the roster and they have both Ed Reynolds and Jordan Kovacs on the practice squad. Former Jags safety Chris Prosinski is flying in Wednesday for a Thursday workout, but there’s no way they would sign a guy off the street and thrust him into the lineup within a couple days of him signing here.
Wolff’s the next guy in, and there’s at least a chance that his number is called this week.
“If I’m given that shot, I’m taking full advantage of it,” he said.