Chip Kelly: Eagles Will Add A Third Quarterback
After the Eagles announced their cuts and 52-man roster, Chip Kelly explained the team will add a third quarterback behind Sam Bradford and Mark Sanchez.
“We’re not done,” Kelly said. “We’ll look and see what happens with the waiver wire and whether we add a quarterback to the active roster or to the practice squad, but we’ll have a third quarterback in here.”
According to Kelly, the Eagles aren’t targeting any specific quarterbacks yet because NFL cuts don’t have to be made until 4 p.m. today. He added that it doesn’t matter whether the quarterback is a young prospect or a veteran.
After the Eagles traded Matt Barkley to the Cardinals, Tim Tebow appeared poised to earn a roster spot. Although Tebow has “really improved his throwing motion,” according to Kelly, he didn’t progress enough.
“He just needs to get more playing time,” Kelly said. “He needs to get out there and get actual reps. I think he’s done a ton on his own from an individual basis, but it’s about playing the game and taking the next step.”
Kelly added that it doesn’t matter whether their third quarterback is on the 53-man roster or practice squad, because “you never have three quarterbacks dressed on game day.” Trey Burton and Josh Huff are the two emergency quarterbacks.
After trading away Brandon Boykin, it’s been unclear who will start at the nickel position. Kelly said it will depend on who they play and that they have a “good idea” who it will be in the season opener, but declined to reveal who that is.
One of the more unexpected roster moves the Eagles made was keeping Denzel Rice over Jaylen Watkins at cornerback.
“Denzel had a really good camp for us,” Kelly said. “Myself, [Defensive Backs Coach] Cory [Undlin] and [Defensive Coordinator] Billy [Davis] feel really comfortable with Denzel. I think he’s got a bright future and we’re excited about having him.”
Jerome Couplin also made the team at safety, while Chris Prosinski and Ed Reynolds did not. Kelly added that Najee Goode was the final cut, and Barkley was the only player they received a trade offer for.
“We really like Jerome,” Kelly said. “He’s really good in the run game. I think he fits; he’s a real tall, long defender [and] can run really well. He’s an outstanding tackler. We feel he’ll really be able to contribute on special teams.”
As for injuries, the Eagles don’t know whether Zach Ertz will be available for the regular season opener. Kelly said Cody Parkey and Miles Austin are fine and Austin is expected to practice this week.
Josh Andrews made the team because of his intelligence, explosiveness and offensive line versatility, according to Kelly. The head coach also compared Kenjon Barner to Trey Burton to explain why the Eagles kept four running backs, citing his versatility and special teams value.
“Kenjon stood out to everybody,” Kelly said. “Kenjon stood out on special teams to [Special Teams] Coach [Dave] Fipp and Kenjon stood out as a real contributing guy as a running back. And he can also play receiver.”