For bubble players, cut-down day is all about the phone call. If you go the whole day without one, you have made the 53-man roster. If the phone rings and the incoming call starts with a “215” area code, chances are you are being summoned to gather your things and drop off your playbook.
Just imagine how slowly time ticks by. Or how your stress level shoots through the roof when your cell phone buzzes because a friend or family member is unaware of the circumstances.
“You go about your day. If they call you they call you, if they don’t they don’t,” said cornerback Brandon Hughes. “You get an unknown number, that’s probably them calling you. I can’t be sitting by the phone all day hoping the Philadelphia Eagles don’t call me.”
That means 22 players currently on the squad will be told not to show up next week.
Keeping that in mind, here are 10 players who are sitting squarely on the roster bubble.
He’s made a pair of Pro Bowls and is only 25-years-old.
Cornerback Brandon Hughes is fighting for a job. He’s due $540,000 this year. He was a fifth-round pick by the Chargers in 2009, and the Eagles are the third organization he’s been with, even though he just turned 26.
But this is training camp, where guys like Jackson match up with guys like Hughes everyday. So far, Jackson has gotten the better of the cornerback with the first-team offense going up against the second-team defense.
Today, on one play where the ball wasn’t even thrown Jackson’s way, the two players mixed it up and exchanged punches before they were broken up by teammates and coaches.
On one of the first plays today, Nnamdi Asomugha lined up inside against backup tight end Chase Ford. Last year, playing Asmougha inside was simple because the Eagles had Asante Samuel and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on the outside. But Samuel’s gone, and the new wrinkle today was that Curtis Marsh lined up outside at right cornerback.
Marsh, a third-round pick in 2011, played only 13 defensive snaps as a rookie. But with Samuel gone, he’s looking to fill a bigger role in his second season.
“We rotate. We have different guys that do different things well. It’s by gameplan,” Marsh said.
How will the Eagles use Nnamdi Asomugha in 2012? Will Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie have the same tackling issues Asante Samuel had? And what are the chances that undrafted free agent Cliff Harris makes the roster? Answering those questions and more in this breakdown of the Eagles cornerback situation.