By 6 p.m. Saturday, the Eagles have to cut 22 players and get their roster down to 53. Many of the bubble guys will get a chance to make one final impression Thursday night, as Chip Kelly acknowledged there’s still “a lot up in the air.”
New offensive scheme, new defensive scheme, new coaching staff and new personnel. Kelly’s moves this weekend will tell us a lot about his roster-building philosophy. Keeping that in mind, here are 10 players whose future with the franchise hangs in the balance as we approach cut-down day.
It is number-crunching season in the NFL. Teams are in the process of whittling their rosters from 90 all the way down to 53. By the time the August 31 deadline hits, nearly 1,200 players across the league will have lost their jobs. A reminder that this is a harsh business.
“I think Billy Davis made the point. Billy got cut in his one tryout with the Dolphins,” said Chip Kelly, who didn’t have to deal with anything quite like this in college. “That is the only time you get cut, and you remember that for the rest of your life. We have to do it, that’s part of our job, but I think we were conscious of that. We sat down with everybody [during the first round of cuts]. Our coordinators all sat down with everybody. Our position coach sat down with them. It’s a difficult time.”
Back in early June, Chip Kelly sat at the head of a conference table in the NovaCare Complex and spent a full hour answering reporters’ questions about his program, his offensive scheme and his philosophies.
“If they didn’t line up right and they have nine guys standing over there and you have a play called that’s going to run into those nine guys, then maybe playing fast wasn’t the smartest thing to do,” Kelly said. “Sometimes you need to let things get settled down and get an opportunity to make sure that you’ve got the right look.
“A lot of things we’re doing, we’re trying to throw it versus the best-located safety. Well, we better make sure we locate the safeties before we snap the football. Do we want to run it at one guy or run away from another guy? You’ve got to make sure some of those things you can see before you start it. It’s just not all driven on let’s see how many plays we can get run.”
While the truth is the Eagles are going to move quickly, Kelly’s response serves as the foundation for much of what he wants to do offensively: spread the field out, look for a numbers advantage and count on the quarterback to make the right decisions.
Today, he was at a different position: wide receiver.
“We know we’ve got seven tight ends, and he already knows how to play inside because all of our tight ends know how to play the slot,” Chip Kelly said.
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.
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 […]
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.