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.
“To me, that’s the hardest position to evaluate in college football is safeties,” Roseman said back in January at the Senior Bowl. “The guys that used to be the most explosive athletes and were playing in the back end, they’re going to play corner because they feel like maybe at corner, they can play 10 years. You look at the franchise tag numbers, the corner position is higher than the safety position. That is going to be the constant struggle. When you talk to people around the league, it’s hard to find safeties.”
Roseman wasn’t lying. And Sunday’s release of Kenny Phillips served as just another reminder of how this franchise has struggled to address the safety position since it lost Brian Dawkins back in 2009.
Chip Kelly has not run a particularly physical training camp. And while there has been some occasional tackling to the ground during individual drills, typically the players are asked to thud — or simulate tackling without bringing the ball carrier down.
Is it tough to just flip the switch?
“It’s a totally different mindset,” said Kurt Coleman. “We’ve gone wrap-up and it is what it is, it gives you good form but when you go live and it’s a totally different beast. And you saw guys — I remember Mychal [Kendricks] came down and smacked the running back [Blount] and kind of bounced off him, that’s the kind of stuff you can’t prepare for when you just thud it up.”