Making Sense of the Eagles Roster Cuts
The Eagles cut down to 53 men the other day and I need to give my two cents because I’m hoping that two cents provides me with a gum ball or a flat oval penny with a mouse on it. We’ll see.
For a look at the full depth chart, check it out here.
So there’s a few names that stir up some anger when roster cuts are mentioned and I was one of the people that was upset about the release of Clay Harbor. I’ve been a Harbor advocate and I think he has a place in the league, but I realized that his presence would be an unnecessary luxury (I don’t think anyone’s every written that sentence about Harbor).
He’s a good receiving threat, he’s a decent blocker, but he’s not fantastic at either of those things. The Eagles have great receiving options in Brent Celek, Zach Ertz, and James Casey at the tight end spot. They need variety at the position, which made Igwenagu the right call. He’s a converted fullback and at 6’1″, 245 pounds, which is the right size to perform spot duty in that position. If Igwenagu was off of the team, those duties would be given to James Casey who is a little out of frame for the job at 6’3″ 235 pounds and hasn’t graded out well as a run blocker. Essentially, it’s better to have Igwenagu—a fullback playing tight end—perform run blocking duties instead of Casey, who would be a tight end playing fullback.
Danny Watkins was a bum that couldn’t handle the pressure and now the 2011 draft is officially a stinking garbage fire in organizational history. Considering the old regime has gotten their just due, it’s hard to really harp on this one. I’m just glad it’s over.
Plenty of people are upset that inside linebacker Emmanuel Acho was cut. He was a preseason standout and seemed to solidify his spot on the team with an 11 tackle performance against the Jets. Now he technically made the initial 53 man roster, but was released the next day for linebacker Najee Goode who was cut by San Francisco. I’m actually excited for this move.
Tom Gamble, who is the Eagles Director of Player Personnel, spent the last eight seasons in San Francisco. He helped build the machine that is the current 49ers and was convinced enough by Goode’s abilities that he was willing to cut a guy who seemed like a lock. Even if Goode doesn’t pan out, it shows that this front office isn’t complacent. That’s a good thing.
Now for people that actually made the roster, Casey Matthews and Kurt Coleman are considered to be head scratchers by many. However, there’s some good logic to keeping these guys around.
Remember that game where Winston Justice gave up six sacks against the Giants? That’s Casey Matthews. He’s a guy that was put in a bad situation and the stigma never entirely washed clean. Is Matthews a great player? No. But he’ll be a backup that plays special teams well and has experience at a number of linebacker spots. He’s your classic reserve guy.
The same goes for Kurt Coleman. He’ll be the fourth safety option on this team. Now the safety position should be considered more safety 1 and safety 2 instead of strong and free safety with the scheme they’ll be running. As a result, Patrick Chung and Nate Allen will start, Earl Wolff will be first off of the bench, and Coleman will be the fourth guy with Colt Anderson as a strictly special teams player.
Overall, this team is more or less as expected. There’s going to be lots of points put up both ways as this team crawls out from beneath the rolls of Andy Reid. It should be plenty of fun to watch.
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