It’s the final preseason game for the birds and they still have a lot of questions that have yet to be answered. Players will be playing for a chance to start, be a role player, and for some, just make the team. The starters will not play on offense and defense except for at the corner back spot because of lack of depth, and at strong safety between Nate Allen and rookie Earl Wolff.
Player watch offense:
Let’s start with the offensive line. Look for the massive Michael Bamiro at tackle. Danny Watkins is fighting for a roster spot after being the teams first round pick in 2011.
At TE Clay Harbor will be auditioning for a fourth TE spot or as a 5th or 6th WR, He would have to wow the coaches to be kept as a WR because of the depth already at TE.
The 5th and 6th wide out spots will be duke’d out by Russell Shepard, Greg Salas, and the mammoth Ifeanyi Momah. Shepard and Salas are the favorites with Momah most likely making the practice squad to further develop. The sleeper is Jeff Maehl. He is a former player for Kelly at Oregon and Maehl had the best numbers ever for a receiver under Kelly.
Player watch defense:
The defensive line is pretty much set with Cox, Thorton, Sopoaga, Curry, Logan, Geathers, and Square. Depending on how many d-lineman the Eagles may want to keep on the active roster, the last two spots will be battled out by Dixon, Kruger, and King. I would give the edge here to Dixon because of his NFL experience and size.
Casey Mathews is another guy to have played under Chip Kelly at Oregon who is trying to prove his worth to this team. He’s played considerably better in the 3-4 in comparison to his first two NFL seasons playing in the 4-3. Acho and Knott will be trying to also win one of the 3rd and 4th inside linebacker spots with Knott having the edge over both. The OLB battle is figured to be between McCoy, Long, and newly acquired Robinson. The edge here goes to McCoy with how he has played thus far in the preseason.
The team has 7 corners currently on the roster and will look to keep 6 for opening day. Trevard Lindley more than likely will be the odd man out.
Patrick Chung (another Oregon player) has the FS spot sealed away but what about the SS spot? This is between Nate Allen and Earl Wolff. Allen has the experience but Wolff has the upside. Look for Wolff to bring it in this game and win this battle… hopefully.
The Eagles will be active in collecting players who get cut from other teams as they look to upgrade the defense. A player who could be traded is Brandon Graham but not because of play but rather because he doesn’t fit the scheme and they may be able to swap him out for someone who fits the 3-4 better. Besides the cuts, expect changes to this team before September 9th against the Washington Redskins.