As the cheap philadelphia eagles jerseys prepare for Monday night's season opener at Washington against the Redskins, there is a good deal of concern about their defense.
While much of that concern is focused on their ability to defend the pass - this is, after all, a defense that gave up a franchise-record 33 touchdown passes last season and a league-worst 99.6 opponent passer rating - there also is concern over their ability to stop the run.
And given the fact that they are preparing to face a running back - Alfred Morris - who rushed for 1,613 yards and 13 touchdowns last season, and an offensive line that is regarded as one of the best zone-blocking units in the league, that concern is warranted.
The Eagles are in the midst of making a transition from the wide-nine 4-3 defense they played last year to a two-gap 3-4 under new defensive coordinator Bill Davis.
There are questions about whether they have the personnel to run a 3-4, and Davis has been the first to admit that he is among those wondering that.
During the preseason, the philadelphia eagles jerseys cheap gave up a disconcerting 5.3 yards per carry and six rushing touchdowns. In their first preseason game against the Patriots, they gave up a 51-yard run to LeGarrette Blount and a 62-yard run to Stevan Ridley. In their third preseason game against Jacksonville, they gave up a 63-yard touchdown run to Jordan Todman, who has just three NFL regular-season carries on his professional resume.
They signed veteran nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga during the free agency signing period, but the 32-year-old was invisible in the preseason. His backup, third-round rookie Bennie Logan, is better-suited for end in a 3-4, than the nose.
Their best defensive lineman, end Fletcher Cox, was drafted in the first round in 2012 to be a three-technique end. And he played well in that role last year, notching 5.5 sacks and 24 hurries and finishing fifth on the team in tackles.
But now he's a two-gapping end, which means occupying blockers so that the linebackers can make plays rather than taking advantage of his unique athleticism and making the plays himself.
"It's been an adjustment," Cox admitted. "But it's what I'm paid to do, regardless of what defense I'm playing in."
Head coach Chip Kelly and general manager Howie Roseman are optimistic about the potential of their offense, even with inconsistent Michael Vick at quarterback. But with the defense, they are basically in a hold-their-breath mode.
Asked over the weekend if he thought he had enough depth to win games this season, Roseman said, "Which side of the ball are you talking about?"
About his defense, Roseman said, "I do think that we have some good players on that side of the ball. If they play at a high level, we'll have a chance to compete."
So, the Cincinnati Bengals did their cuts and such. The cheap eagles jerseys, looking for some help defensively, decided to take a chance on this kid. Shaun Prater spent all of last season on injury reserve for a knee injury. Still technically a rookie, Prater tweeted his apparent gratitude and optimism in having another chance to play.
Prater was drafted in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL draft. Again, he didn’t play during his would be rookie year. In college, he made seven career interceptions and returned two of them for a touchdown. Could he see time during this upcoming season? If so, how much?
I wonder how serious the injury was. I guess not enough for the Eagles to stay away. Of course, he’s a low risk; high reward type thing so if it doesn’t work out, the eagles jerseys cheap’ hands (or wings?) aren’t tied.
So, what do you think of the move? Just a roster filler, or could there be something special there?
One day after getting released by the San Francisco 49ers, the former Bay City Central and Michigan State University star signed with the Philadelphia Eagles, according to Robinson's high school coach Morley Fraser.
The 5-foot-9, 193-pound safety is expected to join the eight-man practice squad for the Eagles.
"He felt bad Saturday (when he was released)," said Fraser, who coached Robinson during his all-state days at Bay City Central. "He was hurt and embarrassed and little down in the dumps. All of a sudden, he's got new life. He's excited again."
Fraser said Robinson's agent told him that several teams were interested in the second-year pro, but Philadelphia offered the best deal and best opportunity to eventually earn a roster spot.
"Peace out to all my 49er bros and fans. It was fun and thanks for the love and support while I was here," he posted on Twitter.
According to Niners beat writer Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com, San Francisco had locked up seven players for its practice squad and planned to wait until Monday to add the eighth. Practice squad players earn $6,000 per week.
Robinson got a good look this summer from the Niners, rotating in with the first team during practice and making a good showing in preseason games. But the talented and deep defense of the reigning NFC champions made the 53-man roster a tough one to crack.
The Eagles roster is also set, but Robinson gets a chance to show the team what he can do while practicing and training alongside his new teammates as a member of the practice squad.
Philadelphia's current 53-man roster features five safeties in Nate Allen, Colt Anderson, Patrick Chung, Kurt Coleman and Earl Wolf. Allen and Coleman were starters for the Eagles last season while Anderson was the team's MVP of special teams. Chung was signed as a free agent from New England this offseason and Wolf was drafted in the fifth round.
The 2014 NFL Draft is not for another eight months, but the draft room on the second floor of the NovaCare Complex has been full of activity for the past few weeks.
The Eagles trimmed the roster to the 53-player limit on Saturday, but the player-acquisition process will continue Sunday. General manager Howie Roseman and his personnel staff will look to churn the bottom part of the roster with the ability to put claims in on players who were released over the past two days. In addition, the Eagles can formulate their eight-man practice squad by bringing back eligible players they released or plucking unclaimed players from other teams.
To prepare for what will be the last opportunity to add a voluminous amount of players for the year, the Eagles have "spent an inordinate amount of time" on players from other teams who were on the bubble. They scouted the preseason tape, went back over their own previous notes, compared the players to whom they currently have and crafted a draft board.
"We've spent a lot of time on the wire right now and we'll continue to look for ways to upgrade this team," Roseman said Saturday. "As we sit here, it's a constant evaluation. It's a constant evaluation of the back of the roster. If we have opportunities to continue to add some young players that we think will help our team, we get that opportunity we're going to look at it."
The Eagles owned the No. 4 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft and used it to secure starting right tackle Lane Johnson. The Eagles have built a foundation with 23 players who have fewer than three years of NFL experience. The average age of the players on the current roster is 25.8 years old. The other benefit of the high draft pick is a good spot in the line for waiver-wire claims. The only challenge is that the three teams ahead - Kansas City, Jacksonville and Oakland - can put in as many claims as they want as long as they can accommodate the player or players on the 53-man roster. As much as the Eagles prepare, they'll have to sweat out what the teams ahead of them do - just like during the draft.
"I don't know what the first three guys feel like," Roseman said. "I always felt like when I looked at it from afar before that was a pretty valuable spot."
Claims are due to the league office by Noon on Sunday. The Eagles will learn shortly after if they've been awarded any of the players. Roseman explained that the Eagles are also using some of the final roster spots on players who can provide a particular skill set. Tight end Emil Igwenagu carved out a niche by being better than all of the other players in his position group on the roster at one particular aspect of the game.
"We didn't feel like there was another guy on the roster who was as good as a point-of-attack blocker," Roseman said. "He's a physical guy and we also felt like those other three guys (James Casey, Brent Celek, and Zach Ertz) were receiving threats."
The Eagles may have made their final cuts on Saturday, but there is nothing set in concrete when it comes to the roster.
“It's an evolving process," Roseman said. "I can't tell you it's going to look like that in Week 10. We're going to be constantly on the lookout. We're trying to build this team and we're trying to get players we think can be here for a long time. We're open to things that we think can make us better."
The draft board is set in the NovaCare Complex. The team will decide which players to put in claims on and then wait before springing into action. Whether it's the active roster and/or the practice squad, more changes are coming for the Eagles.
Since the departure of all-time Philadelphia Eagles great Brian Dawkins four years ago, the safety position has been in question. Numerous names have been floated as the answer to the problem, but none have really stepped up to fill the void. The beginning of the 2013 season brings yet another chance for someone to take the reins and lead the defense. Returning for another season in Eagles’ green, Nate Allen, Kurt Coleman and Colt Anderson are sure to provide more of what is already known. Each has already been given plenty of opportunity to become the mainstay over the past few years, yet none have demonstrated the effectiveness or consistency that is expected of Philadelphia football. A new system may provide them with a different outlook on things, but chances are more of the same can be expected when any of the three are on the field. Free agent acquisition Patrick Chung possesses the most experience among a young group and has brought some consistency to the position throughout the preseason. He has added a tackling dimension to a defense which has lacked that presence since the days of Dawkins. He seems to be willing to take the leadership role, but only time will tell if he can fill the vacancy and if others will follow. The final piece to the puzzle, Earl Wolff, was acquired through the 2013 draft as a selection in the fifth round. Wolff has quickly become a player to watch on defense, bringing to the field a tackle and play reading ability that he demonstrated in college and has translated to the NFL. Wolff lacks the experience of any of the other choices at safety, but he does bring certain abilities that cannot be found in his counterparts. He should see significant time throughout and get his feet wet early in the season. Overall, the safety corps doesn’t seem like anything to write home about, especially in comparison to ‘B-Dawk,’ but time will tell if gaining experience in a new system will assist in them developing as a group and beginning to rebuild the position in Philadelphia.