A Close Look At Eagles Offensive Depth ChartBREAKING NEWS, Eagles, General News, News Wednesday, August 8th, 2012
The Eagles have been in camp a couple of weeks and they’ll get the preseason started tomorrow night. They released their first depth chart a couple of days ago. They take some time to do it, so where everybody is located tells you something about the way the coaching staff feels about certain players.
The Eagles offensive line is the same group which was together for most of the 2011 season for the Birds with the exception of Demetress Bell replacing injured Jason Peters at left tackle. Make no mistake Michael Vick and especially LeSean McCoy are going to miss Peters. The Birds had developed an ability to get Peters in front of McCoy out in the open field and they were major trouble for defenses.
Bell is at the left tackle position, Evan Mathis is at left guard, Jason Kelce is at center, Danny Watkins is at right guard and Todd Herremans is the starter at right tackle. The backups are as follow from left to right King Dunlap, Julian Vandervelde, Dallas Reynolds, Mike Gibson and Dennis Kelly.
Kelce is becoming a dominating player, but again Peters will be missed.
The Birds have been working out Dunlap at guard as well as tackle, so that tells you something about the way they feel about their guards. Dunlap isn’t best drive blockers, but he can pass block with those long arms. I’ve been impressed with the play of Reynolds. He’s made some major improvements as a pass blocker. Kelly shows potential and could develop into a good football player.
The first string tight end is Brent Celek. I regret the fact that Celek missed all this time working with Vick. Hopefully he can stay on the field the rest of the preseason and get the chance to develop an outstanding chemistry with his quarterback. I want to see them develop a chemistry where they do things on their own, like Celek sliding out to receive passes from Vick when he gets in trouble and Celek is kept in to pass block. Coaches are very important to a football team, but the players have to take over on the field and make sure the job gets done.
Clay Harbor is running number two and Celek’s injury and the threat of the Eagles bringing in those veteran tight ends has made him grow up as a player. There’s no reason Harbor can’t develop into another reliable weapon in this offense. He seems like the kind of young player, who must be pushed. This young man could cause some major problems for defenses because they can only cover him with a linebacker.
Brett Brackett is working on the third string and he will probably wind up on the practice squad because he can do the job right now as a receiver, but he’s got to learn how to block. Chase Ford has done a good job catching the ball in camp but the numbers aren’t working for him.
I’m very interested in seeing what the Eagles are going to do at fullback. Stanley Havili has been good but not amazing at training camp so far. He needs to have a very good preseason in order keep his job. Emil Igwenagu is sitting in a good spot because he can play both fullback and tight end. His versatility could keep him employed here if Havili doesn’t nail down the job. Jeremy Stewart is a long shot, with little chance to staying around.
The wide receivers start with DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin with Jason Avant in the slot. Riley Cooper is still listed on the second team with Avant while rookie Marvin McNutt and Chad Hall comprise the third string group. Free agent Mardy Gilyard and rookie Damaris Johnson make up the fourth string.
McNutt could make things interesting if he has a big preseason. Johnson will have a job on this football team if he can keep his job as the team’s number one punt returner, plus pay attention to how many times they get the ball to him during his time on the field offensively. Gilyard shows glimpses of his capabilities but so far he hasn’t been consistent with it.
At the running back position, LeSean McCoy and Dion Lewis will be first and second-string respectively. They’ve each had stellar camps and get ready for the Eagles to give us a major dose of McCoy lining up outside at wide receiver position to get matched up with linebackers and safeties. Lewis will get the chance to carry the ball four to five times a game.
Rookie Bryce Brown is listed as third string, but they’re going to find a way to get him a few carries if he continues to produce. It’s still early, but the Birds may have gotten a steal with this youngster. They’re going to give him the ball quite a bit during this preseason.
Of course Michael Vick is the first team starter at quarterback. He’s had a good camp, but they need him to have success in the preseason. Vick has improved a great deal and I think he has a better understanding of what it’s going to take to win, but he needs to demonstrate that in these preseason games.
Second-string quarterback Mike Kafka has been solid through training camp, but he needs to prove he can complete the deep ball. If he were to do that it will help him gain the confidence of his teammates, especially his wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin.
The third string quarterback is rookie Nick Foles, who will be asked to run the offense and stay away from mistakes. Veteran Trent Edwards is the fourth string quarterback and if nobody gets hurt, he knows his days here are numbered.
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