Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Positive Signs at RCB and More on the RBs

Paul Domowitch offered some hope in the Sheldon Brown situation. Paul is one of the few Philly sportswriters that I enjoy and respect. He understands the Eagles, the NFL, and football in general. We don't always agree, but I read most of his stuff.


Domo talked to Troy Vincent, who had spoken with Sheldon Brown about his contract situation and the ensuing PR fiasco. It seemed for a while like Sheldon and Joe Banner were in a limbo battle to see who could go lower in the eyes of Eagles fans. My scorecard was 10-8 in favor of Sheldon.

Troy indicates that Sheldon will show up focused and play well this year. He sees this situation as completely different from Lito's situation last year. If you read between the lines, Troy doesn't sound like Lito's #1 fan. Vincent is good friends with Sheldon and thinks he'll be able to set aside the contract and go play good football.

Sheldon had a solid weekend at the mini-camp following the draft, so that's a good sign as well. With him in the mix, we have a deep set of CBs. Sammie, Sheldon, and Hobbs are on the outside. MmmBop is the slot. Ike is the mystery man. That's good, potentially great, CB depth. If Ike's knee turns out okay and he plays like he did at Wisconsin, we'll be sitting pretty.


There is a bit of confusion here. Kyle Eckel was a RB for us in 2008. Spads has referred to him a couple of times this offseason as a FB and a couple as a halfback. So what the heck is he?

The official roster on PE.com says FB.


We know this:

RB: 1- Westy ... 2- McCoy ...
FB: 1- Weaver ...

That's it. That's all we know for sure. Eckel and Mailei will battle for the backup FB spot. LoBo, Eldra Buckley, and Walter Mendenhall will battle for the #3 RB job.

Now, because Weaver is a runner and receiver, they could only keep 2 true RBs and think of him as a 3rd option. At that point we'd keep another FB as well.

Really I guess we have Booker, Buckley, Mendenhall, Eckel, and Mailei all battling each other for 1, maybe 2 spots. There's no guarantee we'll keep more than 4 backs (RB/FB total) on the roster.

The real key to all of this is to see who plays well. Eckel is guaranteed nothing because of last year. He's got to prove himself all over again. If LoBo or Buckley or Mailei has a great showing at TC and into the preseason, that player will be the one the coaches try to fit on the roster. Eckel makes the most sense because he's a short yardage runner and good STer, but he'll need to show he can be a solid blocker this summer. I'm not sure Big Red and the coaches will keep a specialty runner like Eckel from the get-go. If Westy is healthy, Andy might rather give him the ball than hand it to a big RB even in short yardage situations.

I guess one other thing to consider is if LeSean struggles at all, the team could be forced to go add a veteran RB to the mix. No matter what, it ought to be an interesting summer in the backfield.



izzylangfan said...

If LeSean struggles with blocking it is going to be important to have another back besides Weaver that can block.

I can't see the Eagles keeping more than 4 backs total. They already have a lot of corners and safeties they are going to want to keep and they might end up with six wide receivers (before last year they normally only kept five). So it already looks like Reid will keep fewer total lineman than he normally likes.

frankfurtler said...

It should be really interesting to see how the rest of the backfield fills out this year.

In the recent past the Eagles have held roster spots for backs because of their punt/ kick return ability, like Westbrooks rookie year, and Reno Mahe.

Now they have depth in those roles from the WR and DB positions. I am fired up about the group of guys they have to battle for what may be 4 roster spots for the backfield.