Friday, May 7, 2010

Longshots

***

Someone asked a question the other day about what longshots could surprise us and make the team.  That always makes for a fun topic. 

At WR we have Hank Baskett penciled in as the #4 guy.  Riley Cooper impressed the coaches at the recent mini-camp.  He's a virtual lock to make the team, but he could surprise people and steal that #4 WR spot and push Hank off the roster.  If that happens Chad Hall could be the beneficiary. 

The coaches hated to see young guys Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson go last year.  Danny they just couldn't keep on the roster because of Kevin Curtis' injury situation and not knowing how Jeremy Maclin would make the transition from Redshirt Sophomore to NFL rookie. I'm told that the coaches thought long and hard about cutting Curtis in favor of Amendola.  With that in mind, you know it will be hard for them to cut Chad Hall if he has a good Training Camp and preseason. 

I think Kurt Coleman has an excellent chance to make the roster.  I think real highly of him.  He's not the kind of guy who will wow you initially.  He's a bit undersized.  He's nothing special athletically.  He isn't a killshot type of hitter.  Kurt is just a good, solid player.  He has this weird affect, though.  The more you watch him, the more he will grow on you.  Over time, you'll begin to appreciate how good he really is.  Kurt could get caught in a numbers crunch if we go heavy with CBs and CB/S tweeners.  He might be relegated to the Practice Squad.  I think he'll have a good summer and impress the coaches enough that they find a way to keep him around. 

OT Austin Howard is a player that I'm real curious about.  He was the backup LT in this mini-camp.  I don't know the full story with that.  Did we move King Dunlap to the right side for a specific reason or does Juan Castillo think that highly of Howard?  Relatively speaking, of course.  The guy went undrafted so it isn't as if Castillo thinks he is a great player.  Juan may see a player with the potential to be a LT at the NFL level.  If so, those guys always have a fighting chance to make the team.  I'm interested to see how Howard does in the remaining OTAs.  He should get a little better each time out.  He's not used to NFL coaching.  He can make great strides the more he gets good reps and Castillo can work with him. 

The CB that fascinates me is Josh Morris of Weber State.  He was a confident, aggressive player in college.  If he can play with that kind of attitude he's got a chance to make it in the NFL.  CB is one of those positions where style actually has some value.  Those guys have to be able to erase a mistake instantly.  You need them to be somewhat delusional.  Remember when Roy McAvoy kept swinging for the green in Tin Cup?  He had the right mentality for CB.  You could also think like the Black Knight in Holy Grail.  "Come back you coward!"  He shouted that after having his arms and legs cut off by King Arthur.  Essentially...forget about what's happened and focus on the next play.  That's a good CB.  Morris looked good on tape, but that was against marginal competition.  We need to see if he's got the physical ability for the NFL and the mental makeup.  I think a lot of college stars get humbled in NFL camps and quickly fade away.  We pick on Reno Mahe for a lot of reasons, but you have to give a guy like that credit when you see how hard he worked to keep his NFL career going.  Look how easily Tony Hunt gave up. 

Dimitri Patterson deserves a mention in this topic.  He was on the team last year so picking him as a longshot to make the roster doesn't apply.  I wonder if he's a guy to watch in terms of getting on the field in 2010.  He made some nice plays at mini-camp.  He played late in the Bears game and did okay.  He hasn't had a ton of chances to prove himself on defense.  He might get a shot at playing time this summer.  I won't be shocked if he steps up.  He's proven to be a good STs player.  Dimitri has the right mentality.  He'll battle on every practice rep and every play in a game.  He's been around the league a few years.  This is make or break time for him as a DB.  He'll either show he deserves some playing time on defense or that he's meant to be just a STs demon, which isn't the worst thing in the world.  Ask Sean Morey. 


Here's the team roster.  Feel free to find your own and let us know who you're watching:

http://www.philadelphiaeagles.com/team/roster.asp?sort_by=3
___

11 comments:

tobylove said...

For no good reason I've always been fascinated by Dimitri Patterson. When I saw the blog title I thought of him. Like you say he's not a longshot but I keep thinking he's going to surprise us.

Thanks for the name drop in a recent column. I'm not sure what that says about me that I got excited seeing my name in a blog entry by Tommy Lawlor. It took a lot of time for me to find highlights just a few years ago. Football has exploded in popularity and exposure the last few years. It became so easy to find highlights that I didn't see any reason to compile them anymore.

Ben said...

IMO...

Losing Gibson sucked, but I don't think he'll be a prolific NFL guy (solid starter, maybe). In that situation, we needed to give something up though. It's not as if Witherspoon was a miracle worker, but we would not have made the playoffs had we not pulled the trigger on that deal.

Losing Amendola didn't mean much to me. I like him, but on our offense stacked with weapons I don't think he would have been able to fit in for much time, if any, in Philadelphia.

I like what I hear of Chad Hall. I haven't really looked at a position break down of our roster, but would keeping 6 WRs be absurd if we kept Hank, Chad and Cooper?

I like Riley Cooper a lot, and while he is similar to Hank, he is actually quite different to me. Riley doesn't seem to focus all the time and drops some passes, or so I've heard time and time again. Hank is all effort. I wonder what Cooper's attitude will be in camp?

Cliff said...

The thing with Hank and Riley is that they both are monster STers. Usually, that would mean their chances for staying on the roster would be much better, but we just drafted a couple of linebackers who also made a name for themselves for their ST prowess.

T_S_O_P said...

Tommy, there is a category of player that you have missed, that is player X. Last year, a player of that description was Antonio Dixon.

Topou and Reynolds have a shot at this roster (maybe not both) in my opinion.

Cliff said...

@ TSOP

How do you define "player x?" Is it someone like Dixon who was in another team's Training Camp and we signed?

Tommy Lawlor said...

I was thinking Fenuki Topou was pretty likely to make the team and therefore not a longshot. Maybe I shouldn't have assumed that or should have mentioned it.

Dallas Reynolds does have a chance, but I don't know if the numbers will work for him. I'll be interested to see how well he plays at Lehigh. Dallas caught my eye a few times last summer.

T_S_O_P said...

@ Cliff

Your definition is on the nose. We have so much form in doing it too.

Hank Fraley
Hank Baskett (though that required a trade)
Darwin Walker
Antonio Dixon
Tank Daniels (the 2nd time)
I know I'm missing some.

Cliff said...

In that case, there were a couple of players taken late in the Draft that I hope get cut or dumped on a Practice Squad: LB Cody Grimm and TE Dorin Dickerson (if Ingram isn't healthy) stand out.

Neither player will be cut, most likely. Grimm is an undersized, maxim effort guy from my alma mater so I have a soft spot for him. Dickerson mysteriously fell to the 7th round and probably fits well with the Texans offense, so I doubt he'd be cut.

TE Mickey Shuler might also be a target if Ingram isn't healthy AND the coaches feel like we need a "blocking TE." Again, Shuler is probably a keeper for the Vikings though.

I guess I'm not playing this game right. So far I've named two players UNLIKELY to be cut from another team by the Fall. Haha.

Tommy Lawlor said...

@ Cliff

Cody Grimm will likely be a SS/STer in the NFL. Just an FYI.


@ TSOP

We won't be able to identify Player X until we watch some preseason games. Ironically, DT could be the position we look for again.

T_S_O_P said...

Tommy

We won't, but I'd say that the Eagles already have a list (not closed).

T_S_O_P said...

PS Tommy

Can you do anything to solve our hung parliament? Maybe I should get Dave Nick to give you a call.