Inside The Birds: Who Makes Birds 53-Man Roster?
The preseason is over. It’s time for the Eagles to get the roster down to 53 before the season opener at Atlanta.
On the latest Inside The Birds, Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan gave their roster predictions, discussed the Gardner Minshew trade, and explained why more moves could be made this week.
Geoff Mosher: “Gardner Minshew was acquired because this team doesn’t lie when they say they’re always looking for young, developmental quarterbacks. A sixth round pick is the cheapest price you could pay for a guy who has two years left. He comes here and the way I see it, he starts as your No. 3 quarterback. Joe Flacco is here for a reason. $3.5 million committed to him. He’s not getting cut tomorrow because they traded for Gardner Minshew.”
Adam Caplan: “The real story is Minshew’s got two years left on his deal. He signed through 2022, Flacco is not. So Minshew, if it all works out, will be the backup next year and Hurts is the starter. Or Hurts doesn’t do well and they trade for Watson or somebody else, Minshew could be the backup.”
Mosher: I was happy to see Gainwell get the work that he got [against the Jets]. As I wrote in my observations piece on insidethebirds.com, I was impressed [with two things actually]. One is that I thought he ran pretty well between the tackles. We knew coming out of Memphis that he had limited experience as an actual running back, and that the book on him was that he tends to bounce it outside, which is kind of the book on a lot of rookie running backs who are shifty like that. I thought he ran hard between the tackles, and I’ve studied closely, there were a few times in pass protection, where he gave it his all. It’s not the most picturesque, but he’s also about 200 pounds soaking wet. He’s not the biggest guy, but I thought his technique was square and his ability to read where the pressure was coming from was good.”
Travis Fulgham’s Future
Caplan: “I struggle with this one. I don’t think he’s on a roster spot, this is just my opinion. I’m not saying they feel that way, but he’s fallen off so badly. Fulgham has been cut three times in his career, there’s a reason for it. We’ve outlined his issues, exclusively for our listeners. We have great intel on all the receivers and this is one of the biggest fall-offs I’ve seen for guys so gifted. I get a chuckle from people who say that the Pittsburgh game he didn’t do all that well, the numbers were inflated. I don’t know what tape you’re watching but you weren’t watching All-22; he was phenomenal in that game. He’s really gifted but he obviously has issues where he just can’t handle disappointment and so forth. I don’t know if this guy you want on your football team based on the issues that he had in training camp. He was a starter to start training camp and he’s been demoted. [Quez] Watkins, you could say has earned a promotion, that’s fine, but it’s more about Fulgham than Watkins, that’s why it’s happened, it’s really strange.”
Caplan: “Patrick Johnson has the upside to be the SAM [linebacker] of the future, that’s why they would keep him. I know they like him, it could go either way. I have six linebackers [on the 53]. I really wanted to only keep five but you and I know Edwards had a good training camp. He’s earned a roster spot, so it’s hard for me to cut [Edwards] or Patrick Johnson.”
Mosher: “I agree, here’s the weird thing about the SAM position: a) we have no idea how much Gannon is going to use it; b) if you’re going to have an established position on your defense you need a starter and a backup. Right now your starter would be Genard Avery, who has never really played that SAM position and your backup would be a rookie, like he’s the one who would theoretically start if Genard Avery was hurt and [Avery] is hurt right now with the groin. I could totally see [Jonathan] Gannon saying, ‘We’re not going to use this position then’ or ‘we just don’t have what I’m looking for out of that position’, and maybe not use it in the defense.”
Caplan: “You can’t play the season with only four corners. You just can’t. They’re gonna have to add a veteran at some point. Josiah Scott’s got a hamstring injury, I don’t know how long he’s gonna be out. He’s got positional versatility as we know, inside and outside. One way though they’re going to have five but right now I only have four as the guys that I mentioned.”
Mosher: “If I were [making cuts] I would put Craig James on [the roster], because I agree even though he’s always hurt, he’s probably the best of what you got.”
– Justin Morganstein (@jmotweets_) is a staff contributor to InsideTheBirds.com.
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