Friday, February 12, 2016

Backing Off Fullback as Roster Staple

One of the continuing storylines reporters will follow through this Eagles training camp will be the fullback situation. By letting incumbent Owen Schmitt walk in free agency, the Birds might have been hinting that they don't really plan to carry a fullback this season.

Backing Off Fullback as Roster Staple

0 comments
After making the 2011 practice squad, fullback Stanley Havili is hoping for a roster spot. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
After making the 2011 practice squad, fullback Stanley Havili is hoping for a roster spot. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

BETHLEHEM --- One of the continuing storylines reporters will follow through this Eagles training camp will be the fullback situation. By letting incumbent Owen Schmitt -- the guy who got Jason Kelce excited about that "Beserker" look -- walk in free agency, the Birds might have been hinting that they don't really plan to carry a fullback this season.

They used one for only about 19 percent of their 2011 snaps. There is some thinking you could plug in a third tight end type in the backfield for that minimal workload, and make more efficient use of your roster space. The Eagles like 2011 practice squad fullback Stanley Havili, but we'll see if they like him enough to put him on the roster. It's interesting that with Brent Celek currently sidelined, undrafted rookie fullback Emil Igwenagu from UMass is taking tight end reps. He was a tight end and running back his senior year in college. If you're looking for a hybrid, he might be the guy.

Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg was asked about that Monday. Mornhinweg outlined the situation, while cleverly avoiding having to pronounce "Igwenagu."

"We've got some good fullbacks here. Stanley is definitely leading that group." Mornhinweg said. "[Stanford rookie Jeremy Stewart] has been very good in camp, and then our young man from UMass, we've moved him to the tight end spot, but he's also playing a little bit of fullback. All three of those players are just natural players. They have some good size and they're physical.

More coverage
Birds' Eye View: WR Johnson injures ankle
Red Zone: Three things we learned in July
Eagletarian: DeSean mixes it up

"A lot of teams have a man or two who can play tight end or fullback. So many people have gone to one-back [formations]. We're in a little bit more two-back than some people. The fullback has normally been a vital position for us."

***

Mornhinweg was asked about whether backup Mike Kafka reminds him of former backup A.J. Feeley. "I hate to compare, because every quarterback is different, but he's in that same mold, certainly. as A.J.," Mornhinweg said.

So far in camp, Kafka is well ahead of third-round rookie Nick Foles.

***

Not much change in the injury situation, except that Jason Babin tweeted that the internal thermometer that was keeping him from having an MRI on his strained calf was no longer an issue.

***

The Eagles worked out an undrafted rookie wideout from Arizona named Travis Cobb. At least he'd be familiar with Nick Foles.

Staff Writer
0 comments
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy:

Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
 
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog
Eagletarian is your home for comprehensive coverage of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Les Bowen Staff Writer
Paul Domowitch Daily News Columnist
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
letter icon Newsletter