In a bit of a surprise, the Eagles today released linebacker/defensive end Alex Hall, the guy they got from Cleveland for Chris Gocong, in order to make roster room for second-round rookie safety Nate Allen, who officially signed.
The April 2 deal sent Gocong and corner Sheldon Brown to Cleveland (to be reunited with former Birds GM Tom Heckert) for Hall and fourth- and fifth-round picks. Hall, primarily a pass-rusher, was viewed as a similar player to Gocong, who was a strongside starter who fell out of favor last season.
Hall played in 30 games with the Browns over two seasons after arriving as a seventh-round draft pick.
Coach Andy Reid indicated after practice that Hall was more suited for a 3-4 system. The Eagles play a 4-3.
“You obviously go through the roster see the guys that you feel don’t quite fit in well to what you’re doing schematically," Reid said. "Alex Hall, I really think he is and will be a very good outside linebacker in a 34 front. We worked him as linebacker and we also worked him as a defensive end, and we just felt his best thing would be 34. Alex can definitely play in this league and be very successful, he’s just gotta be in the right situation.”
As for Allen, here is some of what he had to say after his first practice:
“Every rep counts and I knew that sitting at home," Allen said. "I was talking to my agent, pushing him like, ‘Hey, when’s a deal going to get done?’ because I was just ready to get up here and start working. I felt like I was getting behind, but I’m glad to be up here finally.”
On his opportunity to play right away:
“I feel good and like you said it’s an opportunity. I just know I have to learn as much as I can because I’m still learning and just getting in with the veteran guys and the coaches and just trying to take advantage, make plays and help the team win.”
On how he has been preparing this past week:
“I’ve just been in Philly working out and just in the playbook getting ready to come up to camp. This last week I’ve been kind of zoned out because I was thinking I was going to be here on the 26th. But I finally got up here today and I just kind of zoned out and have been in camp mode.”
On whether he is concerned about losing repetitions and the starting safety position:
“I was just looking to get here and get to practice and start working. I really wasn’t worried too much about whether or not I’m still starting or not because just getting here was good with me.”
On the media buzz about missing practice:
“I had heard stuff, but I tried not to pay too much attention to the news and just try to focus in on what I need to do. Especially being a rookie, I have a lot to learn and I just tried not to get caught up in the other stuff. It’s just getting the playbook down mainly and getting ready for the season.”
On his knowledge of the playbook:
“I feel confident in what we doing so far, but I have a lot to go and I have a lot to learn still. It’s just getting comfortable in it because I’ve only been in the system a couple of months, but that’s no excuse. I have to take it and run with it and get in the playbook.”