The Eagles need to get from 90 players to 53 on their roster by 6 p.m. Aug. 31. They’ll get to 75 by Tuesday. Chip Kelly and Howie Roseman still have a lot of work left to do as they whittle their roster down. The Inquirer’s Eagles beat reporters will spend the next two weeks predicting who stay and who goes. Here’s the lineup:
Wed, Aug. 14: Defensive linemen
Thur., Aug. 15: Offensive linemen
Fri., Aug. 16: Quarterbacks / Specialists
Mon., Aug. 19: Outside linebackers
Tues., Aug. 20: Running backs
Wed., Aug. 21: Inside linebackers
Thur., Aug. 22: Wide receivers
Fri., Aug. 23: Cornerbacks
Mon., Aug. 26: Tight ends
Tues., Aug. 27: Safeties
LIKELY TO KEEP: 4-5
What is the Eagles’ biggest weakness?
WHO STAYS: Patrick Chung, Nate Allen, Earl Wolff, Kurt Coleman, Colt Anderson
This is one of the most contested positions, and the starter aside from Chung remains undetermined. Look for that to be Allen, although he must earn it on Thursday. Allen, a 2010 second-round pick, has experience and still has potential, but he does not have production. He insists this scheme is more safety-friendly than past schemes, but he has yet to show it in the preseason. This season is likely Allen's final chance to show he's a starter.
Wolff is hot on Allen's tail, and the fifth-round pick is a promising player. He has impressed the coaches enough to be in starting contention, but he was inconsistent. On Jacksonville's 63-yard touchdown run on Saturday, Wolff took a poor angle and the big run resulted. He likes to be a big hitter, but he also has good speed and can be solid in coverage. He's raw, but don't be surprised if he gets in the lineup at some point this season.
Chung has turned out to be a solid acquisition. He's a former starter in New England who lost his job last year, but he has been rejuvenated in Philadelphia. Chung is an all-around safety who is the leader of the group. He can also play nickel cornerback, and there are times when the Eagles use him in that spot.
The Eagles do not play strong and free safety, but rather left and right. They do this so they're harder to scheme against. It requires versatility among the players, though.
Coleman and Anderson are roster holdovers who will need to make the roster because of special teams. This is different for Coleman, who has been a starter in his three seasons in Philadelphia. But he doesn't appear to be in a mix for that spot. Coleman's best bet is as a depth player who can play in a pinch and contributes on special teams. If he can make the roster in that role, it would be a good thing for him -- even if he's not starting.
Anderson's built his career on special teams. That's why the team re-signed him last season. He's almost like a specialist, and I think he's back.
WHO GOES: David Sims
The big shoe fell when Kenny Phillips was released. Phillips was signed with the expectations to start, but he was never healthy. He had as much talent as anyone on this list, but injuries have stymied his career at age 26.
The only player left is Sims. He was acquired on cut-down day last year, and unless he's traded, will be unemployed on this cut-down day. He's been buried down the depth chart. Even with some of the coaches familiar with him, it doesn't appear Sims will crack the 53 unless injuries or a dynamic performance on Thursday changes his situation.
Contact Zach Berman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @ZBerm.