Saturday, December 20, 2014

Who makes the roster: Defensive back

We conclude our series on who makes the 53-man roster with …

Who makes the roster: Defensive back

Macho Harris (24) is fighting for a roster spot. (Clem Murray / Staff Photographer)
Macho Harris (24) is fighting for a roster spot. (Clem Murray / Staff Photographer)
(David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)
 
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    We conclude our series on who makes the 53-man roster with …

    CORNERBACK

    Maybe all the fingernail-biting about the Eagles’ cornerback situation was unjustified. Maybe Asante Samuel got stronger in the off-season and will thus be a better, more willing tackler. Maybe Ellis Hobbs isn’t as mediocre as last year’s effort would make one believe. Maybe he’s fully recovered from neck surgery.

    Maybe the Eagles didn’t have to go out and get a veteran corner just in case Hobbs doesn’t pan out or in case the fragile Samuel gets hurt. Maybe Trevard Lindley can be that guy. Maybe he was worth significantly more than the fourth-round pick the Eagles expended on him.

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    Maybe Joselio Hanson has regained his form and is back to being the nickel corner pre-suspension. Maybe Dimitri Patterson gives the Eagles as good a fifth cornerback as there is in the league. Maybe he can be that third corner if Lindley isn’t ready.

    That’s a lot of maybes. But if there’s one area in which the Eagles went into the preseason unsure about and came out surprisingly more confident it’s at cornerback. I’m not there yet. I’ll wait to pass judgment until Samuel and Hobbs face Aaron Rodgers, Donovan McNabb, Matt Ryan, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Matt Schaub, Tony Romo and Brett Favre.

    The Eagles approached the off-season with the idea that they would improve their pass defense most by upgrading their pass rush. It makes sense. A. The Throw. happens before B. The catch. If there’s no A. there’s certainly not going to be a B. (I’m like a mathematician.)

    Speaking of math, if Samuel, Hobbs, Lindley, Hanson and Patterson are in, where does that leave Macho Harris?
    Harris has been hurt for most of the preseason with a hamstring strain which hasn’t helped his chances of making the team. He was moved back to safety this week which could be taken one of two ways: 1. He’s out at cornerback and the Eagles are trying to see if he’s worth keeping around as an extra safety. 2. The Eagles want to see if he’s still versatile enough to play the position which would thus increase his value.

    I think the Eagles are willing to give Harris another year.

    Keeps the playbook: Samuel, Hobbs, Lindley, Hanson and Patterson.
    On the bubble: Harris.
    Call your agent: Geoff Pope, David Pender.

    SAFETY

    With Quintin Mikell in the last year of his contract, there’s a good chance that Quintin Demps or Kurt Coleman is the heir apparent at strong safety. Demps is the third safety right now, but Coleman has shown flashes.

    Nate Allen has done nothing to set off alarms. The rookie has the proper instincts for a free safety and his quick maturation should allow Mikell to roam free and play as he did in 2008.

    Keeps the playbook: Mikell, Allen, Demps and Coleman.
    On the bubble: None.
    Call your agent: Anthony Scirrotto.
     

     

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