A Closer Look at the Eagles Safeties
The safety position will be one to watch Thursday night in the Eagles final preseason game against the New York Jets. Patrick Chung will not play in the game, he will start at strong safety on Monday night against Washington in the season opener.
"Pat is not going to play," Eagles head coach Chip Kelly stated. "But he's the only one right now."
This is because third-year man Nate Allen and rookie fifth-round pick Earl Wolff are locked in a battle to start opposite Chung.
"I haven't ‑‑ we haven't sat down and finalized that," Kelly explained. "I know what's available. There's only a couple guys available."
The battle exists because of some spotty play the during the teams three preseason games. Consistency is the key and finding that will not be easy, the Eagles are looking for someone to step up and win the job next to Chung.
"Do I care who starts? No. I never have," Kelly said. "That part's ‑‑ and I know it's a phenomena of who starts, but who plays the second snap, who plays the most snaps, that's the part that's the most important. I've always been like that."
The one player they were hoping would really step up was Kenny Phillips, who flashed All Pro-type ability in the rare instances he's been healthy - but the Eagles cut ties with the 26-year old on Monday.
"It's just our depth at the safety spot," Kelly said. "We have a lot of guys there and probably maybe gave him an opportunity to see if he can catch on somewhere. But our safeties are huge for us on special teams; didn't get a lot of special teams work out of him."
David Sims and Colt Anderson are also in the mix to make the roster due in large part for their special teams play. Kurt Coleman showed in the past that he can fill in at safety when needed but is likely still on the bubble.
The safety position is big question mark. With only one starter currently entrenched, the Eagles have some work to do - either way its one of the toughest positions to handicap entering the final week of the preseason.
"I think safety is one," Kelly comment on which position still has some tough decisions to make. "Because we're going to have to ‑‑ we're probably going to have to cut again at that position."
With Phillips already gone, and Anderson the best special-teams player, it could come down to Allen, Sims and Coleman battling for one spot - Wolff, a rookie, most likely will stick around regardless if he starts or not.