Eagles Have a Few Tough Decisions to Make
The Eagles currently has 75 players on their roster, and by Saturday afternoon that number must be trimmed down to 53.
Head coach Doug Pederson said there two areas that he is looking forward to seeing play tonight, but that everyone playing in tonight's game is playing not only to make this roster, but to possibly make another teams roster.
"Well, we've still got some young guys in the back end of the secondary that we're still taking a look at," explained Pederson. "Receivers are the same way. I mean, really this is a great challenge for all the players in this football game to get one last substantial amount of reps and to really put themselves on tape."
The Eagles have already released a pair of veterans with track records, letting go of Ruben Randle and Chris Givens, showing that it's not all about what you have done in the league, rather what you can bring to the team now.
So, how do you choose?
"That's a fine line," Pederson admitted. "Obviously, there's a lot of history and a lot of film on those players, and a lot of circumstances. It can just come down to who is performing right now and --just like you mentioned--- the guys that are playing at a high level. You want guys that are all on board and doing things right, and at the end of the day you've got to make tough decisions. Again, it's not something that we enjoy doing. You'd love to keep them all. But the nature of the business is you can't and we've got to find the best 53."
While we cannot really know for sure which players on the bubble, Pederon said defensive back and receiver are two spots that he is looking at tonight - so lets assume they are some of the positions still up-for-grabs.
One of the veterans up front, former first-round pick Marcus Smith, who is in a battle for a roster spot with Steven Means.
“You guys were probably on Steven Means before anybody else because you saw the same things we saw. And Marcus was doing really well. He just had a setback with the concussion and missed time. But he sort of picked up right where he left off..”
A veteran of two NFL seasons, Smith said he was excited about playing in Jim Schwartz's 4-3 defense after playing linebacker under Billy Davis the past two season.
Schwartz has been impressed and has noticed a change in his Smith since coming back from the concussion.
"The thing I'm most proud about with Marcus is that he's done a good job in the run game," Schwartz said. "Where he's really making good improvement is setting the edge of our defense [and] attacking tackles. He did that against a physical group from Pittsburgh. That was a great sign."