Usually, the end of pre-season is the most hectic in terms of roster moves. Well, after an impressive week 1 win and an injury to Donovan McNabb, the Eagles made some significant roster moves to solidify their team heading into week 2 against the Saints. First, the Eagles announced the signing of Jeff Garcia. Second to make room for Garcia, the Eagles placed Shawn Andrews on IR (as discussed in an earlier post). Third, the Eagles activated Michael Vick so he can practice. Finally, to make room on the active roster for Vick, the Eagles cut Hank Baskett.
Jeff Garcia will provide the Eagles some insurance at the quarterback position this weekend. Kevin Kolb in unproven and quite frankly, looks terrible in game situations – pre-season and regular season. Kolb will be given all the first team repetitions this week in practice and will have every chance to lead the Eagles offense. However, I think he may have a short leash as the Eagles should be able to put up points against a weak New Orleans Saints defense. Detroit scored 27 points against the Saints last week. If Kolb doesn’t perform well, I expect the Eagles to replace him with Garcia in this game and then the following week’s starter will be up in the air. There is some precedent here. Koy Detmer played amazing in his one start after McNabb was hurt. Unfortunately, he shredded his elbow in that game. A.J. Feeley, now with Carolina, has made many starts to help the Eagles team and won a few games. Also, Jeff Garcia led the Eagles to a 5-1 record after McNabb tore his ACL. However, Mike McMahon started a few games and was just awful. We’ll see how Kolb does, but I have very low expectations.
With Michael Vick practicing, my assumption is that Coach Reid wants to have Vick on the field for the week 3 game against the Chiefs. Depending on McNabb’s health and the play of Kevin Kolb, will really dictate how much Vick will play. I am hoping for a healthy McNabb – none of the other QB’s on the roster really excites me.
Hank Baskett was caught up in the numbers game and contract situations of the wide receivers on the team. I was hoping the team would trade Baskett, but no trade partner became apparent – most likely due to the money Baskett would be owed. So, the Eagles released him. He passed through waivers, as no one wanted to pick up his salary, and was subsequently signed as a free agent with Indianapolis Colts. Basket is a good blocker and decent special teams player, but hasn’t seen much action as a receiver, nor on special teams with this year’s version of the Eagles. While we like Baskett as a football player, he wasn’t anything special and his contributions to the team will be picked up by other players. I guess the question is – what are the Eagles going to do with Reggie Brown? I think they will keep him. He is good insurance in case the Eagles suffer an injury to the receiver position. Besides, his contract is slightly prohibitive, so it makes sense. I think he can still play.
Even with all of these moves, I expect a few more, especially along the offensive line. Andrews is on the IR and Todd Herremans is still having foot issues – he might not be back until the end of October. Nick Cole and Winston Justice are filling in admirably, however, the depth is extremely questionable.