THE 2014 EAGLES season is over. This next game is a preseason game with stakes. Or it should be. If Chip Kelly has any sense at all, he should start Matt Barkley. It’d be smart to know if our second year QB can serve as a viable second stringer in his third year, or if we should free up the cap and roster space for someone who has a chance to be of use to the team.
Now is the time to get a look at our roster and see who can deliver when the lights come on. All indications are that we’re going to lose some key players this offseason, so it’s better to know before Free Agency and the Draft, who is and who is not for real.
Not only should Barkley get to start, but so should:
- CB Jaylen Watkins. This kid may have been a college CB, but he’s an NFL FS. Regardless, until he gets some playing time, he’s just a wasted pick. Be nice to see Malcolm Jenkins take this kid under his wing.
- OLB Marcus Smith. He’s made 1.4M$ to do nothing this year, and next year is on tap to pull down 1.7, on a 4 year deal worth a fully guaranteed 7.99M. Even if we cut him today, he counts against our cap for at least one more year in dead money. And that’s space we can’t afford to waste. Not to mention the roster spot. Time to see if this guy has anything to contribute.
- WR Josh Huff. Give the guy a whole game. Let him be the guy who has to erase his mistakes. Let him learn the progression of why things in this game happen, not just what things happen. He plays like he doesn’t recognize moments, or situations. This throw-away game is a perfect laboratory for him. He’d have a number of plays that he can get wrong and also get right, so then he can compare him vs him in both instances. Let him mature himself this offseason, and maybe he’ll make fewer boneheaded mistakes in 2015.
- SAK Trey Burton. He’s the anti-Josh Huff. He just makes heads-up plays when called upon. Undrafted, unheralded, nobody’s darling, a total dark horse to make the team. I was rooting for him in the preseason even though I didn’t think the guy stood a snowball’s chance in Hell of sticking. Kelly surprised and impressed me by keeping him. Burton’s a (SAK) Swiss Army Knife who plays QB, TE, WR, and RB. He’s already logged 5 carries for 10 yards this season, and I’d like to see him get a few more of those.
Week 17 finds us standing knee-deep in the debris of what was (not that long ago), a successful 2014 season. However, despite the wreckage that surrounds us now, this season could have one more gift to give down the line. When the dust of 2014 finally settles, things heading into 2015 could be clearer than they ever were heading into 2014.