Howie Roseman breaks down decisions: 8 on OL, Nate Gerry cut, Sidney Jones update

Howie Roseman breaks down decisions: 8 on OL, Nate Gerry cut, Sidney Jones update

The Eagles cut 17 more players Saturday to get down to the NFL required the 53-man limit (see full roster)

And there were a few surprises.

The Eagles ended up keeping five running backs and six receivers but just eight offensive linemen. They kept underperforming draft picks Donnel Pumphrey and Shelton Gibson but decided to cut linebacker Nate Gerry. 

Here are some interesting notes from Roseman's press conference minutes after the roster was set: 

Light on the O-line
Keeping just eight offensive linemen is pretty unusual. Roseman talked about the potential to bring some of their young players back, but he admitted this was a new way of doing things. 

In fact, he said the Eagles looked around at the NFL to see how many teams keep just eight and it "made [them] feel better about the decision." 

After the five starters, the Eagles kept Stefen Wisniewski, Chance Warmack and Halapoulivaati Vaitai. Roseman touted their versatility, saying Wisniewski can play all three interior positions, Warmack can play right and left guard and "Big V" can play right and left tackle. 

"We think we have eight starters on the offensive line," Roseman said. "So not only [Warmack], but in Wiz and V, we think those guys are all starters in the National Football League. I know I've said this a lot, so I'm going to sound repetitive, but it's hard to find offensive linemen. It's hard to find those guys."

Gerry gets the boot
Just one of the Eagles' eight draft picks didn't make their initial 53-man roster Saturday: fifth-round linebacker Nate Gerry. 

Gerry was always going to be somewhat of a project. The Eagles brought him in to convert to linebacker after playing safety at Nebraska. It appeared that the transition was going well. But Gerry wasn't able to beat out the players in front of him. 

Roseman explained why: "Well, I think it's a credit to the other guys at that position. When you look at the guys that we kept beyond the three starters, [LB] Joe Walker had a good preseason. He's another guy coming off a knee injury. We were really bummed when he got hurt last year. He's got physical traits. It's hard to find MIKE linebackers who have shock, and he's able to do that.

"Then you look at Najee (Goode). Najee has versatility. He can back up really both the outside positions and play inside, and [he is] really a huge part of our special teams. It's important for us to be good on special teams.

"And then Kamu (Grugier-Hill), when we look at Kamu, we think he has a chance to be not only one of the better special teams players on our team but in the league. That was a tough one. That was one of the last ones we did right there. We understand it's a transition for him and it's going to take some time. But it was just the nature of the numbers game."

An update on Jones
Among the moves the Eagles made the past two days, there was one formality. The team placed second-round pick Sidney Jones on the reserve/non-football injury list. Jones is still recovering from the Achilles tear he suffered at his pro day before the draft. 

The Eagles have been noncommittal since drafting Jones about whether or not he'll play this season. They've made sure not to rush him. 

On the NFI, Jones will be eligible to practice for three weeks starting in Week 6. The Eagles have a three-week window to decide to activate Jones or send him to IR, ending his rookie season. 

"Obviously, we're talking about six weeks from now, but we have it mapped out," Roseman said. "I don't want to put any restrictions on him or expectations on him at this point. It's going to be day-to-day. But he is doing exactly what we asked of him, and we feel good about where he's at in the process."

Interestingly, Roseman said the Ronald Darby trade ensured the Eagles won't be tempted to rush Jones back to playing. 

"With Sidney, we're going to take it kind of — we have a protocol that our doctors, our trainers and our strength and conditioning staff have put in place," Roseman said. "It's very organized. It's very detailed, and we're just going to knock it down. We have a checklist at every point. He's doing a great job. But again, we have a long way to go and we want to make sure that we're getting the best of Sidney Jones."

Did Baker Mayfield, Browns run the 'Philly Special?'

Did Baker Mayfield, Browns run the 'Philly Special?'

Hmmm. That looked familiar. 

Remember that play the Eagles ran in that little game in February that helped them eventually have a parade down Broad Street? I think it was called … the "Philly Special?" 

Well … this happened on Thursday Night Football. 

I guess we’ll have to call this the "Cleveland Special." It looked exactly like the Philly Special except Jarvis Landry is a lefty, so the play was just flipped and ran to the left side of the field. 

Direct snap to Duke Johnson, flip to Landry, throw to Baker Mayfield in the end zone to finish off the two-point conversion. The Browns’ first attempt on the two-point conversion didn’t count after offsetting penalties. They came back with this to tie the game, 14-14. 

You’re not the only person who thought it looked familiar.

The Eagles can’t get too mad about the Browns taking their play. It wasn’t their play anyway. They actually took it from the Bears, who took it from Clemson. Good plays don’t stay in house. Teams are always looking to find an advantage. 

No, the Cleveland Special doesn’t have the same ring as the Philly Special. And using it in Week 3 isn’t the same as using it in the Super Bowl. But the Browns haven’t won a game since 2016 … every chance to get a W is their Super Bowl. 

More on the Eagles

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Roob (and Ray Didinger) Knows Podcast: Why Jordan Matthews over Josh Gordon

On the latest edition of Roob Knows, Reuben Frank discusses why bringing back Jordan Matthews was the right move over a player like Josh Gordon.

Fans need to take it easy on Jalen Mills. He's a good cornerback that had a bad game.

Roob gets into the unique, almost unprecedented, relationship between Nick Foles and Carson Wentz.

Also, Ray Didinger joins the podcast and Roob and Ray answer your questions about the Eagles.

1:00 -  Matthews was the correct signing.
6:30 - Take it easy on Mills.
9:00 - Unique relationship between Foles and Wentz.
12:00 - Didinger and Roob answer your questions.
25:00 - Roob Knows stats.
27:30 - Eagles' running back situation.
30:30 - Eagles-Colts prediction.

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