Brett Toth

Eagles' short-lived experiment with Army tackle already over

Eagles' short-lived experiment with Army tackle already over

That was a short-lived experiment with offensive lineman Brett Toth.

The Eagles brought in the former Army offensive tackle last month after he received a military waiver, but they released him at final cuts this weekend. Now he’s reportedly heading to Arizona, claimed by the Cardinals.

The Eagles presumably would have wanted to sign Toth to their practice squad, but now they won’t have the chance. The Eagles weren’t willing to burn a roster spot on the long-range project, but the Cardinals will have to — at least for a little while.

And the Eagles expect to compete for a Super Bowl this year, while the Cardinals are in rebuild mode. So it makes sense that Arizona would be more willing to use a roster spot on him.

Remember, Toth was away from football for a year after he left West Point. And just a couple weeks ago, he said he was still just 290 pounds, with a target weight of 315. So he’s not even where he needs to be from a physical standpoint, let alone the rust from not playing in a year.

Even Toth admitted it was difficult to keep with football over the last year.

“It was hard,” Toth said. “Again, when you’re thinking about training for the army, a bunch of that is hard to train as an offensive lineman. I did get within the height and weight regulations within the Army. You don’t want an offensive lineman that’s down to 260. Whenever I could, I was getting in the strength room on post there. I’ve just got to get all the movements and techniques back.”

Toth, 22, did play this preseason, but he wouldn’t have had a role with the Eagles this year. As it is, the Birds kept 10 offensive lineman.

While in Philadelphia, Toth worked with the ROTC at Temple University. According to ESPN, he’ll continue his military work at Fort Huachuca in Arizona.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles

Why Howie Roseman can't stop adding new players

Why Howie Roseman can't stop adding new players

Howie Roseman built a roster for training camp. Then he built another one.

Roseman isn’t one to sit around and admire his handiwork. The Eagles’ personnel guru has added 14 players since the START of training camp and hasn’t gone more than two days since camp began without bringing in somebody new.

That's 16 percent of the roster.

No team has brought in more players than the Eagles since training camps began in late July.

The Colts have also added 14 players and the Titans (13), Buccaneers (13) and Raiders (10) are also in double figures. The NFL average is 5.3.

Some of the moves have been necessitated by injury, but for the most part, Roseman is constantly looking for ways to not only upgrade the starting lineup and 53-man roster but also give his coaches and scouts every opportunity to evaluate as many players as possible on the 90-man roster.

Of those 14 new guys, 13 are still on the roster. And a few have legit shots at making the 53.

Let’s take a look at the Howie Roseman 14, where they came from, when they got here, how they’ve done and whether they have a chance to stick:

CB Alex Brown
Acquired:
Signed July 26.
NFL experience: Undrafted free agent.
Chances to stick: Brown was released on Aug. 4.

LB Asantay Brown
Acquired:
Signed Aug. 4.
NFL experience:  This is Brown’s fifth stint with the Eagles in the last year. He’s never been on the 53-man roster, but he did have two stints on the practice squad last year.
Chances to stick:  Despite the Eagles’ injuries at linebacker, Brown is facing long odds to stick. But the fact that they keep bringing him back means there’s something there they like.

S Jonathan Cyprien
Acquired:
Signed Aug. 2.
NFL experience: This is Cyprien’s sixth NFL season. He’s played in 70 games for the Jaguars and Titans, starting all 70.
Chances to stick: Cyprien is definitely in the mix as a backup safety who is also big and physical enough to play linebacker in dime, which considering the Eagles’ linebacker injuries could be huge.

TE Alex Ellis
Acquired:
Signed Aug. 2.
NFL experience: Ellis began his career as an undrafted rookie with the Titans in 2016, has been with five teams over the last four years and has played in eight career games with the Jaguars and Chiefs. He has three career receptions, all in 2016.
Chances to stick: Ellis has caught the ball well since he got here both at practice -- he had a nine-yard TD Thursday night against the Ravens — and seems to be a decent blocker. With Richard Rodgers injured, there’s an opening for a third tight end. It’ll probably be Josh Perkins, but Ellis isn’t bad and definitely a practice squad candidate.

DE Kasim Edebali
Acquired:
Signed Aug. 6
NFL experience:  Has bounced around the league for six years (Saints, Broncos, Lions, Rams, Saints, Bears, Bengals) and played in 62 games with two starts. He has eight career sacks, five in 2015 with the Saints but none since 2016.
Chances to stick: Edebali hasn’t made a huge impression since he got here and although the Eagles need defensive end depth he’s behind Daeshon Hall, Sharif Miller and Josh Sweat.

S Rudy Ford 
Acquired:
Aug. 22.
NFL experience:  Ford, the Cards’ sixth-round pick in 2017, has played in 23 games with one start for Arizona the last two years, mainly on special teams. He’s averaged 20 special teams snaps in those 23 games, which is a ton.
Chances to stick: Ford doesn’t have a ton of time to impress the coaches, but his special teams experience gives him a fighting chance.

DE Eli Harold 
Acquired:
Aug. 9
NFL experience:  Harold was the 49ers’ third-round pick in 2015 but only had five sacks in three seasons in San Francisco before spending a year with the Lions last year, adding four more sacks. He’s in his fifth season but only 25 years old.
Chances to stick: Harold hasn’t flashed in limited playing time the last two preseason games — 29 total snaps, which tells you he’s probably still on the outside looking in.

CB Ajene Harris
Acquired:
Aug. 6
NFL experience:  Undrafted rookie out of Stanford.
Chances to stick:  Slim, considering the Eagles’ depth at corner, but he’s definitely a practice squad candidate. Harris even had a sack on a blitz in the Titans preseason game.

QB Josh McCown
Acquired:
 Aug. 17
NFL experience: McCown has played in 99 games with 76 starts for the Cards, Lions, Raiders, Panthers, Bears, Buccaneers, Browns and Jets since the Cards drafted him in the third round of the 2002 draft.
Chances to stick:  McCown begins the season as the Eagles’ No. 2 quarterback and will remain there until — and possibly beyond

CB Orlando Scandrick
Acquired:
 July 27
NFL experience:  Scandrick has played 140 games starting 76 over 11 years, the first 10 with the Cowboys, last year with the Chiefs.
Chances to stick:  He’s looked OK since arriving here. The Eagles need a backup slot corner with Cre’Von LeBlanc out indefinitely, and Scandrick probably has the inside track.

CB Sojourn Shelton
Acquired:
 Aug. 11
NFL experience: Shelton had two stints on the Bengals’ practice squad in 2017 but was out of football last year after the Bengals released him in late August.
Chances to stick:  Shelton is a long-range project but could find himself on the practice squad.

DT Aziz Shittu
Acquired:
 Aug. 13
NFL experience:  Shittu has bounced around for four years but has never played in a regular-season game. He was at OTAs with the Eagles in 2016 and in camp here in 2017 and 2018 then spent some time on the Cowboys’ practice squad last year.
Chances to stick: The Eagles like Shittu enough to keep bringing him back for camp, but with their depth at defensive tackle, his best hope at this point is the practice squad.

OT Brett Toth
Acquired:
 Aug. 16
NFL experience:  Undrafted rookie.
Chances to stick:  Toth is an interesting case. You can read his whole story here, but he hasn’t played since the end of the 2017 season at Army and is much lighter than he needs to be to really compete on the o-line. The Eagles actually could keep him on the 53 to protect him from the waiver process.

LB Chris Worley
Acquired:  Aug. 18
NFL experience:  Played two games last year for the Bengals as an undrafted rookie, with all 37 snaps coming on special teams.
Chances to stick: Slim, but you never know. The Eagles certainly need linebacking depth and if they like what they see from Worley on special teams he could stick around.

The moves:
July 26: Claimed CB Alex Brown off waivers
July 27: Signed CB Orlando Scandrick, waived DT Anthony Rush
Aug. 2: Signed S Jonathan Cyprien, waived LB Joey Alfieri
Aug. 2: Signed TE Alex Ellis, waived S Godwin Igwebuike
Aug. 4: Signed LB Asantay Brown, waived CB Alex Brown
Aug. 6: Signed DE Kasim Edebali, placed DE Joe Ostman on IR
Aug. 6: Signed CB Ajene Harris, waived/injured OT Casey Tucker
Aug. 9: Acquired DE Eli Harold from Bills for OT Ryan Bates
Aug. 11: Signed CB Sojourn Shelton, waived/injured WR Shelton Gibson
Aug. 13: Signed DT Aziz Shittu, waived S Blake Countess w. injury settlement
Aug. 16: Signed OT Brett Toth, waived CB Jay Liggins
Aug. 17: Signed QB Josh McCown, waived WR Braxton Miller
Aug. 18: Signed LB Chris Worley, waived LB Paul Worrilow
Aug. 22: Acquired S Rudy Ford from Cards for DT Bruce Hector

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles

  •  

After year in Army, Eagles' new OT Brett Toth hoping to continue his unique story

After year in Army, Eagles' new OT Brett Toth hoping to continue his unique story

Brett Toth tucked the waistband of his workout pants between his chin and his chest and folded them up once, twice, and then placed them purposefully in a pile on the shelf of his popup stall in the Eagles’ locker room. That neat pile was next to another neat pile, which was next to two pairs of cleats — one white, one black — put there so perfectly a craftsman’s steel square would agree. 

You can take the man out of the Army … 

“Everything I do represents the Army, what they’ve instilled in me,” Toth said. “I’ve got to carry that. It’s a brand on me. What you have here in front of you is what West Point made me in to.”

Two weeks ago, Toth was allowed to take leave from Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri and came to Philadelphia for a workout. When the Eagles offered him a contract, the process of securing a waiver began. Toth said it got done with help from the staff at his base all the way to the Army Chief of Staff — and he said it couldn’t have happened without President Donald Trump, who in June ordered the Pentagon to develop a policy allowing military academy athletes to play pro sports. 

Toth signed with the Eagles on Friday and reported for duty Sunday morning, about 18 months after he last played a football game. 

Despite the length of time away from football, he expects the Eagles to throw him immediately into action, first as an offensive tackle and then possibly as a guard. 

“The quickest way to learn to swim is to get in the water,” Toth said. 

The 22-year-old offensive lineman was a prospect last year, when he became the first West Point product to be invited to the Senior Bowl. He went undrafted and based on the rules at the time, he began to serve his time in the Army as a second lieutenant. 

An A12 engineer officer, Toth first went through a basic officer leadership course and was then stationed as a platoon leader in basic training in Missouri. During his year of service, it was pretty hard for Toth to stay connected to football, especially as his weight dipped per Army requirements. 

“It was hard,” Toth admitted. “Again, when you’re thinking about training for the army, a bunch of that is hard to train as an offensive lineman. I did get within the height and weight regulations within the Army. You don’t want an offensive lineman that’s down to 260. Whenever I could, I was getting in the strength room on post there. I’ve just got to get all the movements and techniques back.”

Now, Toth (6-foot-6) is up to 290 pounds, but his target weight is 315. Since getting to Philly, he’s already been working with the weight and nutrition staff to help him put on pounds. 

When Toth has any free time, he will be continuing his military commitment with Temple’s ROTC program, led by Lt. Col Robert K. Beale. He’s still in touch with folks from his Army life in Missouri. And Toth thinks the same characteristics that helped him be an Army man — preparation, determination, the ability to adapt on the fly — will help him in his football career. 

It also seems likely the military taught him to be so well organized. 

Just a few feet from Toth’s locker is a disaster zone belonging to two defensive starters. Cleats, shirts, hats and more are spewing out of their adjoining stalls, a relatively common sight in NFL locker rooms. Meanwhile, Toth continued to fold his clothes with precision, placing each item into his tidy locker, where a gray Army T-shirt was proudly hanging. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles