Training camp got heated Monday on the field at Lehigh but the real action was possibly the chatter after the Eagles released their first 2010 depth chart.
It's just a depth chart but that doesn't mean you can't come to some conclusions about what the chart means about what the Birds think about their flock.
First, recently traded for veteran running back J.J. Arrington was dumped into no-man’s land on the backfield depth chart. The 27-year-old who has rushed for 654 career yards is hanging out with CFLer Martell Mallett at the bottom of the chart.
It’s no surprise that LeSean McCoy and Mike Bell are listed atop the chart but Eldra Buckley landing ahead of Arrington could mean that J.J.’s stint with the Birds will be a short one.
The other backfield surprise on the depth chart is at fullback where rookie Charles Scott is the only insurance policy listed behind Pro Bowler Leonard Weaver. The Eagles likely could use one of the low-level RBs at FB if Scott or Weaver falters or gets injured. But as pointed out by Bleeding Green Nation rarely is a backup FB included on the 53-man roster so Scott could be cut before the season starts.
Second, rookie defensive end/linebacker Ricky Sapp doesn’t seem to be living up to his fifth-round selection as he landed behind Darryl Tapp, Brandon Graham, Trent Cole and Juqua Parker on the DE depth chart. He is likely fifth-best behind those guys but the fact that Sapp doesn’t even show up on the linebacker depth chart doesn’t bode well for the Clemson product.
Third, Graham isn’t listed as a starter across from Pro Bowler Trent Cole. The veteran Parker holds onto his starting spot -- for now. Parker, a 10-year NFL vet, actually played well last season racking up eight sacks but after the Birds moved up in the draft to grab Graham don’t be surprised if the rookie steps into the starting lineup at some point during the season -- maybe even before the season starts.
Also, with both Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson back on the practice field Monday don’t be surprised if the Birds start cutting one of their many wideouts sooner rather than later. The guys most likely on the chopping block are bottom-of-the-depth charters Dobson Collins, Kelley Washington, Jared Perry and/or Chad Hall. Surprisingly Penn State alum Jordan Norwood was penciled in as the sixth wideout so he could be safe for a while.
Some other interesting depth chart notes:
- Starting tight end Brent Celek is the emergency long snapper.
- Ellis Hobbs is listed as a starting defensive back and kickoff returner.
- As expected rookie Nate Allen is listed as the starting free safety ahead of veteran Quintin Demps.