Philadelphia Eagles Roster Moves: Concerning?

Now that the 53-man roster and practice squad are filled, the Philadelphia Eagles are set for their Week 1 encounter with Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins. Even with the finalization of the 53-man roster and practice squad their are still questions about the roster and, more importantly, the Eagles Head Coach.

As we all know, Chip Kelly comes from the University of Oregon and he and his players, for the most part, had a very good relationship, but with the amount of Oregon players on the Eagles roster, Chip Kelly’s loyalty towards his players has made people question some of his roster moves, the two biggest ones being at linebacker and wide receiver.

On Saturday, Chip Kelly chose to release outside linebacker, Chris McCoy, in favor of, former Oregon player, Casey Mathews, even though McCoy outplayed McCoy during the preseason. Kelly then followed this up this move by releasing Emanuel Acho on Monday, also in favor of Mathews (for more on this move, click here). Both McCoy and Acho had fantastic preseasons and both players out played Mathew, but Mathews remains on the Eagles roster while McCoy now resides in Jacksonville and Acho has yet to find a new team.

The other move that has confused people was Chip Kelly’s decision to keep Jeff Maehl, a former Oregon player, over undrafted free agent, Russell Sheppard, who was having a fantastic summer.  If Maehl had been released, it was likely that no team would pick him up, but Kelly choose to release Sheppard and now Sheppard is a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Besides the fourth preseason game, Sheppard looked far better than Maehl, but much like the situation at linebacker, the former Oregon player remains in Philadelphia while the, seemingly, better player is not.

These moves alone have raised eyebrows but with the recent additions to the Eagles practice squad, the most represented school on the Eagles roster is, you guessed it, Oregon and this is beginning to make Eagles fans nervous. Chip Kelly’s loyality to his players is admirable, but if his loyalty gets in the way of him making the best decisions for the team, his loyalty will be scrutinized by members of the media and Eagles fans because for the last 14 years, Eagles fans have dealt with a coach who let his loyalty get in the way of making the best decisions for the Philadelphia Eagles (i.e. the hiring of Juan Castillo as the Eagles defensive coordinator).

Hopefully, for the Philadelphia Eagles and their fans, Chip Kelly proves everyone wrong with these decisions and they are long forgotten, but at the moment, the Philadelphia love affair with their new coach is dying down and Kelly will have to put his money where his mouth is.