When the Eagles brought Felix Jones into the mix at the end of May, it was with an understanding he was no lock to make the team. If he could demonstrate some of dazzling moves and explosion that led the Dallas Cowboys to draft him in the first round in 2008, there might be a place for him in Chip Kelly’s offense.
Jones’ fuse ran out though, and there was no explosion, just a fizzling sound and some smoke. The sixth-year back didn’t look dynamic at all, while the Birds’ stable of backs impressed all around him. A decrepit Jones wasn’t beating out Bryce Brown or Chris Polk for playing time, he didn’t even look like a better option than Matthew Tucker. The writing was on the wall.
The Eagles were still able to squeeze something out of Jones however. With rookie running back Le’Veon Bell suffering a Lisfranc injury, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ pool of backs was looking very sad, so they were happy to send a body Philly’s way for a veteran rusher. That would be linebacker Adrian Robinson, a Temple grad.
Robinson is in his second year, and figures to have a better shot at contributing on special teams than he does on defense. Reuben Frank tells us the second-year player was in on 101 snaps as an undrafted rookie last season, all on the third unit.
I wouldn’t say Robinson is a lock to make the 53-man roster, either, but he has a better shot than Jones did. Special teams appears to have been a point of emphasis for Chip Kelly in his first year. They’ve spent a good amount of time working on it in practice, and there has been noticeable improvement through the first two preseason games.
Robinson still has a bit of an uphill climb, but he’ll have at least Saturday’s game in Jacksonville and likely the last exhibition against the Jets to show the coaching staff something. As for Jones, from an outsider’s point of view it seems he might have a good chance of catching on in Pitt, although I’d wager his best days are likely behind him.
At the very least, from a public relations perspective it’s nice to be rid of a player best known for being a Dallas Cowboys bust, and to bring in a local kid at that. We’ll see if the swap actually amounts to anything.
>> Eagles trade Felix Jones to Steelers [CSN]