Reid Names Starters at Safety, Fullback

Reid Names Starters at Safety, Fullback

The Eagles introduced their rookie class to the NFL over the weekend, wrapping the first ever mini-camp for nine draft picks and a bevy of undrafted free agents on Monday. After the lockout eliminated off-season programs last year, it was a welcome return to normal, if a largely uneventful affair. In fact, the action on the field may not have been the most newsworthy item from the NovaCare Complex.

During his exit interview, head coach Andy Reid informed reporters that Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman will be the starters at safety, and Stanley Havili at fullback when the full team assembles for OTAs on May 22. That sets the top of the preliminary depth chart at every offensive and defensive position except linebacker.

Allen and Coleman reprising their roles from last season was not exactly a surprise since the Eagles did not add a safety through the draft.

There are still high hopes for Allen, the 37th overall pick of 2010. He looked slow during preseason last year while recovering from the torn patellar tendon that ended his rookie season early, and was benched for a healthy Jarrad Page. Allen got back into the lineup three weeks into the regular season, playing well the rest of the way with few notable exceptions.

Coleman started 13 games last season, and actually led the club with four interceptions, but spent time on the bench as well. A seventh-round pick the same year as Allen, Coleman's ceiling isn't nearly as high, and the Birds have Jaiquawn Jarrett waiting in the wings. Jarrett played sparingly in his rookie year, and while the lockout-shortened offseason certainly impacted his ability to hit the ground running, he may not have merited a second-round selection in 2011. We shall see.

At fullback, Havili replaces Owen Schmitt, who currently remains a free agent. A seventh-round pick out of USC in '11, Havili spent last season on the Eagles' practice squad, where it seems they were grooming him to take over.

Reid was less committal at linebacker, but more or less admitted he would like to see rookie Mychal Kendricks run with the starters. DeMeco Ryans has MIKE locked down, but Kendricks should get reps at one of the outside positions, especially with the news Jamar Chaney will not return from off-season neck surgery before training camp.

"I would tell you that he looked good out here," Reid said. "He made a
lot of plays and got his hands on the ball. We've just got to see where
he gets the most reps -- and normally that's with the ones. I've got to
go through all that with the coaches and figure it out."

By all accounts, Kendricks had a strong mini-camp, demonstrating his visually impressive sub-4.5 speed. You can't tell much from watching football players run around in shorts, but fast is still fast.

>> 5/14: Reid rookie camp bullet points [CSN]

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

USA Today Images

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

CHESTER, Pa. — On the eve of his comeback after missing nearly 13 months with a left tibia stress fracture and other related injuries, Union midfielder Maurice Edu fractured his left fibula on Saturday, keeping him out for the 2016 playoffs and beyond.

“I was trying to take the shot on goal and my foot got stuck in the turf,” Edu said Sunday, in his blue Union-issued suit and supported by crutches. “My ankle rolled and twisted and it kind of snapped a little bit. I heard it crack, and a lot of pain from there. I got a scan afterward, and there was a break.”

There's no timetable his return.

Edu, 30, has spent over a calendar year fighting various injuries that have kept him out of game action. His trouble began on Sept. 30, 2015, when he played through the U.S. Open Cup final with a partially torn groin and sports hernia. It was during Edu’s recovery from those injuries that he developed a stress fracture.

"A little bit frustration. A lot of frustration, to be honest," he said. "But all I can do now is get back to work, focus on the positives and make sure that my situation isn’t a distraction from the team."

Edu’s teammates were equally devastated by the news. Edu, the Union captain when healthy, is popular and well-respected in the locker room.

"I feel so bad for him," said Alejandro Bedoya, who wore a dedication to Edu under his jersey on Sunday. "He’s one of my good friends, so I was looking forward to playing alongside him. I know how hard he’s worked to get back, and to see him go out like that, it’s heartbreaking. I’m sad for his loss and I hope he stays strong."

Edu, who has been with the Union since 2014, returned to training in July and played three conditioning appearances with the Union’s USL team, Bethlehem Steel FC. He was on the bench for the Union’s last three games and was set to make his first appearance in over a year against the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, a game the Union eventually lost, 2-0 (see game story).

"We’re gutted for Mo," Union manager Jim Curtin said. "He was slated to start today. It’s real upsetting because he’s worked so hard to get back on the field. It’s been a tough 2016 for him, but I know he’ll come back stronger."

While he was visibly shaken by recent injury, Edu is driven to return.

"What happened, happened," Edu said. "I have no control over that. The only thing I do have control over is my next steps from here, how I prepare myself mentally and emotionally and how I continue to support this group."

Eagles bring back Taylor Hart after stint with Chip Kelly

Eagles bring back Taylor Hart after stint with Chip Kelly

The Eagles have brought back a familiar face to take Ron Brooks' roster spot.

On Monday, the team claimed defensive tackle Taylor Hart off waivers from San Francisco. Hart was just waived on Saturday by the 49ers, who claimed him after the Eagles waived him at final cuts.

So, Hart is coming back to Philly after a stint with Chip Kelly in San Francisco.

Hart, 25, played in one game for the 49ers this year. The Eagles are light at defensive tackle thanks to Bennie Logan's groin injury. While head coach Doug Pederson on Monday said Logan was getting better, the Eagles still brought in more depth by claiming Hart.

While still with the Eagles, Kelly had a hand in drafting Hart, an Oregon product, in the fifth round of 2014.

Hart worked hard this offseason to learn how to play in Jim Schwartz's aggressive 4-3 defense, which is very unlike the ones he had played in during college and in the NFL.

Brooks has been placed on IR after rupturing a quad tendon during Sunday's game against the Vikings. He'll have surgery this week.

In addition to adding Hart to the active roster, the Eagles also added cornerback Aaron Grymes to their practice squad.

Grymes, 25, was having an impressive training camp and preseason with the Eagles before injuring his right shoulder. He was waived shortly after that.

After coming out of the University of Idaho in 2013, Grymes didn't make an NFL team so he went to Canada. He ended up as a starter and All-Star on the Edmonton Eskimos and won a Grey Cup in 2015.

To make room for Grymes, the Eagles cut OL Matt Rotheram from the practice squad.