Fun fact: there is no fullback in Chip Kellys offense, atleast not in the traditional sense anyway. For that reason, the Eagles shippedStanley Havili to the Indianapolis Colts on Tuesday in exchange for defensiveend Clifton Geathers.
It seems Havili could be the last fulltime fullbackemployed by the Eagles for at least the next few years, placing a hiatus on Philadelphiaslong-standing tradition of glorifying the position. Players such as LeonardWeaver and Jon Ritchie became fan favorites during brief stints here, whileguys like Kevin Turner and Cecil Martin were always appreciated for doing thedirty work. And who can forget Keith Byars, the greatest Eagles fullback of alltime.
Havili had some moments in his first season on the job in2012, with LeSean McCoy even advocating his lead blocker for the Pro Bowl. Buteven under Andy Reid the fullback was only on the field for roughly 20 of thesnaps last season via Pro Football Focus, and that figure would continue totumble in the new regime.
If Kelly wants to go with a heavy backfield, the head coachwill look to recently-signed James Casey. Casey primarily played fullback forthe Houston Texans the past two seasons, although the Eagles list him as atight end, and he might be expected to fill more of an H-back role.
Meanwhile, in return the Eagles get a big defensive end with3-4 experience. A sixth-round pick out of South Carolina by Cleveland in 2010,Geathers is 6-7 and 325 lbs. and already with his fifth NFL team. Hes onlysuited up for 13 games, and the Colts were the first team to give him anymeaningful playing time last season, so who knows what the Birds have.
Theres a decent chance this Geathers doesnt make the finalroster, but its clear neither would Havili. Overall, its a trade that couldvery well hold no ramifications for the Eagles outside of it denoting a clearchange in philosophy. The way the league is changing with some of these new rulesthough, you have to at least consider the possibility Stanley Havili might bethe final fulltime fullback in Philadelphia history.