At least Owen Schmitt has landed with another team... That will be good news to our Austrian correspondent from the Future, Mr. Bruzer 9.5, who was a big fan of the Beer Truck...
Owen Schmitt was a good fill-in for the legacy of the tragic loss of Herman Weaver... but the Eagles are going against the grain of the traditional lead-blocking fullback in 2012...thus Schmitt was expendable.
Schmitt's two-year stint with the team ended late Tuesday night when he signed a one-year contract with the Oakland Raiders.
Schmitt's departure leaves Stanley Havili as the top contender to be the starting fullback this season. Havili, a 2011 seventh-round draft pick, spent his entire rookie season on the Eagles' practice squad. The 6-foot, 230-pounder is among three fullbacks on the Eagles' current roster. He'll face competition from rookie free agents Emil Igwanagu (Massachusetts) and Jeremy Stewart (Stanford).
There is also the possibility the Eagles won't carry any fullbacks this season and opt to keep an extra running back or tight end. Although Schmitt played in every game after replacing injured Leonard Weaver in the second week of the 2010 season, he only started 10 games and rarely touched the football.
Last season, he rushed for six yards on four carries against the New York Giants in the third game--- and had no carries the rest of the season. He was a solid receiver in 2010, catching 19 passes for 136 yards and a touchdown, but had just three receptions for 32 yards last season.
Schmitt was a terrific lead blocker for running back LeSean McCoy, however, helping him rush for a career-high 1,309 yards, and helped protect quarterback Michael Vick. The Eagles may be confident in their expectation that Schmitt's lead-blocking and pass-pro can be easily replaced... but I hope their metrics are beyond reproach in this category. I believe in Stanle Havili...but he is no Vonta Leach in the blocking scheme, if you know what I mean...
Meanwhile, the Eagles prepare for a full veterans' camp OTA in a few days (May 22)...
Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, right, works against Maurice Fountain as defensive line coach Jim Washburn, left, watches during an NFL football rookie minicamp at their training facility, Saturday, May 12, 2012, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
They had a built-in excuse all last year. No minicamps, no OTAs, no offseason workouts of any kind. The Eagles’ slow start in 2011 was linked to the NFL’s lockout and the elimination of all organized offseason practices in a season in which the Eagles overhauled the roster.
So much change, so little time.
“I think it would have been really hard to be a rookie last year,” Eagles first-round pick Fletcher Cox said. “You’re playing your last game in December and then you’re not doing anything until training camp starts in August, and you’re going right into hitting and then the season starts. It’s definitely a big advantage for us to have a full offseason to help us learn and get ready for training camp.”
The Eagles wrapped up a three-day rookie camp this past Monday with a single practice in the team’s indoor facility. They’ll begin a three-day, full-team camp May 22.
Coach Andy Reid was surprised at how well his new players were able to translate what they learned in meetings into what they did on the field during this past brief rookie camp. “I was happy with the way things worked out,” he said. “It was good to get the rookies out here, give them the reps they were able to get, which was a lot of them. They were able to show some stuff, and I don’t think anyone is leaving here feeling slighted at the number of reps that they got to show."
Following the conclusion of Monday's rookie camp, Reid updated the injury situation for the entire team. When he mentioned LT Jason Peters, Reid said that he was "out indefinitely".
The camp was intended to give rookies and select veterans a head start on the offseason... so that, when the full-team workouts start, they have a chance to keep up with the regulars.
“It’s a good foundation,” Reid said. “We threw a lot at them, and we feel that they digested it pretty well. I thought this was a great introduction that they can build on. When they get together with the veterans, and now they have that extra pressure and everything is moving a little bit faster, at least they have that foundation to build on.”
Reid said second-round pick Mychal Kendricks performed well enough to earn a chance to line up with the starters at strong-side outside linebacker when the full roster reports for next week’s camp. “I’ll tell you that he looked good out here,” Reid said. “He made a lot of plays and got his hands on the ball.”
Reid also revealed that Stanley Havili, a seventh-round draft pick last year, will go into full-team camps as the starting fullback. The coach also said Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman, who started most of last year, will return as the starting safeties ahead of Jaiquawn Jarrett, last year’s second-round pick.
Reid said safety Colt Anderson, linebacker Jamar Chaney and defensive tackle Mike Patterson will sit out all offseason camps, which end June 14. Anderson is coming off December ACL surgery, Chaney had postseason neck surgery, and Patterson underwent surgery in January to repair a brain malformation. Reid said Chaney and Patterson should be fine for training camp. He’s unsure about Anderson.
Tight end Brent Celek (sports hernia), linebacker Moise Fokou (ankle surgery) and center Jason Kelce (foot sprain) should all participate in next week’s camp, although Celek’s work will be limited. Celek played in all 16 games last season, averaging 50.7 yards receiving. He also had five touchdowns as the Eagles wrapped up a disappointing 8-8 season.
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