Mikal Bridges, Ted Williams, And More Birthday’s in Today’s Vault
All week long, Ray “Dickie” Dunn is filling in for Andrew Salciunas. Which means the Vault rivalry continues, as Ray tries to outdo what Andrew usually brings to the Vault. Every day on The Anthony Gargano Show, they play some throwback audio that is relevant to the day. And today that meant honoring some notable Birthdays, including Ted Williams, Mikal Bridges, and Tug McGraw.
Here is the lineup from the Audio Vault today:
- Happy Birthday Ted Williams
- Walk Off Hr in the 1941 All-Star Game
- Ted Willaims Goes 6-8 in Double Header to Keep Batting Average Over .400
- Happy Birthday Mikal Bridges
- Post-Draft Interview Before He is Traded From Sixers
- Bridges Tells The Story Of Getting Traded By The Sixers
- His Reaction to Being Traded for Kevin Durant
- Happy Birthday Tug McGraw
- McGraw Interview After Phillies Win 1980 World Series
- McGraw’s Message For New York at the Phillies Parade
You can listen to the full Audio Vault below:
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Meet The 53-Man Roster For Your 2023-2024 Eagles
*Updated With The Latest Eagles Moves*
Just a few weeks into the season, we have already seen the Eagles’ 53-man roster go through some changes. People have been injured. Guys have been promoted from the practice squad. Which is typical for an NFL. The 53-Man Roster in week 1 is never the 53-Man Roster by the end of the season. For all the reasons we mentioned.
For the Eagles, they have seen two starters already suffer major injuries. First, it was Nakobe Dean, who is currently on the IR. He has to miss at least two more games after going onto the Injured reserve after week 1. Then in week 2 Avonte Maddox tore his Pectoral Muscle, meaning he will miss the season. So that is two changes just to start. They brought Nicholas Morrow up, who has actually played well for Dean.
The Eagles also still do not have a punter on their 53-man roster. They started the season with Arryn Siposs on their practice squad. For two weeks they activated him every gameday, to save a spot on the roster. But after seeing two games, they had enough. They signed Braden Mann to the Practice Squad instead. But he only has two more games left where they can activate him off the Practice Squad, and then they will either have to move him to the 53-man Roster, or sign another punter to the Practice Squad.
They were doing the same thing with Britain Covey. But unlike Siposs, he played well enough to earn a spot on the 53-Man roster. They promoted him to take Avonte Maddox’s spot after Maddox went onto the season-ending IR.
But who else is on the roster? Let’s take a look at your 2023-2024 Philadelphia Eagles:
Hurts is off to a slow start by his standards. But he has gotten better every week, and still has his team at 3-0. So it is hard to complain too much. Still you would like to see him break out soon.
Despite some struggles in pre-Season, Marcus Mariota is still your primary backup QB. We have seen him win games in the NFL before, even last year with a bad Falcons team. Were he your starter, it would be cause for concern. But as a backup, you could do a lot worse.
Tanner McKee was one of the darlings of Eagles training camp. He was not perfect in the 3 pre-season games, but the arm talent was evident. He will likely serve as the emergency QB this season, and have a chance to be the primary backup next year.
A.J. Brown is one of the Eagles WR1s. And as we have learned this week, dont try to make it a competition between him and Devonta Smith, he is not going to put up with that,. They are both great, and make one of the best WR Duos in the league.
And then the other WR 1 is Devonta Smith. Perhaps the perfect compliment to A.J. brown. A.J. Brown has the size, is Devonta has the finesse. He made a habit of crazy acrobatic catches last year, and may be better than any WR at getting his feet down on sideline catches.
Quez Watkins had some competition for the slot WR job this camp after the Eagles signed Olamide Zacchaeus. And while Zacchaeus looked good too, Watkins seems to have played well enough to hold onto his job, even if he will still lose some targets with Zacchaeus on the team.
Olamide Zaccheaus was quiet in the first two games, but blew up in week 3 for a long TD. He was a productive player for the Falcons last year, and could be a decent option for the Eagles too. Especially considering he is the 5th, maybe 6th best option they have.
Covey is not going to see the field on offense much, if at all, this season. But he is pretty much locked in as the KR/PR specialist. While he did not flash with many big returns last year, he caught the ball every time. And with the Eagles offense being so dangerous, that is likely all they are looking for. No one else in camp really stood out as a return specialist, so Covey holds onto the job for another year.
Swift had taken the reigns of the RB room, and ran away with it. He barley touched the ball in week 1. But a Gainwell injury opened the door, and he made Gainwell into Wally Pip. Two straight games with over 100 yards, and he is averaging 6.8 yards per carry. Hand the ball to Swift, and let him go.
Gainwell came into the season as the lead guy. but he has quickly been overshadowed by Swift. He has done a fine job when in there. But it is clear the Eagles need to be relying on Swift more than Gainwell.
Penny has not gotten much run so far. Even with Gainwell being out week 2, and Scott in week 3. it is clear he is the 4th guy on the roster. And when everyone is healthy, its likely he is inactive. They may have even less trust in him after that bad missed block that took a TD off the board vs the Vikings.
The Giant Killer is back. Boston Scott is clearly the low man on the totem pole here. But he has been a reliable backup for the Eagles for several years now. That goes double when they play the Giants. he also has some kick return experience.
Goedert has been one of the best Tight ends for a couple seasons now. Injuries keep his numbers from showing it, but if you look game to game he is pretty much always productive, and is one of the best TEs after the catch period. Putting him next to A.J. Brown and Devonta Smith, gives the Eagles one of the best pass catching trios in the NFL.
Calcaterra has some decent upside as a pass catching TE. We didn't see much of him last season, but what we did see showed his potential. is he ready to step in as TE 1 if Goedert gets hurt? That is not clear, hopefully we wont have to find out.
Stoll has not been much of a pass catcher in his time with the Eagles. But he is a reliable blocker, and usually teams like to have one of their backup TEs be a blocking specialist. So he makes the roster again, in that role.
Just before the deadline, Howie made a trade. he traded a 6th round pick for Albert Okwuegbunam and a 7th round pick. And obviously if you trade for a guy, he is going to make the team. Albert O, as they called him in Denver has not been super productive to this point in his career, 546 yards and 4 TDs in 3 seasons, but as far as backups go, you could do a lot worse. He is a former 4th round pick. By the way, it is pronounced Ow-Koo- Way-Boo-Naam
Mailata went from a guy who never played Football, to a Start Left Tackle, and a damn good one, in just a few years. His story is still one of the coolest in the sport, and he continues to get better. He also has an amazing voice for what it is worth.
The main knock on Dickerson coming out of Alabama was if he could stay healthy. A couple seasons into his career, he has mostly stayed healthy. He had small injuries here and there, but nothing significant. And he has tuned into a top 10 LG, with the potential to be even better. He and Mailata should be manning the Left Side of the Eagles line for a while.
Jason Kelce is an Eagles legend. This will likely be his final year though. After making the all-pro team 5 times, winning the only Super Bowl in Eagles history, and changing the way Center is played, he has more than left his mark on the NFL. One day he will walk into the Hall of Fame. For now, he remains you starting Center.
Cam Jurgens was expected to compete with Tyler Steen for the RG job. It was clear from the start of camp there was never really a roster battle at all. The Eagles came in with absolute faith in Jurgens as the starter. He will likely replace Jason Kelce once he retires, but for now, he is your starting RG.
Tyler Steen did not get a chance to compete for the RG spot. But he still looked very good in camp. And he could be the main backup at not just RG, but maybe even LT given his history of playing there in College, and the Eagles lack of options after Andre Dillard left this off-season.
Jack Driscoll has been a dependable backup for the Eagles for years now. Could he be a starter? That is not known. But it is hard to ask more from a backup. Plus he can play both tackle and guard.
Fred Johnson is one of the first shocks to make the roster. but the Eagles made it clear they would keep him when they cut him, and then signed him to a reworked deal. He replaces the role Dennis Kelly would have had if he made the team, which is Swing Tackle. It would be interesting to see who replaced Mailata at LT if he gets hurt, but Johnson could be in that mix.
Like Driscoll, Sua Opeta has been a solid backup for the Eagles for a few years now. He does not have the same inside outside versatility Driscoll does, and is mostly just a guard, But he has been reliable in that role when called upon.
Fletcher Cox is one of the longest standing Eagles players, with only Brandon Graham and Jason Kelce having more seniority. His role may not be quite as big this year, given how much depth the Eagles have at DT, but that may be what is best for Cox too. In a smaller role last year, we saw him stay fresher, and wind up with 6 sacks. And hies role as a leader on this team, especially with young guys like Jalen Carter and Jordan Davis around is invaluable.
Davis did not have a huge role his rookie year. He got hurt, and while hurt the Eagles brought in another NT in Linval Joseph that took a lot of playing time away from him. But the eagles gave him a big role to start this season, and he is rewarding them. Davis has been a different player to start the season. Blowing up every run play, and even causing havoc as a pass rusher.
Carter has met expectations these first 3 weeks, and more so. He has 15 pressures through 3 games. Only one DT has more. No rookie DT has had more this quickly in over a decade. And when he is not pressuring the QB, he is causing fumbles. Having Carter and Davis for at least the next 4 years is going to be fun.
Milton Williams was the Eagles 3rd round pick in 2021. He had 2 sacks his rookie year, and 4 last year, despite a limited role. His role could still be limited a bit this year, with it being such a deep DT room, but he has been solid, though not spectacular, when asked to fill in.
A 7th round pick out of Texas, the Eagles liked what they saw out of him before a scary injury ion the 2nd pre-season game. He luckily seemed to avoid a major injury, despite being carted off the field. With such a deep DT room, it is unclear what his role will be, but the Eagles like him enough to stow him on the roster.
Injuries and a great DT room have kept him off the field for the most part, but every single Training Camp, Marlon Tuipulotu is one of the stars and secures a job. That was no different this year. Tuipulotu is as solid as they come, and someone the Eagles would trust to step in if there was any injury to one of their main DTs. And he should get some work spelling Jordan Davis at NT here and there.
Kentavius Street was by no means a lock to make it by the end of camp. But with a lot of youth along the line, the Eagles preferred to keep a Vet like him around. He is not getting much playing time yet, but he provides a veteran presence.
Haason Reddick was a star his first year here. 16 sacks in the regular season, 3.5 more in the playoffs, and 5 forced fumbles between the regular season and playoffs. That gives him 3 straight seasons with double digits sacks. He will likely contend for the league lead in sacks again this year, despite an even deeper rotation at Edge Rusher.
Brandon Graham had his first season with double digit sacks last year. That despite playing the fewest snaps in a long time, and coming off a torn Achilles. The fewer snaps benefited him by keeping him fresher through the season. He returned this season on a one-year deal, and we will see if he can follow that up with a second season of 10+ sacks.
Josh Sweat also had his first season with double digit sacks last season. 11 total, beating his prior career high of 7.5 from the prior season. In fact, his sack numbers have gone up every single season. That may be hard this season with Nolan Smith joining the rotation, but don't be surprised if he gets double digits again.
Even though the eagles had 3 edge rushers with 10+ sacks last year, they still felt the need to add another guy when Nolan Smith feel to them at the end of the 1st round. And he definitely has that potential. He may be smaller than the average edge rusher, but he is fast. There is a reason he is drawing comparisons to teammate Haason Reddick. Could they be the first team with 4 edges rushers to have 10+ sacks? Nolan Smith certainly has that ceiling.
The Eagles are letting Derek Barnett pursue a trade. Even if the Eagles get nothing back, a trade would benefit both sides. Eagles get him off the books and clear a roster spot, and Barnett would get a fresh start on a team with a role for him. But for now, he is stuck here, and the Eagles are stuck with him. There is not likely any role for him here, given the depth at Edge.
There is no role for Johnson on the defense. But there is a role for him on Special Teams, and with so many injuries to their special teams aces, that is why Patrick Johnson sticks around despite there being no playing time for him at Edge.
Nakobe Dean has been the one sure thing for the Eagles at Linebacker. While a long list of other guys have had chances as starting LB, he has had the other spot locked down. And he has looked very good in that role. We will see if that carries over to the regular season, but there is reason for optimism given how dominant he was at Georgia. And Brian Dawkins singled him out as a guy he is excited to watch play when he took the stage at Fan Fest.
Cunningham was not on the roster 4 weeks ago. Now he is probably your other starting Linebacker. He looked better than anyone next to Nakobe Dean at LB in the pre-season. He is a vet who has been a solid starter for years now, including for the Titans and Steelers.
He did not come into camp on many peoples radar, but he left it on a lot of peoples radar. Elliss was all over the place, in a good way. And even if he does not see much time at LB, he should play a big role for their Special Teams unit with both Shaun Bradley and Zech McPhearson out for the year.
For a moment this offseason, it felt like Darius Slay's time in Philly was over. But thankfully for all sides, he stuck around on a new deal. Slay was part of an elite duo at CB last year. And while his age is a concern long term, he should still be among the best corners in the league this season.
There is an argument to be made that James Bradberry was the best CB in the league last year. He had the lowest QB rating when targeted in the league. The true definition of a shutdown corner. Everyone assumed he would walk in Free Agency. So when he resigned with the Eagles, it was a very pleasant surprise.
Last season, Josh Jobe came into camp and won a job, but not a real role, as a UDFA. This offseason, he came in and established himself as the main backup at outside corner. When Bradberry was banged up, it was Jobe who took his spot, and looked pretty good doing it.
Kelee Ringo has not looked great in camp. But we have seen flashes of why he was a 4th round pick. He has great size and speed, he just needs to apply it better, And like Jobe spent a season learning last year, that could be Ringo this year.
When the Eagles signed Eli Ricks as a UDFA, they may have pictured him on their practice squad. But he played so well in camp, he forced their hands to keep him around, because he may not have made it through waivers if they tried to put him on the practice squad.
If Zech McPhearson were healthy, Goodrich likely would not have had a spot. But with him going down, leaving the Eagles without a backup for Avonte Maddox, he was the best option for that job. He spent last year on the Eagles practice squad after being signed as a UDFA out of Clemson.
Reed Blankenship quickly established himself as one of the starting Safeties. To the point he joined all of the other starters on the bench in every pre-season game. He looked solid when filling in for CJ Gardner Johnson last year, and will have a chance to build on that this season.
Eventually, Brown will be one of the starting Safeties. it sounds like the Eagles want him to get seasoning before he jumps into that role though. But it is very easy to be excited about him. He is all over the field, seemingly involved in every tackle. And when a Safety comes out and says he wants to be feared, you know Eagles fans will fall in love with him.
Not only did Evan make the roster out of camp, but early on he has been the starter, with mixed results. He had some good plays. But he has also gotten beat a few times. His playing time might be in danger as the season goes on.
Since joining the Eagles the year they won the Super Bowl, Elliott has been one of the most consistent Eagles period. There are few guys as good as him at Field Goals of 50 or more yards. And he proved that in the final pre-season game nailing a 59 yarder.
Do you ever hear about the Eagles having a bad snap on a kick or punt? No. That is why Rick Lovato has such great job security. Like Jon Dorenbos before him, you can count of Lovato to be perfect nearly every time he is called upon.