Five Big-Picture Takeaways from Eagles Preseason Finale vs Jets

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1.) Elite Special Teams >>> Positional, Functional Depth 

Especially in a game where second and third-string players are featured in the team’s primary offensive and defensive sets, the Eagles prioritizing special teams players tends to show up a bit more. The 2014 Eagles were historically good in this phase and look as if they may come close to replicating that effort this season, based on what we’ve seen in preseason play.

One of the caveats of allocating roster spots to the likes of players like: Chris Maragos, Bryan Braman, and Seyi Ajirotutu is taking a bit of a hit when it comes to the Eagles depth at various positions. The aforementioned players, among others, are extremely valuable to the roster. That being said, where they excel in terms of special teams acumen, they tend to come up short in at their listed position. There were multiple instances against the Jets where some of these special teams ‘aces’ had their deficiencies magnified.

It will be interesting to see if this comes into play with Chip Kelly’s roster selections. Players like Raheem Mostert and Rasheed Bailey might be better / more promising at their respective positions than Ajirotutu or Kenjon Barner, but haven’t flashed in the special teams phase. Kelly seems like the type of coach that would prefer to field the most competitive version of his team, in all three phases, on a weekly basis. He has already shown that he will even put starters on special teams in order to maximize their contribution to the game. This will likely continue to influence personnel decisions going forward.