Week Two – Eagles potential Practice Squad call ups

Let’s try this again. After a downright disastrous set of predictions in Week One, let’s reset the table and attempt to predict who the Philadelphia Eagles could call up to the active roster for Week Two.

The Eagles announced on Tuesday that they will protect four players from being signed off the Practice Squad ahead of their Home Opener against the Rams. Those players are: Deontay Burnett, Joe Ostman, Trevor Williams and T. Y. McGill. Below I’ll examine a couple players who could be plucked from the PS, and inserted into the 55 man roster for Week Two.


Trevor WilliamsCornerback

The story of Trevor Williams with the Eagles is an odd one. Cut three separate times, now all of a sudden a protected PS player. A former starter for the Chargers, Williams brings some much needed size to the Cornerback position.

Williams should be a call up with the news that Craig James has landed on IR after a Thigh injury suffered in Week Ones loss to The Washington Football Team. It would surprise me a bit if he isn’t called up, as that would leave the Eagles with only four corners heading into this weeks game. If nothing else, Williams could slide in and play a role on special teams this week.

(Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY)

T. Y. McGillDefensive Tackle

McGill played in week one after being one of two Practice Squad calls ups. Given that high priced free agent acquisition Javon Hargrave has not practiced until yesterday, his status should still be considered “up in the air” at this point.

McGill would provide depth as the 4th DT. In Week One, McGill registered a half sack on Dwayne Haskins in the 4th quarter. Look out for McGill go get the call up once again as the Eagles remain steadfast in the idea of having a plethora of DT and DE talent on the roster.

(INDIANAPOLIS, IN – AUGUST 31: Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle T.Y. McGill (99) on the field during the NFL preseason game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Indianapolis Colts on August 31, 2017, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

DARK HORSE

Joe OstmanDefensive End

My dark horse for this week is another player along the defensive front. Joe Ostman was another protected PS player this week. He did not get the call up last week, as the above mentioned T. Y. McGill was called up instead. Things have changed in a weeks time regarding the Defensive End position which could favor a call up for Ostman this week.

Offseason free agent signing Vinny Curry been placed on IR due to a hamstring injury, and veteran Brandon Graham only returning to practice on Thursday after being placed in the concussion protocol. The Eagles would head into its second game of the season with only Josh Sweat, Genard Avery, Casey Toohill as backups anchoring the edges of the defensive line. We know Jim Schwarz loves to sub guys out and I cannot see how they would be able to effectively do that given the current depth of players at DE.

Everyone in the Eagles organization seems to love Joe Ostman. Let’s wait and see if his number gets called before Saturday at 4pm for one of two Practice Squad call ups.

(Credit: DAVID MAIALETTI / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER via The Philadelphia Inquirer)

Eagle Photo Credit

(Credit: PHILADELPHIA, PA – DECEMBER 22: Stadium View of the locker room entrance during the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagle on December 22, 2019, at Lincoln Financial Filed in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Next Head Coach of the DC Defenders could be…

The DC Defenders of the XFL showcased its passion for the game of football during the 2020 campaign. The team was lead by Pep Hamilton, a former NFL coach for teams such as the Jets, Bears and Colts. Following the announcement that the XFL would be suspending its season due to COVID-19, players and coaches alike were headed to the NFL. Hamilton accepted a job as the Quarterbacks Coach for the Los Angeles Chargers.

DC ended its 2020, COVID shortened season with a 3-2 record. The Defenders shared three-way tie for first place in the East Division, along with the New York Guardians and St. Louis BattleHawks. After the first two weeks of the season, many saw DC as a top dog in the race for the XFLs championship. They cooled off quite a bit over its next three, but first place is first place.

The Defenders must now conduct a search for someone to fill the void left by Hamilton. Below I examine a few highly sought after coaches who could make a splash in the Spring Football world and take over the reigns in DC.

(Credit: Getty Images)

WADE PHILLIPS

NFL HEAD COACHING RECORD – 83-69 (Including Playoffs)

Wade Phillips would be a sweet XFL Coach. A bleep ton of coaching experience, and a knack for defensive football. Phillips could bring a new level of legitimacy to the league. Plus, a defensive minded coach leading a team of “Defenders”? What more could you ask for!

Phillips has been coaching for nearly forty years. Seven of those years have seen Phillips as a head coach, and that does not count multiple instances of becoming an interim head coach within an NFL season. All in all, he has been a head coach for six NFL teams. Wade Phillips has had several Defensive Players of the year on his squads, including J. J. Watt and Aaron Donald. Most recently coaching the LA Rams in 2019, Phillips saw his defense reach the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots.

(Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips of the Denver Broncos waits on the field before their game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on Aug. 22, 2015 in Houston, Texas.
Credit: Getty Images)

STEVE SPURRIER

COLLEGIATE COACHING RECORD – 228-89-2

Why not bring in the Head Ball Coach to the XFL? Steve Spurrier is another household name in the coaching world. Spurrier is a Hall of Fame level coach, literally. Inducted in 2017 as a coach, and 1986 as a player, Spurrier can flat out get it done.

A mainstay in the College Football world, Spurrier has also dabbled in Spring Football. First, he coached in the USFL from 1983-85 with the Tampa Bay Bandits. Fast forward a mere 25 years and you arrive at Spurrier’s second go at Spring football with the AAF. He led the Orlando Apollos to a league best 7-1 record and also took home the title of 2019 AAF champions.

Rumblings around the XFL news world have slated Spurrier headed to the XFL in some form or fashion. This will be intriguing to keep an eye on as we approach the XFL 3.0, even if it does not end up being with the Defenders.

(Credit: Photo courtesy of Alliance of American Football)

MIKE MCCOY

NFL HEAD COACHING RECORD – 28-38 (Including playoffs)

I think a guy like Mike McCoy would be a great XFL Head coach. The up-tempo style plays right into McCoy’s offensive background. A longtime assistant coach in the NFL specializing in QB coach or Offensive Coordinator positions, McCoy would bring a wealth of knowledge to the league. McCoy coached the then San Diego Chargers for four seasons, going 9-7 in each of his first two seasons.

DC could use a coach like McCoy, who is similar to Pep Hamilton in that they both have extensive knowledge of the Quarterback position. This would do wonders for McCoy’s coaching career and might even get him back to the NFL someday.

(Credit: Photo by Norm Hall / Getty Images)

As the XFL season approaches with many unknowns, DC does not have a head coach. The departure of Pep Hamilton leaves a vacancy which should be in high demand. For the above mentioned coaches, the Defenders boast a rabid fan base and a team that, in theory, returns every player from its 2020 season. I personally cannot wait to see where the DC Head coaching search takes them. If you’re an XFL fan like myself, strap on that chin strap and enjoy the ride!

DC Photo Credit

(Credit: Thomas Campbell / XFL)

Spring Football Works and the XFL is Proof

With Week One games starting in just a few hours, and fans chomping at the bit for NFL action, let me remind everyone that Spring Football works and is here to stay. Below I examine the four XFL players who made active NFL rosters.

All in all, 17 XFL players are signed to NFL rosters. The 4 on game day rosters along with the 13 others being on practice squads around the league. Although “XFL 2.0” only lasted 5 short weeks, it has given some of its best players a chance to play in the National Football League. Let’s get started, shall we?


P.J. WalkerHouston Roughnecks

If you watched the XFL, you know exactly who P. J. Walker is. Especially if he just so happened to be playing your favorite team during the five games the XFL was operating. Walker absolutely torched the league for a stat line of 1,338 passing yards and 15 Passing TDs (both league highs). Pair that with 5-0 record, Walker dominated in 2020. Roughnecks head coach June Jones knew exactly how to work with Walker and it turned him into the unofficial MVP of the XFL in 2020.

Now Walker sets his sights on an even bigger task, competing for the backup quarterback job in Carolina. The Panthers have a new QB heading into the 2020 season with Teddy Bridgewater. As of today, Walker is listed as the 2nd string QB along with rookie Will Grier. Walker showed that he is ready for stardom and the pressures of being a starting caliber Quarterback if need be.

(Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)

Donald ParhamDallas Renegades

Donald Parham was far and away the best Tight End in the XFL in 2020. He racked up 24 receptions, 307 yards and 4 touchdowns in 5 games. He was actually 3rd in receiving yards in all of the XFL, and first among TEs in each category mentioned above. Parham has Prototypical height for TE in NFL at 6’8”.

Parham will have an uphill climb when it comes to playing time with the Chargers. As it stands, he is listed as the fourth TE behind the likes of Hunter Henry, Virgil Green and Steven Anderson.

(Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY)

Storm NortonLA Wildcats

Storm Norton was the anchor along the LA Wildcats offensive line in 2020. PFF named Norton the highest graded Offensive Linemen in the XFL, including a 82.6 grade against the run. Norton even got a shoutout on Twitter by new owner of the XFL, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

(Via @TheRock on Twitter)

Norton signed a two year, 1.5 Million dollar contract to be the Backup RT behind veteran Bryan Bulaga for the LA Chargers. He’s also the perfect candidate for “swing tackle” along the O-Line. As we look ahead to Sunday, Norton might actually get his first career NFL start if Bulaga is unable to go week 1.

(Credit: Getty Images)

Colin ThompsonTampa Bay Vipers

Here’s a story of true perseverance. Thompson played TE for the Tampa Bay Vipers and was primarily used as a 2nd TE / Blocker in the XFL. After the 2020 XFL season was suspended, Thompson signed with the Carolina Panthers. He was cut during roster trimming back in late August. A sour ending to what looked to be a feel-good story. Thankfully the story doesn’t quite end here.

Thompson was signed back two days later and has secured a spot as the 3rd TE behind Ian Thomas and Chris Manhertz. One would think Thompson will be used as a blocking TE in what looks to be a run heavy offense.

(Credit: Andrew J Kramer/CSM/Shutterstock Copyright: Copyright (c) 2020 Shutterstock)

The much anticipated 2020 NFL Season kicks off today. Thinking back to March when the XFL suspended its campaign, many players saw hopes and dreams shattered. For the four aforementioned athletes in this article, those hopes and dreams remain very much within reach. For the 17 XFL stars who are now employed by the NFL, a lifetime of hard work and dedication have all boiled down to tomorrow. This looks be the beginning of a trend that will become the new normal. Spring football showcasing top tier talent with the idea that a select few belong in the NFL. I look forward to the journey of these players and how it all shakes out.

Beer Snake Photo Credit:

(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)

Eagles play Roster Roulette ahead of Week One

Miles Sanders and Derek Barnett out, Sua Opeta and T. Y. McGill in.

The Eagles announced a slew of roster moves a day ahead its Week One showdown with the Washington Football Team.

Miles Sanders – OUT

Miles Sanders has battled hamstring strains in the past and it looks as if he will miss the season opener with that all too familiar injury. Sanders has not been a full participant in practice in quite some time. He has been officially downgraded to out for this weeks game again the Washington Football Team.

Look for Boston Scott and Corey Clement to carry the load. As well as newly signed RB Jason Huntley to round out the group. The highly skilled front seven that Washington possesses will make for quite the challenge for these Runningbacks.

(Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports)

Derek Barnett – OUT

Barnett has also been dealing with a hamstring injury, and has now officially been placed out for Week One. Barnett will need to wait at least a week to get on the field for his first action in 2020.

The Eagles signed back Vinny Curry for an exact situation like this one. He should get the start in Barnett’s absence. Other DEs include Josh Sweat, Genard Avery and Casey Toohill.

(Credit: Matt Rourke / The Associated Press)

SUA OPETA – PS CALL UP

Opeta is a familiar face in Philadelphia as he was with the team last season. Opeta looks to provide solid backup Guard depth. With the news that Jason Peters is sliding back to LT, and Lane Johnson not being 100%, adding another OL makes a ton of sense. Another team showed interest in Opeta last season, so it is great to still have him as an Eagle.


T. Y. McGill – PS CALL UP

Another familiar face is Defensive Tackle T. Y. McGill. This move is another one that is somewhat expected. With offseason acquisition Javon Hargrave’s status up in the air, adding another DT is the right move here.

McGill knows the 4-3, wide nine scheme that Jim Schwarz runs and can provide some extra depth, especially when you consider the Eagles like to sub out their pass rushers quite a bit.

(Credit – Joe Robbins / Getty Images)

Carson Wentz #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles in the huddle during a game against the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 18, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Saints defeated the Eagles 48-7. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Potential Practice Squad calls up for Week One – Philadelphia Eagles

The NFL has implemented a new rule this season that clubs can add two additional players on game day rosters each week. Philadelphia announced yesterday that it has protected four players from being claimed by other teams. Those four being Trevor Williams, Deontay Burnett, Sua Opeta and Joe Ostman. All signs point to two of these players getting the call up come Week one. Below we examine the two players that make the most sense:

Deontay Burnett – Wide Receiver

The Eagles only carry 4 healthy WRs into week one. First round pick Jalen Raegor is battling a shoulder injury which makes his status unknown. Quez Watkins is on IR, and Let’s not forget that while Alshon Jeffery is on the active roster, he is still recovering from a Lisfranc injury and has not practiced yet this offseason. That leaves just Desean Jackson, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Greg Ward and John Hightower to catch passes this week. Burnett played for the Eagles last season and knows the offense. Not to mention, Burnett has had an above average offseason showing flashes of tremendous athletic ability. With the Washington Football Team having a depleted secondary, look for Burnett to get the call. So long as the receiver position looks the same come Sunday.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – DECEMBER 29: Wide Receiver Deontay Burnett #16 of the Philadelphia Eagles warms up against the New York Giants in the rain in the first half at MetLife Stadium on December 29, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images)

Joe Ostman – Defensive End

With Derek Barnett and Javon Hargrove both being banged up heading into week one, Ostman could be primed for a spot on the “55”. With another DE in Vinny Curry having the ability to slide inside and play DT, it could open up a limited role for an additional Defensive End. Look for Ostman to be a potential practice squad call up between now and Sunday at 1PM. Having the ability to call up two players on game day this season will loom huge for players like Ostman.

CLEVELAND, OH – AUGUST 23, 2018: Defensive end Joe Ostman #95 of the Philadelphia Eagles warms up prior to a preseason game against the Cleveland Browns on August 23, 2018 at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland won 5-0. (Photo by: 2018 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images)

DARK HORSE

Elijah Holyfield – Running Back

Holyfield is the sleeper call up for this week. With Miles Sanders nursing a hamstring injury, and his status for game one unknown at this time, look for another RB to be signed off the Practice Squad. If Sanders cannot go, or has a carries limit, Holyfield could prove to be the big-bodied back Philly is looking for. Someone will have to gain the tough yardage if the Eagles are up in the 4th quarter. Guys like Boston Scott and Corey Clement are great in space, but don’t have the stature to be a bruiser if need be. Watch out for a potential shocker this week, as the Eagles carry three running backs on the practice squad, with Holyfield being the most experienced of the three.

(Matt Rourke / Associated Press)

All NFL teams are permitted to use this new rule for the 2020 season. It gives clubs more flexibility with the COVID-19 pandemic still lurking.

Something of note to add regarding the rule. A player may only be used in the “2 players in” scenario just twice this season.

The Eagles will certainly have to figure out who to call up on game day as the team has had its share of nagging injuries during this shortened preseason. Let’s wait and see what roster moves are made as we head into a much anticipated week One.