In a move that further underscores the team’s decision to bring Riley Cooper back after only a four-day whatever-it-was, the Philadelphia Eagles have tried to improve their lot at wideout by sliding one of their seven tight ends to the position.
As explained by Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com, tight end Clay Harbor took some snaps at receiver during Sunday’s practice.
“We’ve got seven tight ends, and he already knows how to play inside because all the tight ends know how to play the slot,” coach Chip Kelly told reporters. “He had three big catches for us Friday night. He’s probably the fastest of the tight ends. Until, really, there’s some cut downs and there’s some guys available, we think that the best route for us is the guys we have.”
In other words, the Eagles actively are looking for help at receiver. They just have found anything they like on the open market.
“So if we can cross-train Clay a little bit and get him to play outside receiver now — we believe he knows how to play inside and understands all our route concepts — so it’s just a matter of the more versatile you can be the better impact you can make,” Kelly said.
Harbor’s versatility was on display during the offseason, when he played some linebacker. With only 53 spots on the roster, the more a guy can do enhances his chances of sticking with the team.
Harbor’s receiver experiment apparently will continue beyond practice.
“We’ll try to get him some reps this week so he can feel comfortable, and hopefully we can get him in a game out there,” Kelly said.
So, basically, a team that needs receivers bad enough to move a tight end to the position can’t afford to run off one of their best receivers. Right or wrong, the Eagles needed Riley Cooper. And, so far, the issue that precipitated his four-day whatever-it-was has largely died down.