Philadelphia Eagles News

How Will Depth At Safety Round Out?

For the second straight season, the Eagles will start a rookie at free safety in second-round pick Nate Allen.

Certainly, the situation is much different than last year as Allen was the starter entering training camp and proved to clearly be the right man for the job.

Another rookie, strong safety Kurt Coleman, appeared to solidify his roster spot with a historic performance Thursday night in the preseason finale as he returned two fumbles for touchdowns. That has only happened once in a regular season game and that was back in 1948.

Of course, the Eagles have Pro Bowl strong safety Quintin Mikell in place. But what about the two other veteran safeties on the roster in Quintin Demps and Macho Harris. Will the Eagles keep both as the roster cuts are due by 6 PM today? Harris was the starter at free safety to open last season after a stellar college career as a cornerback at Virginia Tech. Demps was in line to be the starter last season after earning playing time on the defense as a rookie in 2008.

"You have to wait and hear for what's next from the coaches. You can't put it into words," Harris said. "You can't control it at all and you can't get stressed out about the stuff you can't control. You just leave it in God's hands."

Harris was expected to compete at cornerback in training camp, but a hamstring injury and the emergence of rookie Trevard Lindley facilitated a last-minute switch back to safety.

"It's something difficult, because after not being out there and other people are out there picking up their speed with running and stuff like that," Harris said. "When you take time off and come back it's like a shot. This is our line of duty. We get paid for this; we're doing our job and just have fun with it."

Harris does provide that ability to not only play safety, but line up as a slot corner if needed. Demps also brings more to the table than just the ability to play safety. If Demps makes the final roster, he could very well be your opening day kickoff returner.

"It's no secret, the more you can do in this league the better," said Demps, who returned a kickoff for a touchdown in his rookie season.

As the clock ticks closer to 6 PM, both of these players are confident. Both believe that they have given all they can. Now, it's just a matter of waiting on something that is not within your control.

"I'm going to spend time with my kids over these next couple days and get ready for Green Bay," Demps said. "Of course, you're going to think about some stuff and what's going to happen. At the same time, you can't control it. All you can do is go out there and give it your best and let the cards fall where they may."

-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 11:10 a.m., September 4

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