With Jeremy Maclin on the mend with a hip injury, the Eagles added some reinforcements at wide receiver in the form of Mardy Gilyard. Gilyard stood out for the Eagles in the preseason with nine catches for 151 yards and two touchdowns before he was released in the final roster cutdown. To make room for Gilyard on the roster, the Eagles released 2011 second-round draft pick Jaiquawn Jarrett, who was one of three safeties to dress for the Eagles in the season opener.
A fourth-round pick of the St. Louis Rams in 2010, Gilyard, 6-0, 187, had six catches for 63 yards as a rookie, but he was released by the Rams prior to the 2011 season. On the eve of this year's roster cutdowns, following a game in which he caught another touchdown pass, a reflective Gilyard provided some interesting insight into why he loved, and will continue to enjoy, playing with the Eagles.
"I've never been around a team like this that's so team oriented," Gilyard said. "There's no groups. Some teams you'll have the O-line hang out and then the D-line might hang out with each other, the (defensive backs), so on and so forth. But here, you've got wide receivers are over there with the offensive linemen, the offensive linemen are over hanging it with the linebackers. We're all kicking it, guys go out together and that's big. When you don't have any segregation throughout the locker room anywhere ... position-wise, that's the beautiful thing that I've seen here and not on other teams. And guys I've talked to on other teams, they don't have that, what we have here."
Gilyard also provided a scouting report on what he brings to the table for an already talented group of wide receivers.
"I think I showed ... pretty much a guy that can stretch the field, be explosive, deep threat guy," Gilyard said. "A guy that doesn't drop many passes, a sure-handed guy. Just a guy that you can bring in and help in different things, whether it's special teams, playing outside front side or outside back side, things of that sort.
"These guys are dangerous here. DeSean (Jackson), (Jeremy) Maclin, Jason (Avant) in the slot, I don't think anyone in the league runs routes better than Jason. On the other end of things you have all the other guys, we're stacked man. You got (DeSean), who's gone to the Pro Bowl. You've got Jeremy, who can catch a hitch and take it to the crib. Jason, he can break down any nickel in the league and get open ... When you've got weapons like that that can stretch the field, it's kind of hard to deal with that stuff."
Jarrett, meanwhile, played in 13 games for the Eagles over the past two seasons, including two starts. He played extensively on special teams in the season opener but accumulated only three special teams production points. Jarrett's departure leaves David Sims, acquired via trade from the Cleveland Browns, and Colt Anderson as the only backup safeties on the roster behind Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman. Anderson has been rehabbing a torn ACL throughout the offseason and returned to practice as a full participant last week.
The Eagles also made a roster move on the practice squad, adding tight end Derek Carrier, a rookie out of Beloit College, and releasing tight end Chase Ford, who spent Training Camp with the team.
Carrier (6-4, 238) originally signed with the Oakland Raiders as a rookie free agent following the 2012 draft after playing collegiately at Beloit College in Wisconsin, where he set school records with 189 receptions for 3,111 yards and 29 touchdowns. He was released as part of the Raiders final roster cut down. Carrier also played two years of basketball at Beloit, starting 21 games and averaging 8.3 points per game. He attended Edgerton High School in Wisconsin.
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