The Philadelphia Eagles let go of former starting LB Brian Rolle on Tuesday and promoted LB Adrian Moten to their 53-man active roster. Moten was originally signed by the Eagles this off-season, but failed to survive the final cut.
It appears Rolle’s departure was due in large part to the Eagles’ kickoff return unit getting absolutely gashed by New York Giants’ rookie KR David Wilson on Sunday night.
Wilson racked up 217 return yards on just 6 kickoff returns, including a long of 53 yards. That is an average of over 36 yards per returned which is just absurd. When watching Sunday’s game, there was an overwhelming sense of fear at the Linc every time Eagles’ K Alex Henery approached the tee.
The Eagles’ special teams appeared to be uninterested and over-matched.
Rolle seemed to be one of the large, obvious holes in this ailing coverage crew and reportedly even admitted that he was “not used to special teams.” The actual problem was that he showed no real desire to improve or familiarize himself with his special teams role.
To me it looked like after starting 13 regular season games for the Eagles last season, Rolle felt some sense of entitlement. It was like he was too good to play on special teams and therefore refused to put in the work necessary in order to get better. This attitude proved to be oh-so costly as Rolle got axed from the team just one year removed from his starting role.
The attitude of Eagles’ new addition, Moten, couldn’t be more different.
Moten is one of those players who consider himself blessed to even be on an NFL roster. He embraces his role on special teams and takes the steps necessary to help his team in any way that he can.
Moten’s self-proclaimed philosophy is very simple. “Not my man,” he says.
This means that any time Moten is on the field, he can’t let it be the man he’s assigned to cover that makes the big play. The motto is very direct and also very effective. Instead of just running down the field like a chicken with its head cut off, have a plan and have a simple goal on every play.
Moten looks to fill the void in kickoff coverage that ex-Eagle Rolle made very apparent. Special teams play is constantly overlooked by fans and analysts alike, but it can easily be the most important factor in a team winning or losing on any given Sunday.
While the Eagles don’t really need much help in their starting line-backing corps, Moten can still greatly contribute as an aggressive and effective special teams player.
I look for Moten to make an immediate positive impact on the Eagles’ kickoff coverage. But then again, it really can’t get much worse.
Please follow me on Twitter @JoeD_Rant for all Eagles/NFL insight.