One of the more under the radar position battles taking place at the dawn of Chip Kelly‘s first training camp as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles is at the safety position.
Veterans Kenny Phillips, Patrick Chung, Kurt Coleman, Colt Anderson, Dave Sims and Nate Allen likely will be vying for starting spots with rookies Jordan Poyer and Earl Wolff giving this position the label of one of the more intriguing to watch.
Coleman, for one, is confident in his ability to shine, despite his job being on the line.
“I make plays,” Coleman said as he walked up to the NovaCare Complex on Thursday. “I see things happen and I make them. I just have to stay consistent with my game play.”
For Coleman to keep his roster spot and have a legitimate chance at being a starter, he likely must show flashes early that he’s put last season behind him. In 2012, the Ohio State product finished with just two interceptions and missed two games with a chest injury.
“Out here wars are going to be won, so I think it’s an exciting time for all of us,” he said of the impending camp competition. “I think we’re competing against each other, but we’re also pushing each other to become better teammates and better players. And when it’s all set it done, it’s going to be the best 53-man roster.”
One of the rookies who will be jockeying for position with the three-year veteran is Poyer who was chosen by the Eagles in the seventh round of April’s NFL draft out of Oregon State. Because of league restrictions against rookies attending training camp before their graduation ceremonies are held, Poyer missed all but one weekend of spring practices.
That isn’t slowing down the 22-year-old, judged by many to be one of the steals of the draft.
“There’s always going to be competition everywhere you go,” he said. “You have to fight for your spot on the roster. That’s just the mindset I have because there are no guarantees right now.”
On day one it was Chung and Allen who saw the most reps with the first team during Friday’s practice. However, as has been the case with virtually every position on the Eagles roster, competition will be abound at the safety position and Kelly may not name a starter until the week of the season opener.
Amid all of the position battles, safety certainly will be one to keep an eye on during the summer of Chip.
Matt Lombardo is also a sports radio host on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia. Join the conversation and follow him on Twitter.