The chorus to make Earl Wolff the starting safety has never been louder. Not after Nate Allen was literally run over and blown up in Sunday’s last-second loss.
Sorry, it’s not happening. Eagles coach Chip Kelly doesn’t think the rookie is ready to take over Allen’s spot on a full-time basis.
“I think Earl is growing and we’ll continue to grow him, but he’s still making some mistakes out there,” Kelly said Monday. “I think they’re bringing him along and we’re excited about what his future is, but we still don’t feel he’s ready to go the whole way.”
It’s pretty clear that Wolff is the future. Allen has had four years to prove himself and he hasn’t been able to do it. He can’t stay healthy and lacks the physical presence needed to play the safety position. Still, the Eagles don’t fully trust Wolff, as evidenced by the snap counts. Wolff was in on 49 defensive plays Sunday, compared to 63 for Allen.
“He was okay,” Kelly said of Wolff. “You know, wasn’t 100 percent but wasn’t in the failure category, so he’s still a work in progress.”
Judging by those sentiments, it sounds like Allen will hold on to the starting spot for at least another week. The Eagles have a short week to prepare, with the Kansas City Chiefs coming to the Linc Thursday night. That gives them just three days to rest up and put the Chargers’ loss behind them.
‘We’ve been prepared for this since we got here,” Kelly said. “We had a plan. We knew we had to start off when the schedule came out playing three games in 11 days.”
Fletcher in, Hughes out
The only Eagle not on the practice field Monday was cornerback Brandon Hughes. Starting cornerback Bradley Fletcher (concussion) has been cleared medically and practiced with the team Monday. He is expected to start opposite Cary Williams.