Wes Welker’s numbers last season were ridiculous: 122 catches, 1569 yards, 9 TD.
Here’s what Welker did against Philly Week 12 last season: 8 catches, 115 yards, 2 TD. Some of that was on Joselio Hanson, some of it was on Nate Allen and others.
Longtime Eagles slot CB Joselio Hanson is in somewhat of an odd situation as a player trying to make the Eagles’ roster. Brandon Boykin was a 4th round pick and is almost certainly going to be the opening day kick returner. Boykin and Hanson are competing to be the starting nickle corner. There’s no question Boykin is going to make the team. Joselio Hanson can also make the team, but his spot could be in serious jeopardy depending on exactly how good the Eagles think Brandon Boykin is. Here are the two scenarios:
- Is Boykin so good right away that you trust him to be your primary slot CB from Day 1? Bye, Jose.
- Would you rather give Boykin more time before you throw that kind of responsibility on his shoulders? Jose survives.
This Monday will be the Eagles’ “dress rehearsal” game, per Andy Reid. Due to an oddity in the preseason schedule, the Eagles play the Patriots Week 2 of the preseason on a Monday, and then have to play just a few days later on Friday. Their Friday opponent (the Browns) also just happens to be the team the Eagles will play in Week 1 of the regular season. Therefore, it makes sense for the Eagles to play their starters into the second half of the Week 2 preseason game, as opposed to the more traditional route of giving the starters extended time in Week 3. The Patriots are in a similar situation. Their Week 3 preseason game is also next Friday, so they’ll have a short week of preparation as well. The logical thinking is that the Pats’ will also make Monday their “dress rehearsal,” although that is something I’m still trying to confirm.
What better way to find out if Joselio Hanson is a necessary component on this team than to line up Brandon Boykin against the best slot receiver in football for an entire half and say, “OK kid, let’s see what you got.”
Boykin says that he hasn’t gotten any notification on how much he’ll play, but he did say, “Joselio will be starting it off, but throughout the course of the game we’ll see what happens.” Boykin also said that heading into this game, Welker is the player he has been focused on in film study. “Great receiver, somebody who’s really tough to guard because being in the slot, he always has two ways to go… he’s so shifty, (I’ve been) watching film on him today and yesterday so I have a better chance (against him).”
Yesterday, Hanson dislocated his pinky finger in practice. The Eagles already know all there is to know about Joselio Hanson. They may just be wise to tell Hanson to let that pinky heal up and give him the night off.