Macho Harris Penciled in as Starter at Free Safety

Written By Bob Cunningham On Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Harris, not Allen, could be the guy at free safety.

Even though he lost his job halfway through the season and the Eagles used a second-round pick on a guy they expect to one day be a starter, Macho Harris is still set to be the man at free safety.

He has been running with the first-string defense beside Quintin Mikell, and by all accounts is finally looking the part. He probably played around 185 last season, but is apparently over 200 pounds now and is hellbent on fighting off Nate Allen.

Allen, for the time being, has been working as the second-string strong safety behind Mikell, but he's unlikely to stay there. He pulled his quad a couple months ago, but rather than rest it he continued his pre-draft workouts, which hasn't worsened the injury, but it has prevented it from properly healing.

Marlin Jackson is also working in at free safety, but is learning the defense at cornerback as well, which could mean the Birds are axing that project before it gets going. They need help at corner, so Jackson will likely be looked at to provide depth behind Ellis Hobbs and Asante Samuel.

Most of us assumed Allen would come in as a rookie and make an impact, but once we stop and think, it shouldn't be surprising -- historically speaking.

Andy Reid, up until a few years ago, has always gone with the philosophy that rookies should sit for a season, see limited time, and then step in and contribute when he feels they're ready. Even the guys who have started have really only been as a final resort.

DeSean Jackson only started because Reggie Brown and Kevin Curtis were both down, Maclin only started because Curtis went down (even though Reid insists he would have taken the job anyway), and Harris only started because Quintin Demps was injured and Reid felt there was no other viable option at the time.

Although he proved it was only a last resort when he pulled Harris as soon as they felt Sean Jones finally had a grip on the defense.

It wouldn't surprise me to see Allen come on strong in training camp and the preseason and overtake Harris, but don't be surprised if Harris gets another shot beside Quintin Mikell if Reid and Sean McDermott aren't 100 percent positive Allen won't hurt them with his inexperience.

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