Ellis Hobbs was injured most of last season, but he should be healthy for training camp. The question is, should we keep him? He will be an unrestricted free agent if a CBA gets completed in the next few months, otherwise he will only be a restricted free agent.
The thing is, I think the Eagles need him, not as a cornerback/nickelback, but as a kick returner.
If you can remember back to that Broncos-Eagles game in week 16, you would remember two fumbles on kickoff returns. One was lost, the other was pounced on by an Eagle. Both of them came from Macho Harris.
His competence returning kicks is still unknown to me. He has good games and then he has bad games. It is hard to tell with him whether those fumbles were flukes, or if they were a disaster waiting to happen.
Quintin Demps isn’t bad at returning kicks by any means, he just isn’t great at it either. He has one return for a TD in his career (over two seasons) but this year he only had one return 40+ yards. And only four for 20+.
These numbers are average for kick returners, but without Hobbs he would be the most experienced return-man on the field for the Eagles.
Over five years, Ellis Hobbs has had three kicks returned for TDs, and averaged 27.2 yards per return for all five seasons. The biggest numbers are really in the returns for 20+ yards… In 2006 he had nine, in 2007 he had 24, and in 2008 he had 33.
Ellis has much better return stats across the board for his career than any current Eagle, and he even broke a 60+ yard return this season.
Maclin should be out of the question as a KR, he is a starting WR and him getting injured would leave a hole that would inevitably be filled by Reggie Brown. Not good.
For your convenience, I created a table with some stats to compare Philly’s kick returners this season:
Player (# of games played as a KR)
Who do you think should be the starting return man?
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