Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Casey 'disappointed' by playing time
By Phil Sheridan
PHILADELPHIA -- When the Philadelphia Eagles signed James Casey as a free agent, the numbers spoke for themselves. He got a three-year deal worth $14.5 million, including $6 million guaranteed.
Those numbers, plus the Eagles’ hiring of Chip Kelly, added up to one obvious conclusion. Casey was going to put up some pretty good numbers in the Eagles’ new-look offense.
Then there’s this number: two. That’s how many offensive snaps Casey took in the season opener Monday night at Washington. To add insult, they were the kneel-down plays in the final moments.
“We won the game,” Casey said. “That’s all that really matters. A lot of that stuff is out of my control. All I can control is the way I practice and how I perform when I get opportunities. I can’t make myself get on the field. That’s the coach’s decision. It’s not like I went out there and played really bad.”
Casey’s status changed when the Eagles took Stanford tight end Zach Ertz in the second round of the draft. The team made it a priority to draft based only on its grades without regard to need. So they suddenly had a surplus at tight end.
That led to speculation that veteran Brent Celek might be trade bait. Instead, it looks as if Casey has become the odd man out, at least for now.
Kelly said Casey’s playing time was a function of the personnel groupings used at Washington. The Eagles went with a lot of 3-WR, 1-TE sets. But that still means Casey is behind Celek and Ertz, who were each targeted three times by Michael Vick.
“I’m never going to be a guy who’s going to cause problems in the locker room,” Casey said. “They know I want to be in the game. I’m obviously disappointed.”