Yesterday, news broke that superstar National Football League wide receiver Chad Ochocinco accepted an invitation to a 4-day tryout with Sporting Kansas City. Even though Ochocinco is a member of the Cincinnati Bengals, I still thought it would be fun as an avid football and soccer fan to see what Philadelphia Eagles would perform well on a soccer team. Today, I will list 11 Eagles players I think could possibly play soccer, and tomorrow, I will try to analyze where these players would best fit on a soccer field.
Sav Rocca: The Philadelphia Eagles' punter would make a good soccer player because of his size and his occasionally powerful leg. As a punter, he also needs to be able to focus on a ball coming at him from a long ways away, a skill integral to some positions on a soccer pitch.
David Akers: The field goal kicker for the Eagles is one of the best field goal kickers in the NFL today, and with good reason. His kicks are powerful and consistently through the uprights. Now soccer nets are significantly smaller than football uprights, but in order to score, you need someone who can angle and kick it at a target, and David Akers has proven over the last few years that there are very few in the NFL that are better than him at it.
Michael Vick: Michael Vick provides a unique blend of speed, quickness, and elusiveness that makes him almost impossible to tackle. If you translate those attributes to a soccer pitch, you will get the same result: a guy who can generous copious amounts of offense while being impossible to tackle.
The rest of the players after the jump.
DeSean Jackson: Is there a faster player in the NFL than DeSean Jackson? Ask DJ Ware, he will tell you all about how fast DeSean Jackson is. While a soccer player needs more than speed to be successful (I'm looking at you, Robbie Findley), speed is certainly a good start. DeSean Jackson may need to develop a bit of a finishing touch, but the potential is certainly there for DJac. Or DJacc. Or DJax. However the heck you spell his nickname.
Asante Samuel: The Philadelphia Eagles risk-taking, always dangerous cornerback has speed and elusiveness, and a nose for the ball. I will explore specific roles on a specific post tomorrow, but how can you not be salivating over the prospect of Asante Samuel playing on the wing.
Trent Cole: While some may wonder what on earth a big guy like Trent Cole is doing on a soccer team, all one needs to do is take one look at Andy Reid. No, not THAT Andy Reid, this Andy Reid, who is coincidentally built quite similar to THAT Andy Reid. While Trent Cole is 6'3" and 122 kilograms, Andy Reid is 5'7" and 75 kilograms. Okay, so there really is not any comparison there after all. I just wanted to mention the fact there is a player on Blackpool named Andy Reid. But, Trent Cole has a way of maneuvering himself past offensive lineman. If he can do what he does to some of the best offensive linemen in the NFL, who is to say he cannot dribble a soccer ball and attack soccer defenders in a similar manner?
LeSean McCoy: Shady! The Eagles' running back not only has an ability to hit the holes hard in addition to bouncing the football off tackle or to the outside for a big gain, but he is very good at holding on to the ball. And just like in football, turning the ball over to the opposition is not something you want to do.,
Quintin Mikell: While a lot of people that have been listed above are being brought in for their physical abilities, Quintin Mikell is being brought in for his hard tackling and leadership abilities. Just like the Eagles' secondary needs leadership, so does the Philadelphia Union's back line, and Q is just the guy to bring it.
Jeremy Maclin: The Philadelphia Eagles' leading touchdown scorer in the 2010 season has a knack for finding the endzone and hopefully that is a knack he could translate onto the soccer pitch. After all, with the lockout currently in play and the threat of no 2011 NFL Season looming, how else will Jeremy Maclin be able to score?
Jamar Chaney: The former 2010 7th round draft pick filled in admirably for the injured Stewart Bradley at the end of last season. Quite possibly the fastest linebacker on the Philadelphia Eagles, Jamar Chaney is raw and not yet polished, but that is not always a bad thing. The potential is there, now let's see what he can do with it, both on the football field and a soccer pitch.
Keenan Clayton: The 2010 4th round draft pick of the Eagles is probably the least known Eagle on this list. He did see very little playing time during his first year with the Eagles last season, but he brings a unique versatility as he is a linebacker who has the ability to drop back and play safety in certain situations. Versatility can be a very good trait to have on a soccer pitch, and I think I have the perfect soccer position for Keenan Clayton to play.
Coming up tomorrow morning in Part 2: I will find a soccer position for each of these 11 Philadelphia Eagles to play in.