OK, we all know that that purpose of the preseason is to help the coaches figure out who gets cut v. relegated to the practice squad v. assigned to work their way up through special teams. So let's not read too much into this.* But starting with a win is nice.
Assuming K2 isn't a complete bust, we're plenty skilled on offense. The guys are young and will need time to develop as a unit, but the amount of raw talent is astonishing, particularly after so many years of McNabb, Westbrook, and...well, there wasn't anybody else. It was just those two. Admittedly, our Red Zone woes continue, but both Kolb and Mike Vick were able to sustain drives.
(The Eagles Television Network flashed an interesting graphic mid-way through the 3rd quarter: Eagles starting offense in 2008 v. 2010. The only repeats? Peanut and Nick Cole. Wow.)
I've been more worried about the defense. But the first team defensive showing gave me the warm fuzzies. Two efficient 3-and-outs in a row. Yeah, it was just the Jaguars, but still. And Asante Samuel actually tackled a guy! And, you know, STOPPED him.
I definitely saw K2 make rookie mistakes, the biggest one being that he keeps keying on a particular receiver and then trying to force the pass, most egregiously missing a wide open Peanut in the end zone while trying to force it to Celek that led to our first offensive drive resulting in a field goal. Celek's great - I particularly loved him bulling for more yards to pick up the 3rd and 9 on the second offensive possession of the night - but don't lock in before seeing what the defense is giving you, dude! Fortunately for us, David Akers remains money, scoring over half Friday night's points. But he still needs to grow back the 'stache.
K2 seems to have nice touch on the ball. You didn't see many passes hitting guys square in the numbers and them just not able to hang onto it like happens with McNabb. But I did notice a few placement problems, where receivers had to turn back over an inside shoulder to get the ball when an outside placement would've hit them in stride (most notably to Peanut on the second offensive drive).
And did you notice? They actually included running plays. I imagine the following went down out at Lehigh sometime in the last week:
Andy Reid: "Wait! You meant we're allowed to RUN the BALL? Why didn't someone tell me sooner?"
As a result Shady had a good game.
Vick looks better too. He had a sweet completion to rookie Riley Cooper for about 40 yards that was textbook pretty. Then again, he also turned the ball over in the Red Zone (more Red Zone woes) on a fumble, and thank you Eldra Buckley for saving the 80 yard TD. He seems to be getting his speed back - on the run that led to the first Eagles TD, it was obvious once he turned the corner that no one was going to catch him. Maybe that's why he was carrying the ball so oddly? Yeah, just ask Peanut how showboating and, as a result, dropping the ball before you cross the goal line feels Mike. On the other hand, on our last offensive series of the first half, he threw a dumb ass pick. I guess Charles Scott was the intended receiver, but he wasn't even looking. Vick had room to run and didn't, and he had TERRIBLE mechanics on the throw. So a very up and down night for our #2.
Speaking of #2, our second/third string defensive secondary got their asses handed to them. Repeatedly. By Luke McCown. Back to worries about the defense - if we have a good first time but no depth, we'll be in trouble by mid-season, once guys start wearing down a bit. I really wanted to smack Joselio Hansen - he got beat by the receiver, then he drew a penalty, and he didn't even stop the TD in the process. REALLY? Aren't you supposed to know better than that, buddy?
Still speaking of #2, Sav better watch his back - Ken Parrish was kicking off and punting and doing a damn fine job of both.
Our kickoff coverage, however, could use some work. Opening the second half, Parrish took a page out of David Akers's book and served as an excellent last line of defense, stopping the run back for a TD. So I'm yelling at the TV, and it was at that point that Chef Spouse came running into the living room to give me a big hug because The Snark yelling at the TV = football season!
Then we were pretty much down to the JV. I do love me some Chad Hall. When we were at training camp, he was the first player on the field and the last one to leave at all 3 of the practices we attended. He's got a great backstory, and he wants it so bad, I can taste it. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for him until the final roster cuts on September 4.
*Unless, of course, you're a Redskins fan. They killed the Bills in the their preseason opener, which means it's time to cue the Super Bowl talk here in DC.
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