To many fans, preseason football is as excruciatingly boring to watch as a prune tasting festival. Aside from the game meaning absolutely nothing, the starters consider it a successful exhibition if none of them are injured. This presents a product of game play that might equate to an opening XFL game; not a pretty sight.
For the Philadelphia Eagles, however, these exhibition matches could be beneficial. Having brought in a wealth of new offensive line talent, the squad could have used the Preseason to get acquainted with the three new players that were either acquired in the off-season, or didn’t finish out the year due to injury.
The team’s new additions of Jason Peters at tackle and Stacy Andrews at guard should have given Birds fans confidence in an improved, youthful line. But with the two battling injuries and Stacy’s brother Shawn (who is slated to be moved to starting tackle) continuing his battle to remain off the field. The Birds have missed an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the new additions.
Jason Peters and Stacey Andrews have gotten better and have played, albeit sparingly, for the Birds’ this preseason. Both have looked like any player coming off of an injury. While the players will most assuredly get more comfortable in the Birds’ style of offense, the fact remains that the projected starting offensive line of Jamaal Jackson at center, Stacy and Todd Herremans at Guard, and Jason Peters and Shawn Andrews at tackle have all yet to play together.
That is scary for Eagles’ fans.
If the trenches question can become solved, this would give a great deal of confidence in the team’s new weapons. Jeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy have given the team depth, and have had solid preseasons thus far after they found themselves receiving a significant amount of playing time.
What you should look for if you’re an Eagles fan is the progress of Kevin Curtis, the Birds’ most reliable receiver who is considered a poor man’s Wes Welker. He’s crucial in a West Coast offense that relies on quick throws to guys that can come across the middle on a consistent basis.
Another player Birds’ fans need to keep their eye on is middle linebacker Joe Mays. Mays took over at middle linebacker when Stewart Bradley went down for the season when he tore his knee. Mays is a smaller guy, but he has a certain knack for getting around the ball carrier and making plays. If he can limit his mistakes and understand his role as a middle linebacker, the Birds’ might not have been as hurt as some experts thought when Bradley went down.
The player that every Eagles fan wants to see is Michael Vick. His awe-inspiring speed and play-making ability is an intriguing asset that the team added late in the off-season.
The addition gives the Birds something that should confound defensive coordinators when Vick’s ban is lifted after Week 6. Don’t count on seeing any trick plays, Eagles’ fans. Coach Andy Reid is a stickler for fresh plays to give teams something they have never seen before.
When it comes to the preseason, Eagles fans have a lot to look at to understand the current state of the team. When the second half roles around, however, that could be another story.
Most likely, though, it'll be boring.