Philadelphia Eagles Preview: Things I'll Be Watching Out for Tonight
The Philadelphia Eagles very first pre-season game against the Jacksonville Jaguars is only hours away. Fans are starting to fill the lots and E-A-G-L-E-S Chants can be heard for miles.
As the excitement starts to build out on the field and the smell of cheesestakes fill the air there are still many questions that linger.
These are a few of the many things that I would like to see this very first pre-season game.
Kevin Kolb's Pocket Presence
Kevin Kolb's first two starts went down in the history books.
He was the only Quarterback that passed for over 300 yards in his first two games as a starter.But they were against a mediocre defense in the Saints, and a poor one in the Cheifs
He will only take about 10-20 snaps, but one thing you have to keep in mind. Can he handle pressure? Will he look off the coverage? Will his timing be smooth?
We already know he can deliver the ball. If he can keep his cool under pressure and fool the secondary with his eyes, we will know that Kolb is ready.
The Offensive Line
The more time the Eagles offensive line can give Kevin Kolb, The better!
If the line can hold for four seconds or more, we know the line is ready for the season.
The Guards and tackles need to push the Jaguars backward off of the line and control the game. They need to open huge holes for the running backs and control the blitz.
Everyone knows that is where the game of football is won - In the trenches!
The Wide Recievers' Ability To Get Open
Along with the time the line can give Kolb, The wide receivers need to shed the defenders and GET OPEN!
We saw later int he season that Maclin started coming along and ended up with a good sense on how and when to make his cut to lose a defender. We already know that Jackson can do this.
Without the ability to get open Kolb will have no one to throw the ball to.I would really like to see the receivers juke and move and run free down the field with the ball in hand!
The Running Game
The past few seasons, not too many teams were worried about our running game. Westbrook was well able to carry the team on his back but most teams were more concerned with his catching ability and YAC.
The Eagles went leaps and bounds to improve the running game this season. We have more talent in the backfield this season since the days of Westy, Buck, and Duce.
I would really like to see McCoy and Bell break a few tackles and average 7 or 8 yards per carry. If the Eagles can show the NFL that we can run the ball, it will make passing it so much easier.
So far (To me) it seems that Vick has only been good enough to keep the bench nice and warm.
I must admit that last season was a "Warm-up" Season for Mike.
I would really like to see some explosion out of Vick. We put the integrity of the team on the line to give this man another chance in the NFL and I would like to see him do something positive for the team.
If Vick can show that he can still dodge defenders and take off or throw to move the chains then the investment was worth it.
The Defensive Line Pressure
The Eagles Brass saw a need to revamp the defensive line. Two of our first three draft picks were defensive linemen.
I would really like to see extreme pressure from all angles. If Brandon Graham and Trent Cole can get into the back field within two or three seconds, then Teo'-nesheim and Bunkley sheding the O-line blocks or pushing linemen into the QB to pop the pocket we will be in a good way.
No Quarterback can pass the ball with his pants on the ground!
I have always been excited over Defense, and I think that the additions we have made this year will have us back on top.
The Seconday Reads
It wasnt only the D-Line that was addressed this offseason. The secondary was as well.
With Travard Lindley pegged to be starting aside Samuel and Nale Allen as the starting safety, I would like to see how they read the coverage.
If they misread and let receivers run free or miss blocks it wont be good.
The Secondary need to act like glue and stay on the hips of the receivers during man coverage. They also need to know where and when to sit in coverage in order to tip or intercept passes.
Last season we had a revolving door at linebacker and it started with the beast pictured above.
Stewart Bradley making it past "Flight Night" was a great first step to the season. If the linebacking group can stay healthy and play like years past, Alot of teams will have problems running or passing over the middle.
Turnovers, Turnovers, Turnovers!!!!
The Eagles need more Turnovers!
Interceptions and fumble recoveries not only give us the ball back, it takes the other teams scoring threat away and changes their state of mind or even the gaming strategy.
The more the ball is lost by the other team the more safe they have to play it and more risks are needed in crunch time.
Nuff Said Right?
The Eagles cannot afford to lose ANYBODY in the preseason. I was always a firm believer that if we lost someone to injury, it is better that we lost him in game 1 on the regular season then any game in the preseason. Since the preaseason means nothing but a scrimmage, it would be a waste to lose a player then.
It would be like losing a knight when he was sparing before his big joust.
But I would not only like to see the Eagles stay healthy in the preseason, I would like to see them stay healthy all the way to the superbowl. I think that we have made ourself a pretty good team and if we can avoid the injury bug, we will have a good season.