Friday, February 12, 2016

Reid said starters won't play in preseason finale

Andy Reid was faced with an interesting choice as the Eagles approach the preseason finale Thursday against the New York Jets.

Reid said starters won't play in preseason finale

Kevin Kolb struggled against the Chiefs and has failed to throw a touchdown so far in the preseason. (Yong Kim / Staff file photo)
Kevin Kolb struggled against the Chiefs and has failed to throw a touchdown so far in the preseason. (Yong Kim / Staff file photo)

Andy Reid was faced with an interesting choice as the Eagles approach the preseason finale Thursday against the New York Jets.

Does he play the starters on offense, even for a quarter, in order to give the a unit a bit more work, or does he have them sit out?

Traditionally, Reid does not play the starters at all in the last preseason game, instead opting to work on sharpness in practice.

During a meeting with reporter today, Reid said he would follow the same approach.

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"Most likely, I will go with the twos and threes," Reid said. "That’s the way I’m looking at it."

Reid said after Friday's game in Kansas City that the ones had "a lot of work to do." Asked today if he had given more consideration than usual to playing the starters this week, Reid said, "I really didn’t after I looked at the film and evaluated it. I think we’ll be fine."

For whatever this is worth, Jets coach Rex Ryan told beat reporters today that the starters will not play for his team Thursday against the Eagles.

Here are the argument for and against on the issue, as we see it ...

The pros:

* The first-team offense has played six quarters, producing one touchdown and six field goals. Their play inside the red zone has been less than impressive, something they are all quick to concede. With a developing and growing offense with a lot of young players and a new quarterback, more playing time can't hurt the unit in its effort to be more cohesive.  

“It wasn’t quite as sharp as we would have liked it, for sure,” Kevin Kolb said after completing 11 of 25 passes for 103 yards and a 39.2 passer rating Friday. “There was a lot of details we have to clean up. There needs to be some special attention paid to it, starting with myself.”

* Confidence. The young guys certainly don't lack for it, but having some success can't hurt, right? Playing some more would be another opportunity to have that success.

* The offensive line. Todd Herremans saw his first preseason action Friday after missing the first two games and a lot of time in camp with a foot problem. The issues at center remain unresolved, with Jamaal Jackson and Nick Cole sidelined (Jackson has told people that he wants to be back for the opener). Mike McGlynn has done a fine job thus far and could be the opening day starter if Jackson is not ready to return. Jason Peters' timing remains off, with two more false-start penalties Friday. Add to that the issue at right guard, with Stacy Andrews still seemingly struggling to be the answer.

* More 3-4. The Eagles and Kolb got some "great work" against a 3-4 defense in Kansas City, Reid said. The Jets are a 3-4 team, as are the Packers. This will be more experience against that look, a look they will see often as more teams are using it.

The cons:

* This is obvious: Injuries, injuries and injuries. DeSean Jackson only played one series before he suffered a strained neck. Mike McGlynn went out, although he returned. Leonard Weaver had the wind knocked out of him and his back is sore. (Not to mention, the injury to Trent Cole on defense.) If the starters don't play, they can't get hurt.

* Camp has been a long haul and the preseason is a grind. This is the last chance to get a bit of a breather without the pounding of a game until the Eagles have the bye on Oct. 31.

So, if you're Andy Reid, what do you do?


Defensive end Trent Cole, listed as day-to-day with a mild ankle sprain, says he is improving.

"Ankle feels better today. Progress has been made," Cole wrote on Twitter this morning.


To read more from Eagletarian, including a report from Sunday's practice, click here.

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