FOOTBALL AT THE LINC
The Philadelphia Inquirer Blog - Eagles
FOOTBALL AT THE LINC
With apologies to the Arena Bowl champion Philadelphia Soul, owner Jon Bon Jovi's sport is to real football what street hockey is to ice hockey and what stick ball is to baseball.
What will happen tonight at Lincoln Financial Field, now that's football, albeit a vanilla version that's not nearly as entertaining as what happens once the games start to count for real next month.
At least most of the first half of the Eagles' preseason game against the Carolina Panthers should be worth watching and here's five things to look for:
_Todd Herremans at left tackle. With Tra Thomas out because of back spasms, Herremans will start at a position he hasn't played in a game since his rookie 2005 season. It's a good test for Herremans because he'll be going against Julius Peppers, one of the NFL's elite pass rushers. The Eagles need Herremans or someone else as a capable backup to Thomas because we saw last season how disastrous things can be if they do not.
_King Dunlap at left tackle. It will be interesting to see if Dunlap will also get some time with the first-team offense. He did run with the ones at times during practice this week and the Eagles have been pleased with the seventh-round pick's first training camp.
_Searching for Shawn Andrews. Check the sidelines to see if the Eagles' two-time Pro Bowl guard is in attendance after missing the first three weeks of practice while battling depression. The team needs to get him back into the program soon if he is going to start the Sept. 7 season opener against the St. Louis Rams. It wouldn't be a bad idea to let him walk the sidelines in street clothes tonight before possibly returning to the practice field Saturday.
_ Jed Collins at fullback. The undrafted rookie from Washington State is going to get to audition with the first-team offense, which means he has a chance to seize the position from competitors Jason Davis and Luke Lawton.
_Brian Westbrook. After signing a new contract, the Eagles' star running back sat out the preseason opener in Pittsburgh. He'll get some playing time tonight, although don't be surprised if his touches are limited to fewer than a handful.