Eagles-Jaguars: Why we care
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Eagles-Jaguars: Why we care
Sheil Kapadia, Philly.com
Here are some things I'll be following during tonight's game:
** We get to see 60 percent of the offensive line in action. Usually that would be a bad sign, since two players are still missing, but this has not been a usual preseason. You could make the argument that we're actually seeing 80 percent of the line, if you think Shawn Andrews will be absent Week 1 and it'll be Winston Justice starting. I'll try to watch Justice closely as I've done during the first two preseason games. If he were the starting right tackle in Week 1, I'd be concerned. We also want to see Jason Peters deliver a better performance than he did in the first preseason game. And we get to see Stacy Andrews for the first time. There's no doubt in my mind that the Eagles' offense will be as good as the line allows it to be. The talent is there at the skill positions, but if the line does not protect Donovan McNabb, or open holes for Brian Westbrook and LeSean McCoy, it's going to be a long season.
** Speaking of Westbrook, it will be great to see him back on the field. His progress has probably been the most encouraging sign of the preseason. Westbrook's health was a major concern going into Lehigh, but he has been ahead of schedule all the way through, and tonight he will get knocked around a little bit before most likely sitting out the final preseason game. Just please don't let him get knocked around too much, Andy.
** Very interested to see how the middle linebacker competition plays out. Will Joe Mays stay in during nickel situations? Will Moise Fokou get some playing time early? It appears at this point that the coaching staff has not seen a solution it likes and is willing to try anything, which is fine. That's what happens when your starting middle linebacker goes down with a torn ACL.
** Who wants the last spot at wide receiver? In Les Bowen's roster breakdown, he predicted it would be Hank Baskett and Brandon Gibson. Paul Domowitch said there's a chance Reggie Brown could get dealt to the Jets or Ravens. Do the Eagles make a concerted effort to show Brown off tonight? Wouldn't be a bad idea.
** I'm still looking for more playmakers on defense. Other than Asante Samuel and Trent Cole, I'm not sure anyone fits the description. But unlike the first two games, the defense is not facing a Hall of Fame quarterback. It would be nice to see them deliver a strong showing against a pretty mediocre offense (finished last season 20th in the NFL).
** There's also special teams, Jason Babin and the safeties not named Quintin Mikell. Plus that Michael Vick guy. To be honest, I could care less about the off-field Vick stuff tonight. I want to see how Reid uses him, but I wonder how much he's actually going to unveil. Join me for a live chat at 7 p.m. We'll provide instant updates and commentary throughout. Talk to you then.