Here's are my instant observations tonight's Eagles-Ravens game:
+ Michael Vick has looked good at Lehigh, and he looked good in his only drive tonight. Vick completed four of six passes for 74 yards as the Eagles went 80 yards on eight plays. He hit Brent Celek for a 3-yard touchdown and finished with a QB rating of 148.6.
+ As for Celek, I get a lot of questions about the Eagles needing more weapons in the red zone. Celek had a down year in 2010, but he was excellent in the red zone the year before, scoring six times from inside the 20. Maybe he can get back to that in 2011.
+ Riley Cooper made the play of the game, coming up with a 42-yard grab on the opening scoring drive. Ed Reed had a hold of Cooper's right arm, but he was able to hang on and use his size and athleticism. Cooper and Vick have had a nice connection since last training camp when they practiced together with the twos. The Eagles' wide receiver situation is up in the air with so much uncertainty surrounding Jeremy Maclin and Steve Smith, but I think Cooper can be a contributor for this team.
+ The three cornerbacks only played one possession together. I have to re-watch, but I believe Asante Samuel and Nnamdi Asomugha were on the outside, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie played inside in the nickel. Trevard Lindley came in ahead of Curtis Marsh with the backups. That has not been the case during practice.
+ I got to the Linc around 5:30, and there were several Eagles players already on the field warming up. One of them was wide receiver DeSean Jackson, who didn’t play in the game. Dressed in an oversized grey jersey T-shirt, Jackson ran route after route, catching passes from Vick.
+ The defensive line looked good. Darryl Tapp had two sacks in the first half. Trent Cole had one too, and he was helped by pressure from Jason Babin on the play. Backup DT Derek Landri, who started 16 games for Carolina last year, also had a sack.
+ Nice debut for rookie kicker Alex Henery. He made two field goals (from 35 and 24 yards) and booted touchbacks on three of four kickoffs.
+ The first-team defensive line was Juqua Parker, Anthony Hargrove, Cullen Jenkins and Trent Cole. The second team was Jason Babin, Derek Landri, Antonio Dixon and Tapp. We got a glimpse of how Jim Washburn uses his linemen. There were two separate four-man units, and one spelled the other on the first possession.
+ Rookie Jaiquawn Jarrett got his name called early with an interception. Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman started at safety. Jarrett and Jarrad Page came in with the twos. Page also had an interception in the third quarter.
+ Can't say I got a great look at Casey Matthews and the first-team linebackers (Moise Fokou and Jamar Chaney). I'll write about them in Man Up though.
+ Andy Reid lost a timeout on a failed challenge in the first quarter. He was arguing for a Jason Avant touchdown. Oh how I've missed that red flag. That's when it really felt like football was back.
+ The first-team offensive line (Jason Peters, Todd Herremans, Jamaal Jackson, Danny Watkins and Ryan Harris) only played one possession together. Austin Howard, Evan Mathis and Jason Kelce then entered the game at left tackle, left guard and center, respectively. Watkins and Harris stayed in on the right side. Harris saw more playing time than any of the other first-team offensive linemen. Mike McGlynn eventually filled in for Watkins at right guard, and King Dunlap came in for Harris at right tackle.
+ Ronnie Brown got nine carries and 10 touches. Hope he doesn't expect that many in a regular season game. LeSean McCoy only had one carry and called it a night.
+ Howard got beat a couple times. On one play, Vince Young was sacked. On another, Young escaped and hit Chad Hall for 32 yards.
+ Dion Lewis had a couple nice moments. He picked up 6 yards and broke a tackle on one play and then had a 16-yard catch and run on the next play.
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