The Eagles' reserves played a sloppy game last night against the Jets. There was more bad than good. Here are 10 random observations:
1) Drops are a big problem for the Eagles TEs. Brent Celek, Zach Ertz, and Clay Harbor have all had several drops in the preseason games, which is a carryover from training camp. Meanwhile, James Casey hasn't been able to stay on the field, and he's only been targeted 3 times during the preseason. The drops are especially concerning, considering that the tight ends are likely to factor into the Eagles' offense heavily. The difference between completing a 3rd and 7... or not... can be the difference between winning a game... or not.
2) Nick Foles did not look awesome. Of course, the aforementioned drops were a problem (and not just by the tight ends). Plus, his protection was awful. I think Michael Bomiro cemented his non-position on the 53-man roster, although he's a great candidate for the practice squad, where he could be a project who eventually pans out.
3) A couple days ago, we noted how Alex Henery's kickoffs have been improved from a season ago, due to his faster stride when approaching the ball. He had three kickoffs last night, all touchbacks, shown below:
4) Emmanuel Acho had a tremendous game last night. I wrote about him in more detail late last night. Apologies in advance for the extreme corniness of that piece.
5) From the first time I saw Matthew Tucker run, way back in OTAs in May, I've been impressed with him.
Here's a name to remember for when training camp begins: Matthew Tucker, rookie RB from TCU. Tucker has some wiggle, and when I looked him up on the roster sheet, I was very surprised to see that he is listed at 6'1, 227. He moves very well for his size. A lot was made of the Eagles releasing UDFA Miguel Maysonet, and it was suggested that Maysonet's release was the product of a "disconnect" between head coach Chip Kelly and GM Howie Roseman. It was revealed later that the Eagles needed more TE's with James Casey on the shelf and Zach Ertz not yet allowed to practice with the team. The Eagles signed TE Will Shaw, and Maysonet wound up being the casualty. Tucker survived, and it's pretty easy to see why. He has talent.
Tucker failed his conditioning test, and I think a lot of people immediately wrote him off. But he has rebounded nicely throughout camp, and last night he showed that he is at least deserving of consideration to make the final 53-man roster. I would bet against it. I think that the Eagles will go with LeSean McCoy, Bryce Brown, and Chris Polk. If one of those guys gets hurt, the Eagles can easily call Tucker up from the practice squad.
6) The defense got a ton of pressure on the QB last night. 7 sacks. Very encouraging, even if was against the Jets' 2's and 3's. Chris McCoy had a big game, collecting 2 sacks. McCoy has not only shown the ability to get to the QB, but he also looked good in coverage throughout camp. At the very least, he's better in coverage than Trent Cole or Brandon Graham.
7) Danny Watkins is in deep trouble. I think his reign with the Eagles is over. We'll see tomorrow.
8) The CB position may actually be OK from 1-3 (Cary Williams, Bradely Fletcher, Brandon Boykin). However, after Boykin, it's an utter mess. Curtis Marsh, Brandon Hughes, and Trevard Lindley are all hurt, and it's not like you would be comfortable with any of those 3 guys even if they weren't. Meanwhile, Jordan Poyer simply doesn't seem ready to play yet. Here's a not-so-bold statement: The Eagles will have a new CB within the next 2 days.
9) Casey Matthews had a bad game, but the coaching staff will look at his entire body of work through camp and the preseason. I think he sticks.
10) Kurt Coleman played some CB last night. That was a product of the Eagles being completely devoid of players there. Chip Kelly said that Coleman had to play there just so that the Eagles could get through the game. Coleman played respectably, although he was beaten on a deep ball that the Jets' 4th string WR dropped. If Kurt Coleman ever had to play CB in a real game, he may as well just change his jersey to this:
That said, Coleman is such a hard worker, and such a "football guy," that I have to imagine it will be hard for the staff to leave him off the roster. But how do you fit him in? I think Tommy Lawlor said it well (feel free to use Colt Anderson's name and Kurt Coleman's name interchangably):
Reader on IB has a good suggestion - let's find a way to put Colt Anderson's brain in Nate Allen's body. Might have a heckuva Safety.
— Tommy Lawlor (@lawlornfl) August 30, 2013