Thursday, July 31, 2014
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Quick hit thoughts the Eagles' first preseason game

Kevin Kolb moves the offense, the offensive line holds, Mike Vick with big plays for better and worse, and Riley Cooper makes a big first impression

Quick hit thoughts the Eagles' first preseason game

Here are some very, very quick thoughts on the Eagles' first preseason game, now that the coach has spoken and the stands here at the Linc have emptied. First half thoughts from earlier in the night are below.

Coach Andy Reid got a bunch of questions on the offensive line, and he said he was pleased - though he acknowledged that the first team was in there for just one quarter for one preseason game. (He didn't add, but I will: against an opponent that did not look very formidable). He said he was happy with both the pass protection and run blocking.

Mike Kafka had a nice long pass to Chad Hall, though Reid said he came up short on some others. Arm strength has been the knock on Kafka, but Reid actually praised his strength.

Martell Mallett got a chance to do his thing: 15 runs for 60 yards and a touchdown. But it was against the Jaguars' third team defense.

Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said the defense had some growing pains. Those deep touchdown passes they gave up fell under that heading. The team has some promising safeties with Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman, but with Quintin Demps and Antoine Harris both hurt last night, the experience is thin.

In response to a question about Nate Allen and Brandon Graham: Allen didn't really have much to do. Six plays, none of which were very threatening by the Jaguars. Graham got some pressure - he flew around Jaguars' tackles - but didn't get to the quarterback. Still, he looked every bit as dangerous here as he has at camp, though facing mostly back up offensive linemen. After the game he told some reporters he was getting too far upfield, rushing past the quarterback and would have to fix that.

Other rookies: Kurt Coleman had a strong pass break up on an early third down and was around the ball often. He may have been victimized on one of those long passes, though. Need to review the video to see. Kafka was OK, nothing spectacular but no big mistakes, either. Riley Cooper had a big night, 3 catches, 61 yards. Trevard Lindley showed some good ball skills, even if the interception was taken back. Reid said he liked the young corner's aggressiveness. Those are the main impressions, keeping in mind I had to spend much of the second half, when some of the others rookies got in, writing a story for the paper in order to beat my deadline. I hope to have more after watching video of the game.

Kick coverage needs work. The Jaguars averaged 32 yards per return and almost broke a couple. Ken Parrish had to make two plays early. Reid pointed this out in his press conference.

Two other first half points I didn't make below:

The first team defense did about as much as you can expect, short of creating a turnover. Two series, two three-and-outs.

DeSean Jackson's run, as a reader pointed out, shows what kind of a weapon he is. There are many very good receivers, but not nearly as many who can shake a guy to the ground and make an entire stadium - in a preseason game, no less - say "wow."

UPDATE: In response to one last question about Ingram, before I pack up and go get some sleep (I think the Linc staff would like me to go, too): he was there, but not in very much. Clay Harbor really looks like he has moved ahead in that competition, though the coaches might say they are trying to be careful with Ingram. Ingram told reporters he would be patient and work his way back into the swing of things, though he might not really have much choice. He has not looked very dangerous in camp so far.

Some very, very quick thoughts on the first half:

Kevin Kolb moved the offense well and spread the ball around, targeting DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant and Brent Celek in two drives and part of a third. Kolb did have a couple throws into coverage, though, and the offense got into the red zone twice with Kolb in and couldn't score touchdowns. He was 6 for 11 for 95 yards.

Michael Vick looked explosive with his arm and leg, hitting Riley Cooper on a long pass and outrunning defenders for several good gains, not to mention that slick touchdown run. The red zone fumble and interception take off some of the luster, though.

The first team offensive line gave Kolb plenty of time to throw. He faced little pressure. No apparent snap problems. There was not much running room for LeSean McCoy, though.

Riley Cooper, welcome to Philly. First reception, a 46 yard bomb from Mike Vick. Just like at Lehigh.

Second team pass defense needs some work -- two long touchdowns given up to Luke McCown.

Kurt Coleman made a couple nice plays: a big hit to break up a pass on fourth-and-three, and a solid tackle, fighting off a blocker on the kick return after the Vick score.

Asante Samuel stuffed Marcedes Lewis to prevent a first down and disrupted another third down throw to get the defense off the field in the first team's only two sequences.

Ken Parrish's kick offs did not reach the end zone (except one on a bounce).

LeSean McCoy had a good pass block when the Eagles were backed up inside their 10.

Kelley Washington had a quietly good first half. Nearly blocked a punt, got open deep and drew a pass interference penalty to set up the Vick score and provided a down field block for Eldra Buckley to help him gain some extra yards on a pass play.

Clay Harbor got a few looks with the first team in two tight end sets.

The Jaguars' first teamers looked quite bad. Keep that in mind while assessing the Eagles.

UPDATE: In response to a question below, Stewart Bradley did play but had no tackles. The Eagles first team defense was on the field for just two three and outs. They gave up just 10 yards.

Jeff and I will have more in Saturday and Sunday's Inquirer.

What did you see?

About this blog
Birds' Eye View is the Inquirer's blog covering all things Philadelphia Eagles and the NFL.

Jeff McLane Inquirer Staff Writer
Zach Berman Inquirer Staff Writer
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