What to Watch for in Bengals-Birds

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Kevin Kolb and the Eagles' offense struggled to score in the red zone against Jacksonville. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

Here's what we'll be keeping an eye on Friday night when the Eagles visit Cincinnati in their second preseason game, Think the guy that came up with those Old Spice commercials was riffing off Dhani's act?the contest known nationally as "Dhani Jones' Quest for Revenge." If that joke doesn't work for you, feel free to sub in "Bobbie Williams' " Or if you wanna look at it the other way, "Stacy Andrews' "

1. Red zone: Nobody would have made a big deal out of the Eagles settling for a pair of field goals on the first-team offense’s two complete drives of the preseason opener last week if this hadn’t been a recurring theme of the past few seasons. Didn’t help that the pattern continued with the subs on the field, David Akers eventually kicking five field goals. Even though the final score doesn’t matter, expect a push for touchdowns tonight, maybe even to the extent of going for it on a fourth down where you might take the 3 in the regular season.

2. Mike McGlynn: Nick Cole came back for one afternoon practice last week, then disappeared again. We assume he’s still among the living because his car was usually in the players’ lot at Lehigh before camp broke Wednesday. But he could be in witness protection, or having his knee replaced or something. Jamaal Jackson isn’t going to start the season on PUP, but that’s about all we know there. This week, again, McGlynn is the starting center, with a chance to settle in.

3. Nate Allen: Assuming the rookie free safety gets some snaps with Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens on the field, we’ll see how unflappable he really is.

4. Brandon Graham: The first-round rookie got some snaps as in inside rusher this week, and he indicated that would be part of his role this week. He has the build to make it work.

5. Kickoff coverage: Hard to really assess until you’re working with the guys who are going to actually be on the team, but this was a real fire drill in Week 1. Surprised Ken Parrish got cut; his kickoffs weren’t great, but he did a fine job tackling guys after they broke through, figured they might keep him around as a gunner.
 

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