Game Preview – CLE at PHI, PS# 3

Posted: August 25th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 22 Comments »
Casey dominates

Tonight is redemption time for Casey Matthews. Or else he's banished to the ice caverns of Fridgia.


This is the closest thing to a real game in the month of August.  Eagles starters will play all of the 1st half.  They will play in the 3rd quarter, possibly all of it if they seem to need the reps.  Tonight is the dress rehearsal for the season.

Understand that means it still isn’t the real thing.  There won’t be much of a gameplan.  The Eagles won’t study the Browns very much.  The goal is to see the starters play well, in a relatively basic style of play.  Save the creative stuff for when the games actually count.

* 5 Guys on Offense That I’ll be Watching Closely *

1 – RT King Dunlap — This is pretty obvious.  King played pretty well last week and showed definite progress.  Does he get even better this week?  Did the light truly go on or was last week an aberration?  Dunlap would really help calm down Eagles Nation with a strong showing.  It won’t surprise me to see him play well.

2 – C Jason Kelce — Jamaal Jackson sits and Kelce starts.  Not good for our buddy JamJax.  Kelce needs to show he can hold up when taking on big DTs.  The Browns have Ahtyba Rubin and rookie Phil Taylor as part of their D-line.  That is almost 700 pounds of man.  Those big guys will be a good test for Kelce.  There’s no question about his athletic ability.  So far he’s also done okay with handling big DTs.  He does get pushed back on some plays, but isn’t getting overwhelmed the way some undersized players do.  A good game from Kelce means he’s probably the starting C.

3 – QB Vince Young — The first backup to watch.  Young hasn’t set the world on fire so far.  He can solidify his hold on the backup QB spot with a good game.  He won’t play until the 2nd half, possibly the 4th quarter.  Young needs to throw the ball well and run the offense as efficiently as he can.  No INTs would be a good idea.

4 – RT Reggie Wells — Hello Lazarus, I mean Reggie.  Didn’t expect to see you back in the NFL, let alone Philly.  All is forgiven.  We’re wiping the slate clean.  Tonight you’ll be the backup RT.  Let’s see what you can do.  One bit of advice I can offer – do the opposite of whatever you did last year.

5 – WR Sinorice Moss — Last week Moss opened some eyes with a pair of good kickoff returns.  He ran hard and showed good burst.  Now Moss needs to show he’s capable of being the 6th WR for us.  Chad Hall has found a way to stand out as a receiver this summer (8 catches for 102 yards).  Moss needs to do the same.

* 5 Guys on Defense That I’ll be Watching Closely *

1 – MLB Casey Matthews — Let’s cut to the chase.  Casey needs to shed blocks and get to the ball.  He needs to be physical and aggressive.

2 – DT Mike Patterson — Can’t wait to see Mike back on the field.  I want to see how he fits in the new scheme.  He’s going to probably be rusty.  Mike missed a lot of time after the seizure so my expectations are somewhat low.  He’ll get limited reps.  We just need to see him shake off the rust.

3 – SAM Jamar Chaney — Our best LB needs to play and look like our best LB.  Chaney is adjusting to a new position.  This is his third game in the new spot.  It would be great to see him play well and look comfortable.

4 – LB Brian Rolle — The coaches decided to take Casey off the Nickel defense.  That simplifies things for him.  It also gives them a chance to get Rolle on the field.  You guys know I love Brian Rolle so I’m excited to see him get out there with the #1 Nickel defense and show what he can do.  Rolle will play the MLB in that grouping.  He’s small, but that’s okay in the Nickel.

5 – DE Phillip Hunt — Week 1 was great for Hunt.  He looked terrific.  Last week he was solid, but didn’t stand out at all.  Hunt needs another strong game to continue his push for a roster spot.  Undersized pass rush specialists need to stand out when they get on the field.  This is an important game for Hunt.  He’ll play a lot next week, but tonight’s game will start to push the coaches in one direction or another in terms of how they feel about him.

* STers To Watch *

All of them.  We want Henery to kick well.  It sounds like there will be some bad weather during the game.  That gives Alex a chance to show what he can do in tough conditions.

Chas Henry has shown a big leg already.  Ball control and placement are his areas to work on.

We need some RS to step up.  Sinorice Moss impressed last week.  Another good showing by him would help him in his battle with Hall and Higgins for the #6 WR spot.  Johnnie Lee Higgins and Chad Hall are in that mix as well.  RBs Ronnie Brown and Dion Lewis might get a chance to show what they can do.  Someone please emerge.

22 Comments on “Game Preview – CLE at PHI, PS# 3”

  1. 1 Mr_Boomy said at 2:36 PM on August 25th, 2011:

    So Jamaal is unlikely going to play at all tonight?

  2. 2 americanfoot said at 2:41 PM on August 25th, 2011:

    Good stuff, T-Diddy.

    I’m going to keep a close eye on Watkins. How difficult is it going to be for him with a former backup on his right and another rookie to his left?

  3. 3 americanfoot said at 2:46 PM on August 25th, 2011:

    Good stuff, T-Diddy.

    I’m going to keep a close eye on Watkins. How difficult is it going to be for him with a former backup to his right and another rookie on his left?

  4. 4 americanfoot said at 2:47 PM on August 25th, 2011:

    Good stuff, T-Diddy.

    I’m going to keep a close eye on Watkins. How difficult will it be for him having a former backup on his right and another rookie to his left?

  5. 5 Julz787 said at 2:52 PM on August 25th, 2011:

    Why dont we ever train our backup C,backup TE or backup LB to be our Long snapper?? i understand how important that position could be, but also kills me not to have that roster spot for another position of need

  6. 6 J.O said at 3:09 PM on August 25th, 2011:

    Great write up as usally Tommy….I look forward to these everyday.

    Two more things I want to see…is the secondary gel together and be the juggernaut they can be. I’d like to see Massaquai and Cribbs are probably no go’s so I hope to possibly see some picks by Nnamdi, Asante and DRC

    The other is the pairing or Cole/Babin….I really think these two have the potential be the best 1-2 DE combo in the NFL…The Browns have a good O-Line so this will be a test, but if Jenkins and Patterson can get a good push up the middle those two should be able to get some disruption and/or sacks.

    And finally, EVERYONE stay healthy!!

  7. 7 iskar36 said at 3:51 PM on August 25th, 2011:

    In terms of the returners, do you think they should be running back kickoffs that go deep into the endzone? It seems in terms of fighting for the job, they are sort of forced to do that, but from a football standpoint, is it worth it?

    Also, in terms of Rolle, is there any reason why Clayton wouldn’t be the one put in when the defense goes into nickle? Is he two small? I’m also assuming that Chaney is the other LB on the field in nickle, correct?

  8. 8 Kevin (RC) said at 3:58 PM on August 25th, 2011:

    If Rolle is in the nickle, who is he playing with: Clayton or Chaney?

  9. 9 ATG said at 4:06 PM on August 25th, 2011:

    Since we are going with numbered lists today…

    1. One advantage of moving on at center would be one less temptation to use the JJ nickname. Jarrett is going to need a different nickname, and while I like JamJax, the temptation is real. JJ should be retired, in my opinion.

    2. So, for Casey, you’d like to see him play a little more like Clay and a little less like clay?

    3. Wait, there is a middle linebacker when you only have two?

    4. I don’t envy the guys trying to impress as a return specialist. On the one hand they need to be aggressive to actually show something by returning it, on the other they need to show the coaches they are smart enough to know when to take a knee. Tough spot.

  10. 10 Tommy Lawlor said at 4:26 PM on August 25th, 2011:

    @ ATG…

    #1 – I go to call him JJ all the time. Have to stop myself out of respect for the real JJ.

    #2 is very well played. I expected nothing less from you.

    #3 – I’m disappointed that you can’t look at two objects and easily identify which one is in the middle. What’s wrong with you?

    #4 is a tough assignment.

  11. 11 nicolajNN said at 4:37 PM on August 25th, 2011:

    1. I agree ATG, there’s only one JJ and that’s neither Jamaal nor Jarrett

    2. I haven barely seen Watkins name mentioned since the first game, I assume that’s a good thing

    3. Haha at ATG’s #3

    4. I want to replace Moss with someone else, not sure who though. Vick? Watkins? Cooper? Harbor?

  12. 12 Havana Omelet said at 4:39 PM on August 25th, 2011:

    goes without saying, but…


    I’m out of market. Anyone know if there’s a website out there that i can see the game on?

  13. 13 nicolajNN said at 5:13 PM on August 25th, 2011:

    I’ve barely seen Watkins name mentioned since the first games, I assume that’s a good thing

  14. 14 Austinfan said at 5:31 PM on August 25th, 2011:

    Well, I see you’re stealing my stuff again, but it’s ok, I got a day job.

    Seriously, this is such a wacky offseason, I’m laughing at people jumping to conclusions after three weeks (two weeks for free agents). Normally, the players have gone through a number of mini-camps, the rookies would have showed up a week early, and by now we’d actually have a good feel for someone like Matthews. This year he had three weeks to digest the entire defense, then go out and play a half against the most physical offense in the NFL with almost all of its starters returning from a SB team. Gee, he didn’t look like an allpro MLB?

    Now tonight’s game is important, because even in a normal offseason we’d expect young players to show something by the 2nd exhibition game, this year they really will only have two games where they’ll be halfway comfortable (think of the first two games as scrimages or 11 on 11 practices in a normal training camp).

    You also made a good point in the your column about big men showing up out of shape all over the NFL, now they should have spent some money on a personal trainer if their name is Peters, but for Dunlap and Howard, it ain’t like they’re making serious money and when you don’t know if there’s going to be a season, dropping 5 or 10K for one of those fancy workout regimes is hard to swallow. So I think we’re not only seeing the adjustment to Mudd, but guys who are working off an extra 10-20 lbs in camp.

    Matthews shouldn’t be in the nickel, he’s not fast enough to be anything but a two down MLB, no matter how good his instincts and cover skills – give him a lot of space to cover and he’s in trouble. Whereas Rolle runs like a safety, but is willing to fill like a LB, that’s what you want in the nickel and dime – though you also wonder if this isn’t a kick in the butt for Clayton, who should have that job under lock and key.

    Wells is a camp body, probably because Tupou still can’t play and they may want Mathis to focus on LG and Howard on LT. If he actually makes this roster and God forbid has to start, they’d better send Kafka to Brady’s trainer and build up his arm strength, because he’ll be the starting QB by week ten.

  15. 15 Tommy Lawlor said at 5:38 PM on August 25th, 2011:

    RE: Jamaal J.

    I don’t think he will play. Kelce will be with the starters. I’m assuming that AQ Shipley will be with the backups. If we cut JamJax, we need to have a backup Center in place.

    McGlynn seems to have really fallen out of favor.

  16. 16 Tommy Lawlor said at 5:41 PM on August 25th, 2011:

    RE: Watkins…

    Danny made good progress from Game 1 to 2. He’s still a rookie with some bad moments, but you can see his talent and potential. He should get better every week.

    Playing between Kelce and King Dunlap isn’t ideal for the young man. It would be much better if the guys around him had lots of experience or at least knew the system inside-out.

    We are going to find out just how good of a coach Howard Mudd is.

  17. 17 Tommy Lawlor said at 5:50 PM on August 25th, 2011:

    RE: Kickoff returns

    I would tell the guys to bring them out of the endzone as long as you weren’t close to the back. We need to evaluate the blocker and returners.

    RE: Rolle in the Nickel

    He and Jamar Chaney are the Nickel LBs. Chaney is OLB, Rolle ILB. I think Clayton got passed over because he would be an OLB and Castillo wants to leave Chaney in that role. It also helps that Rolle has looked pretty good. He’s not afraid to take on blockers and do the dirty work.

  18. 18 Tommy Lawlor said at 5:51 PM on August 25th, 2011:

    @ Havana Omelet…

    For 9.99 at you can buy the preseason pass. That’ll let you watch the game this week and next week.

  19. 19 ATG said at 6:12 PM on August 25th, 2011:

    I really have an issue with the lexicon for the nickel linebackers. MLB and ILB both are problematic. The middle of two I already questioned, but inside isn’t much better. I am lobbying for BiC (‘backer in the center, obviously), or, preferably, DTTTRTWADPOULB (do not try to run that weak ass draw play on us ‘backer, clearly). Verbally, we would have the “Mike,” “Sam,” “Will,” and “Dirty-wad-pow.”

    I expect this to catch on pretty quickly.

  20. 20 Tommy Lawlor said at 6:15 PM on August 25th, 2011:

    @ ATG…

    I’ll run this by Juan Castillo. He’ll have Casey Matthews bring up the ideal the next time he’s at the dinner table with all his football relatives. If they approve, so be it. If not, there’s nothing I can do.

  21. 21 Steag209 said at 6:20 PM on August 25th, 2011:

    Thanks for the lank Tommy, completely forgot the NFL had that package in the preseason. Wished they would do it for the season though. Living in Iowa means not too many Eagles games on Sundays

  22. 22 Stephen said at 6:58 PM on August 25th, 2011:

    speaking of TV packages, direct TV tried to pull a fast one and billed me for sunday ticket this year when I didn’t even order it. I got it last year and was pretty disappointed because I only got 5 games I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise (eagles games that is) and I paid 300 bux for that? No thanks, I’ll drive to a friends house or something this year (I live in new jersey, one county south of me is considered philadelphia local channels, I get new york local channels, blech).