Sorry for the long silence. An Eagles friend had a party last night for his wife’s birthday. I anticipated going over for a couple of hours. Turned into 6 hours. Missed the game completely. I got caught up in talking to a bunch of cool Philly fans. Among the names that were brought up in long discussions: Doug Scovil, Caldwell Jones, Jim Eisenreich. That should tell you the depth of the Philly sports talk that was going on. Great stuff.
I got home late and watched the 1st half of the game. I woke up this morning and took in the 2nd half.
I came away pretty happy with what I saw. There was still some sloppiness that must go away, but it was clear that the Eagles were a much better team than the Browns. The NFL Network used the Browns version of the telecast (always go with the home team). Listening to Bernie Kosar was pretty depressing. He was looking at the Eagles and basically saying “why can’t we be like them?”.
The DL was great. Derek Freaking Landri (DFL) was a disruptive force all night long. Wonder if the Browns regret not talking to him during free agency? Cedric Thornon had another good game. I’m going to say something here, but keep it in context…there are times when I see a bit of Leon Lett in him. Guy from small school. Big frame. Athletic. Raw, but really talented. If he becomes half of what Lett was, we’ll be very lucky. Ollie Ogbu really impressed me. He was very good in the 2nd half.
Brandon Graham was in on a couple of sacks. He was disruptive off the edge. I thought his burst looked good. So why the hell are Eagles fans talking about cutting him? What am I missing? Why on Earth would you consider cutting a guy who just turned 24 and has the potential to be a good DE? Is this just blowback because he has yet to look like a Top 15 pick? Crazy. Brandon is having a good summer and I’m very encouraged by what I’ve seen.
Dennis Kelly started at RT and had a good game. He played his best football of the summer. Still needs work, but showed definite progress. King Dunlap was King Dunlap. Just a solid guy. Demetress Bell was a mess on a regular basis. I am very discouraged from what I’ve seen out of him. The talent is there. We know from watching him in the past. The mental side of things is not working. He’s thinking too much and not playing with any confidence.
Nick Foles was pretty good. 12-19-146, with 2 TDs, 1 INT. We can definitively say that underthrowing deep balls is an issue. That’s what happened on the pick. Also happened in the opener on 2 plays. That can be worked on. The good news is that he continues to look like a veteran. He’s poised in the pocket. Moves when he needs to, but doesn’t panic when he’s on the move. Led us to a couple of RZ scores. Easily the best rookie QB I’ve ever seen play for the Eagles. If the Browns offered Brandon Weeden for him straight up, would you take the deal? I wouldn’t. Foles looks like the real deal. He’s the Derek Landri of rookie QBs.
Damaris Johnson had a huge bounce back game. 2 catches for 58 yards. Almost made a spectacular TD catch. Just couldn’t get the second foot in. Averaged 14.5 per PR, including one that went for 30 yards. No drops/muffs/bobbles on passes or punts. I was really impressed when he ran by Sheldon Brown on a play up the field. Damaris is a 4.5 guy. Didn’t think he’d be running by many CBs, even though Sheldon has never been a burner.
Brett Brackett played his best game, catching 3 passes for 34 yards and a TD. His blocking still isn’t good. It isn’t functional either. If we had a 60-man roster, he’d stay. With just 53, I think you have to put him on the practice squad.
Keenan Clayton continues to drive me nuts. He had a blocked punt. He covered very well. He had a run come at him and was too buy playing patty-cake with the OL to get involved with the tackle. He had a shot to tackle a RB in space over the middle on a pass play and hit the guy instead. The RB bounced off it and ran for a 1st down. Clayton looks like a good NFL player at times, but like a reject at others.
Mychal Kendricks wasn’t spectacular, but still impressed me.
Brandon Boykin had his best game. Was in on a couple of tackles. Covered well. Broke up 1 pass. Looked like might have gotten a 2nd one as well. Looked fast and active.
Phillip Thomas had his best game. He got to play a lot and responded very well. Credited with 3 tackles and 1 PD. Blitzed off the edge and forced an incompletion. Covered well. Flew around the field at full speed. The finale will be hugely important to his future.
Jaiquawn Jarrett had another solid game. Only in on a couple of tackles, but he was assignment sound. He was in the right spots at the right times. Covered well. That was the biggest question on him coming out of Temple. Could he cover? JaiJar has impressed in the last 2 games. I still don’t know that he’s going to make the team, but he’s at least shown the coaches that he can play. After the PIT game, the question was whether the Earth should cut him. Put him on the next mission to Mars. Now he’s legitimately back in the roster hunt. Glad he pulled his head out of his butt and got in gear. JaiJar needs to go give Demetress Bell a pep talk.
Cliff Harris picked off a tipped pass. That’s what he does. Playmaker.
Brandon Washington played RG in the 4th Qtr. Need to check him out. Looked okay, but rusty as you would imagine.
The Eagles are flat out loaded with talent. If the coaches can get the team to eliminate mistakes, this bunch could be an outstanding team this year.