No time for a lengthy DGR right now. I will post some quick thoughts on what I saw:
* Demetress Bell played a bad game … BUT… he was not as bad on the re-watch as I expected. I do think he’ll make the team. There is something to work with. His head is a mess right now, but he does have talent. There were some good moments in the game. All depends on what Mudd thinks of Bell’s ability to get going.
* Trent Edwards played well … BUT … his TD to Mardy Gilyard was a major mistake. Trent floated that ball into the endzone. Should have been broken up or picked off. 3rd string DBs didn’t come close to it. Trent was under pressure on the throw and that’s why the ball floated, but the point is that a veteran QB has to know not to take that chance. If he does that in a real game, the ball is picked and headed the other way, with a convoy of blockers.
Some people see me as anti-Trent. That’s not the case. I have followed him since Stanford. I watched a bunch of his BUF starts. I am thrilled that Edwards has been able to pull himself off the scrap heap and have a good preseason showing.
Preseason football is tricky. I’ve gotten burned over the years by over-valuing veteran players who got the best of 3rd and 4th string competition. You can’t focus on just results. You must project what you see to what it would look like vs real competition. I think Trent has been good enough to warrant serious discussion for a roster spot. I do not think he’s been so special that he’s a lock.
I won’t be the least bit upset if the Eagles keep him over Kafka. I like both guys and don’t have a preference in terms of who I like more. I’m keeping Kafka based on the fact that he had a better mini-camp and Training Camp. I only got to see him for a handful of plays in the PS opener. He was okay, but unimpressive. He was also facing the Steelers #2 defense, a good unit. Somehow fans have decided that if Kafka played more in the PS he would have sucked. I’m not sure I get this. Kafka might have struggled, might have been solid, or he might have lit it up. We don’t know.
I’m not going to be upset with either guy getting cut. Both have done things this summer to show they deserve the job.
* Dallas Reynolds outplayed Steve Vallos. Dallas started at C and then played RG. Good showing. I think he’ll be the top interior backup OL.
* Dennis Kelly is talented, but a rookie. You saw both elements. I think he’ll be the 6th OL this year. He’ll play at G or T if someone gets hurt.
* TE Chase Ford had a good game. Real good. Made a diving catch on the first drive. That was impressive. Had some really good blocks. He had the key block on Brown’s TD run. Also did well in pass pro. Locked up a LB/DE for several seconds by himself on a pass play. Might have played his way into the mix for a practice squad spot.
* Emil Igwenagu has gotten better and better. He had a couple of catches. One was impressive, even though it was a short throw. He blocked well on several plays. I think he could develop into a good FB over time. Needs reps. Might be a practice squad guy, here or elsewhere.
* Bryce Brown’s numbers weren’t great (9-20), but he had a good game. Ran well, but that’s not news. He’s done that all summer. Was 3-30 as a receiver. One was a screen that he took 19 yards. Showed good burst on that. Also finishes plays well. Will lower his shoulder and take on defenders. The other catches were short throws, but nice grabs. One was a little swing pass that he struggled with at Lehigh. Caught it smoothly and looked natural. Didn’t get a lot of work as a pass blocker. Had one good cut block on a DE. Fired into his legs with no hesitation. Got the guy down.
* Not much new to add to Chris Polk talk. Terrific game. He’s gotten better each week, which I love in a prospect. Looked faster than any other week. Still a tough, physical runner. I’m starting to see the guy I loved so much at Washington.
* Damaris Johnson had no highlight plays, but was solid. I do think he needs work on catching punts. Looks like he lets the ball get into his body, which is dangerous as it will bounce off the pads. Not a hands issue. Simply needs technique work.
* DT Ced Thornton was terrific again. Love watching him this year.
* DE Monty Taylor had a very good game. He was a force off the edge, both left and right side. He wasn’t just getting the best of one bad player. Taylor was disruptive all game long. I really wonder if the Eagles will think long and hard about keeping him on the final roster. He would be a 6th DE, but wouldn’t play. Really impressive potential due to his size and natural athleticism.
* I’m happy to say that Jaiquawn Jarrett was even better on tape than live. Very active game. Only had 2 tackles, but he was right there to make stops on another 5 or 6 plays. That may sound like I’m trying to come up with a positive angle, but this is legit. Jai-Jar was aggressive. He came up quickly vs the run. He was good in the box. He showed some range in coverage. Problem he had was that the Jets offense stunk so much that by the time he got to the ball, the play had been made by a teammate.
* Phillip Thomas had some good moments. I just don’t think he showed enough to make the final roster. I think he definitely played his way onto the practice squad. I won’t be shocked if he makes the final 53, I’m just thinking it isn’t likely. Has good long term potential.
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I haven’t had time to type out a full roster post. I’ll do that later. For now, there are podcasts.
Jimmy Bama and I break down the roster in detail. Each show is about 45 mins.