Preseason Finale Preview

Posted: August 29th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 36 Comments »

The 2013 preseason draws to a conclusion tonight as the Eagles and Jets fight it out for all the marbles. Literally.  They are playing for a handful of marbles.

Preseason games mean virtually nothing and the finale is the epitome of that. Only a handful of starters will hit the field. And frankly, those guys will only play because the coaches aren’t completely sold on them as starters.

This is a huge game in the lives of some young men. Without trying to be too melodramatic, lives can be altered in the preseason finale. Most guys have made the team, but there are some on the bubble. Priest Holmes had a good showing for the Baltimore Raven in their 1997 preseason finale and coach Ted Marchibroda decided to keep him. In 1998, Holmes rushed for 1,000 yards and eventually he became a Pro Bowl player with the Chiefs. If he’s cut, who knows what happens. Holmes might bounce around from team to team. Maybe things work out the same, but I wouldn’t count on it.

Let’s focus on the most interesting Eagles to watch tonight.

* Nate Allen – We need to see him make some tackles. He hasn’t missed any in the last 2 weeks, but we need to see him getting guys down to have any type of confidence in him as a starter.

* Earl Wolff – Don’t make mental mistakes. Be in the right place at the right time. Take good angles to the football. We know Earl can tackle. We need to see if he’s ready for the mental challenge of playing Safety as a rookie.

* Julian Vandervelde –  Right now Vandy looks like the backup C. He really struggled to anchor vs the Pats, but that hasn’t been an issue the last 2 weeks. If he is just solid tonight, he’ll get the job.

* Clifton Geathers – Does he make the team? Is he a key part of the rotation? Geathers flashes big ability at times, but must be more consistent. He’ll play a lot tonight.

* Antonio Dixon – Dixon was rusty vs CAR. He was better last week, but not good enough. He’ll need a great game to make the coaches even consider him for the final roster.

* The ILBs – Jake Knott stood out on STs last week. That’s a boost for him. Casey Matthews is more physical right now as a run defender. I think Emmanuel Acho is the best of the trio. All 3 can make the team, but a bad finale wouldn’t help the situation.

* Russell Shepard – Finally flahsed big time athleticism last week. Always good on STs, but finally looked like an offensive weapon. Another strong game from him will really push Salas. Anything less and Shepard may be stuck on the practice squad.

* Greg Salas – Great summer, but has some physical limitations which make you wonder if he’s worth keeping. Could he ever start in the NFL? Looks like another Jason Avant, which is good and bad. Smart, polished receiver, but also one that lacks speed and dynamic ability.

* Vinny Curry – I’m curious to see if he plays and how much.

* Matt Tucker – Tucker has had a good summer, but I’m not sure he’s shown enough to make the team. He’ll get a lot of work tonight.

* Michael Bamiro – A good game from him will mean he’s making the roster. Bamiro has really come on the last 2 weeks. Great size. NFL coaching is making a difference in his game, but pass blocking still needs a lot of work. Has shown big promise.

* Matt Barkley – I’d love to see him hit on deep ball.

* Everette Brown – He had a good game last week. If he plays well again, do you consider keeping him? Is this just fool’s gold since he’s desperate to make a team?

* Chris McCoy – Coming off a bad game. Has to play stronger and be more physical.

* Danny Watkins – I think he’s got a good chance to make the team, but there will be competition. Danny can’t afford a mediocre or bad showing.

* Joe Kruger – Right now I think he’s headed for the P-squad. Needs to get bigger, stronger before he’s ready for the NFL.

* CBs – We need someone to step up. Jordan Poyer now looks like P-squad material. We still need a #4 CB. The answer could easily come from another roster.

* Adrian Robinson – Makes his Eagles debut tonight. Keep your expectations low.

* * * * *

A few of you have asked about Ras-I Dowling, the CB the Patriots recently cut.

If the Eagles want to keep 5 CBs, they could sign him. Dowling his hurt right now and won’t be full speed for a few weeks. He has battled injuries the last couple of years and that’s what led the Pats to cut him.

The Eagles need a reliable #4 CB right now. Could be Brandon Hughes. Might be a player from some other team. Won’t be Dowling.

The Eagles might choose to keep 5 Safeties and go light at CB. They could then put Nate or Patrick Chung in the slot if needed and shift Boykin to the outside.

_


  • Homer Frizzell

    Thank you, Tommy. I’ve never been more excited for the final preseason game.

    • GEagle

      Yeah, we really need to take advantage of this game. I can’t ever recall being so excited for a 4th PS game…It makes me stop and think, why are we so darn excited for this game? And I guess it’s a combo of so many spots open with having a new coaching staff and two good draft classes. Why is everyone else so excited?…I wonder if there is a fanbase besides us out there that is so hype for the 4th PS game. I’m Jacked up as if this were September. HASHTAG….Ready to Roll! Lol

  • GEagle

    I have some higher aspirations for a 2nd round safety with years of game experience playing against guys fringe players…Sure some tackles is a start, but he needs to look like one of the best players on the field tonight. he is playing against Scrub bottom of the Barrel QBs…we are talking about 3rd and 4th strings on a team that is depending on Sanchez and Geno…Is it too much to ask Nate to bait these silly QBs into a turnover? Come on Nate! Show me something tonight. my beloved Dawk believes in this kids ability, I would like nothing more then to see them. Nate playing to up to his potential would be huge for this defense. I don’t want Wolff to learn on the job and take Nates spot, I’m just close to the point where Nate has become a lost cause. make me stand up a cheer Nate!

    • ICDogg

      I think I’ve tried to make the point with Watkins, and the same is true for Nate, that getting rid of a player who was a mistake to draft does not purge the mistake. It is stupid to think about dumping players just because they did not live up to expectations, which were probably too high to begin with.

      We need to get past the mistakes. All we need to consider is whether these guys are better than the other alternatives available. If they are, and I think they are, we keep them around and use them as best we can, until we find someone better or their contracts run out.

      • GEagle

        If Nate Allen is being talked about For a starting position, then I expect him to be one of the best players in a game filled with guys who won’t be in the league next week…I’m down with your lowered expectations argument in theory…but not in a 4th preseason game. if we are talkng about him as a starter, then he needs to show something tonight!!! he should be embarrassed to be playing in this game, come out and knock someone into next week!

        • ICDogg

          It’s possible that Wolff could make a good case for himself to supplant Allen as the starter, but I think that’s what would have to happen. But it’s not like there’s any other choices for us. It’s like the Jets’ QB battle. Someone has to win if only by default.

          • GEagle

            True…because of our limited options I think the onus is in Wolff to force the coaches hand…but for my personal faith in Nate, he needs to look like one of the best players in this game for me to not think that he is Doomed at the end of this season where he gets to have a job no matter what by default

  • T_S_O_P

    I remember GLEW making a name for himself in this fixture 10 years ago. (10 years has flown). Will tonight be a night for Shepard, Salas or both?

    • GermanEagle

      I forgot about Greg Lewis. Thanks for bringing back those glorious memories.

      • ICDogg

        The guy I remember who I was unfamiliar with, came to camp as a UDFA, and blew us away, was Rod Hood.

        In the preseason games that year, he had a knack for always being at the right place at the right time to make a play. It was ridiculous!

        And Hood turned out to be a pretty good player, so it wasn’t that much of a fluke.

  • ACViking

    Re: How Much . . .

    T-Law:
    Given that the staff has seen the current 75 over the past four months — and nearly every day for the past 5 or so weeks — how much will tonight’s performances factor into the coachs’ decision-making? [Given that nearly all back-ups on back-ups.]

    For example, let’s say Nate Allen plays like Dawkins . . . which, based on the past two seasons plus this TC, would seem to be out of character.

    How much stock does that kind of performance carry.

    How much stock *should* it carry (if you’re making the call)?

    • ICDogg

      Some of the guys playing tonight are being kept around solely for the purpose of fielding a squad of backups for tonight’s game. Many of them already know that they are going to be cut (barring an injury to someone ahead of them on the depth chart) but still want to get a good performance on film and some might want to get an opportunity on a practice squad here or elsewhere.

      In the case of Nate Allen, I think he’s staying no matter what, and he’s probably starting unless it is Wolff that suddenly looks like Dawk.

      My guess is only a very few spots are truly up for grabs tonight. Almost everything has been decided. But for us fans, we don’t have the intel to know what the roster battles truly are at the moment.

      • ACViking

        I agree entirely.

        The only jobs up in the air, I’d argue, are 1 spot at MLB, 1 spot on the O-line, 1 on D-line, Tucker vs. a WR vs. Harbor.

        And then, after all the teams make their cuts, I’d guess — based on what T-Law and J-Bama have put out — a CB has to be added at the expense of someone.

        That’s 5 positions/players at most.

  • GEagle

    Tom: I get that Ras being cut had a lot to do with the injuries, but considering we are so thin at CB(In terms of quality not bodies), doesn’t sound like you think he is talented enough to put up with his injuries even tho he is so young. I guess Im asking, if you take injuries out of the equation, what do you think of his ability? I’m not very familiar with his game or his injuries so I would appreciate any oppinions on him….because its not often that teams give up on such a high pick so soon

    • ICDogg

      I see a guy like Dowling and think of Marlin Jackson… some guys just don’t hold up.

  • ohitsdom

    I haven’t heard much from Dallas Reynolds. Is Vandervelde really playing well, or is Reynolds struggling? It looked like he showed improvement last year.

    • ICDogg

      If you had to start one to win a game today, you’d probably go with Reynolds, but Vandervelde has upside and I think upside wins out here.

    • Steag209

      I agree with ICDogg, plus Vandervelde is 3?, 4? years younger as well

      • GEagle

        Liked what I saw from Big V in the Jags game…but haven’t paid much attention to him or Reynolds this PS….appreciate any Imput on that battle

  • Steag209

    “The Eagles might choose to keep 5 Safeties and go light at CB. They
    could then put Nate or Patrick Chung in the slot if needed and shift
    Boykin to the outside.”

    ^^^ This is what I’ve been thinking for a couple weeks now, unless something akin to magic happens to one of the younger CB’s

    • ICDogg

      And play a lot of Cover 3

      • GermanEagle

        Or keep Coleman to play CB…

        • ICDogg

          He’ll be doing that tonight I think, at least some of the game.

          The funny thing is, against the Jets offense, he’ll probably look pretty good.

          • GermanEagle

            I know. I don’t expect anything less than 4 pass break ups and 1 pick 6.

          • GEagle

            Why expect anything less from the self proclaimed “playmaker”

  • ACViking

    ICDogg . . . you’re red hot!

    • ICDogg

      Just passing the time… you know, I think of this game as basically meaningless but at least a few of these guys’ careers are depending on it. But for us, the fans, very few questions will be answered tonight. Even in the best case scenario, we won’t really know anything we didn’t already know about how good this team is.

  • GEagle

    I just got to my TV midway thru the first quarter….did Clowney murder any tar heels yet?

    • ICDogg

      I don’t know but someone was calling him a “game changing player like Lawrence Taylor”.

      • GEagle

        that kid has been so hyped up that there is no way to live up to it…doesn’t help that he will be drafted by the Bills since they are the ony team that will be that bad and just invested a first rd pick in a QB….Bills get on my nerves. those bums always have something I really want..Kiko,Byrd, Glmore, soon they will have Clowney…yet no matter how many good plays they get, they will always suck

    • Anders

      He has been on the sideline a lot.

  • ICDogg

    Last time I was at an Eagles game vs the Jets at the Meadowlands, Randall Cunningham and Fred Barnett got injured and were out for the season, and Bubby Brister led the Eagles to a come-from-way-behind victory. The most memorable play was Eric Allen’s 94 yard interception. I was in the end zone “waving him in” from the stands, and he ran right in my direction (coincidentally, but it was pretty cool).

  • Crus57

    If you’re struggling to put a name to a number: http://www.philadelphiaeagles.com/team/roster.html?sort_by=2 and click on the # column heading.

  • ICDogg

    Chris McCoy should have had that

  • GEagle

    Come on Chris McCoy…dropping easy INTs

  • TommyLawlor