First things first. Many of you want to know who made the roster with a good game tonight. Still too early for that. I need to check the tape to see who played well from an overall standpoint. The naked eye can only see so much. And remember…this isn’t about stats or results. Big plays against the Jets scrubs can be deceiving. You need to find NFL talent. You want guys whose skills translate well to real NFL games.
The big story of the night is the emergence of Cody Parkey, the rookie the Eagles traded for the other day. He kicked 2 field goals of more than 50 yards. He had pretty good depth on his kickoffs. Look beyond the numbers. Parkey looked good in doing that. He struck the ball firmly and cleanly. Those long FGs weren’t moving all over the place. They were fairly straight. I also liked the fact that Parkey handled the pressure of the moment well. A bad kick could have gotten him a pink slip.
Was that enough for Parkey to win the PK job? I’m no expert on kickers, mechanics and exactly what it takes to succeed in the NFL, but I really liked what I saw. I think I would go take the chance and go with Parkey. This kid is unproven, but he showed special potential tonight. While there is something to be said for Henery, he’s never shown anything special.
The Eagles piled up 568 yards of offense and scored 37 points. The skill players had a good night, but the real stars were the O-linemen. They controlled the line of scrimmage throughout the game. They gave Barkley good protection and opened some gaping holes for the runners.
Damaris Johnson helped his case for a roster spot quite a bit. He was 5-69 as a runner, including a 46-yd TD. He caught 2 passes for 19 yards. He also averaged 17 yards per punt return. He did everything the coaches asked of him. And you know how Chip Kelly loves versatility.
I still might go with Arrelious Benn for the final roster spot at WR. He was 2-55 as a receiver, including a 43-yd TD. He almost came up with another TD. He looked good as a receiver. I was disappointed not to see a WR screen go his way. I wanted to see his RAC skills.
Matt Barkley started slow. He was very pedestrian for a while, but then seemed to get into the flow of the game and he played better. I guess you would say there was more good than bad, but he’s just not playing at the level he needs to be. I think his biggest issue is that he’s trying to be too good…going for big plays rather than just moving the ball.
Barkley did finish 21-33-253, with 1 TD and 1 INT. Those numbers are solid, but the tape is more uneven.
I do not think G.J. Kinne has a legit shot at the roster.
TE Trey Burton helped himself in a big way. He led the team with 6 catches. Burton is a gifted pass catcher. He has good hands and is effective on short and intermediate routes. I thought his blocking was much better. Burton just might have earned a spot tonight. He’s at least in the mix.
I remain totally confused about RB. Chris Polk did not play. I have no idea what to make of his situation. Matt Tucker was 6-39 on the ground, but he looked to be cutting slowly as he went wide and then up the field. Henry Josey was terrific, going 22-121 on the ground. He looked fast and quick. I just get nervous about RBs who look fast vs backup defenders. Speed doesn’t always work against starters. Kenjon Barner was 5-21 on the ground before he left with an injury.
The overall defense played well. I don’t think anyone really jumped out. ILB Emmanuel Acho helped himself, from what I could tell. Would have been even better if he held onto a ball that he almost picked off. Bryan Braman looked good rushing off the edge. He has a very good dip move. Earl Wolff had a nice FF. Ed Reynolds had a couple of nice tackles, but missed an INT that would have really made him look good. Jaylen Watkins was physical as a hitter and tackler, but he did give up the TD pass.
It was good to see the Eagles go out and whip somebody, 37-7. They played well on both sides of the ball and for the second week in a row looked like a much better team than the opponent. The team is headed in the right direction and seems to get better each week.
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Have any questions about who is eligible for the practice squad? Sam has your answers and all the details here.