Preseason Opener

Posted: August 12th, 2022 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Preseason Opener

We get to see the 2022 Eagles for the first time tonight. We’ll only see the starters for a series or two. Then we’ll get to see the key backups for a bit. The second half will be the guys at the bottom of the roster fighting for their roster lives.

The preseason opener is always the worst game. This is the first real tackling of the year. This is the first live special teams action of the year. Some players are rusty. You can get big time false reads. Some players who struggle will end up turning into good players. Some guys who look terrific will never amount to anything. Be prepared for a weird night.

There is a chance Nick Sirianni will change his mind at the last minute and not play his starters at all. I hope we get to see them. That makes the games more interesting. I think we’d all love to see Jalen Hurts hit AJ Brown for a TD.

The focus will be the backups. So here are some thoughts on the guys I’m most looking forward to seeing.

Jordan Davis – I don’t think Davis will play a lot, but I’m looking forward to every snap he’s out there. There have been glowing reviews out of Training Camp. Davis seems like the real deal and could develop into a special player. I’m most interested in seeing how he moves. We know he’s big and strong. I want to see how his movement skills translate to the NFL.

Britain Covey – The Eagles need a return specialist. Covey can handle punts and kickoffs. This will be his first chance to do that in a game setting at the pro level. The first thing to look for is how smoothly Covey catches punts. He’s looked smooth in practice and did a good job at Utah, but you always need to see it in games. Beyond the catch, you want to see if Covey can makes defenders miss. I’m also interested to see how he does as a receiver. Covey has a legit shot to be the RS and #6 WR if he plays well in the preseason games.

Cam Jurgens – With Jason Kelce out due to elbow surgery, Jurgens will be the starting center. I’m curious to see how much he plays. Sirianni could leave Jurgens out with the backups as well to get him extra reps. Sirianni could pull him out for fear of Jurgens getting hurt and then being out his top two centers. Jurgens played at a big school (Nebraska) and has looked good in camp so Sirianni may play it safe and limit Jurgens snaps.

Milton Williams – Williams had a solid rookie season. He showed excellent potential. Williams now needs to take the next step and become more consistently disruptive. Last summer he was learning. This summer Williams should know what he’s doing. I want to see him make plays. It will be interesting to see where he lines up. Williams could be DT, NT, 4i, and even DE.

Tarron Jackson – Another second year DL worth watching. Jackson didn’t play much as a rookie. He’s had a good showing in camp, getting to the QB on a regular basis. I’m excited to see how his game has evolved. Is he winning with speed, moves, effort, etc.?

Nakobe Dean – Normally fans would be clamoring for a player with Dean’s accomplishments to start. With TJ Edwards having a great camp and Kyzir White also playing well, Dean can work his way in as a role player. I’m most interested to see Dean’s athleticism. Dean is more player than athlete. Is he good enough to fly around and make plays in the NFL. I’m also interested to see if he’s able to shed blocks and play inside runs well. He did that at Georgia, but the NFL is a different animal.

Jason Huntley – We know Huntley can fly. This summer he’s shown more physicality. Huntley has a legit chance to make the roster if he can show that he is a functional RB. Watch how he does on inside runs. Does he go down on first contact? Does he run behind his pads? Does he try to bounce everything outside? Huntley can really help himself with a good showing.

Andre Chachere – The Eagles like their starting safeties. They brought in Jaquiski Tartt to help with depth. Chachere and K’Von Wallace are fighting for the last spot at safety. Chachere has made more plays in camp and would seem to be leading. He’s also the better STs player and that is critical when talking about role players. I want to see his tackling and how quickly he closes to targets.

Josiah Scott – The Eagles love versatile players. Scott can play in the slot or outside. This summer he’s also gotten reps at safety. That tells you the coaches have real interest in developing him.

Kayode Awosika – Speaking of versatility, Awosika has played OG and LT. He is a good run blocker. I want to see where he plays and how he holds up in pass protection. I don’t know that he’ll ever develop into a starting level player, but Awosika could become a good backup.

Kyron Johnson – Watch for Johnson on defense and STs. He is listed at SAM, but will also play DE in some packages. Johnson is a gifted athlete who could give fits to backup OTs. At SAM, I’m interested in how he covers. Johnson could be a standout on STs. He runs well and is fearless, always a good combination for someone covering kicks.

Josh Sills – A UDFA with good potential. Making the roster this year would be tough, but Sills could make the practice squad and develop into a player for the future. He has good size and strength. I think he’ll be a good run blocker. I’ll be interested to see how he handles athletic DL in pass pro. Might remind you of Nate Herbig and Sua Opeta.

Marlon Tuipulotu – What a difference a year makes. Tuipulotu struggled in a big way last summer. This year he came to camp in better shape and he’s played well. Tuipulotu didn’t do much well last year. I want to see how he looks this time around. At USC, he had a good motor and showed good athleticism for a DT. I look forward to seeing him in action.

Reid Sinnett – Gardner Minshew hasn’t played well this summer. Maybe the preseason game will bring out the best in him. Sinnett has opened some eyes and has gotten reps with the second team in a few practices. I want to see him in action. Let’s get a feel for what he can do.

CBs – The Eagles have a ton of young corners to keep an eye on. Who will stand out? Zech McPhearson has been quiet this summer. UDFAs Mario Goodrich and Josh Jobe both have good potential. I just hope someone plays well and takes the lead for the backup spots.

Obviously the most important thing is for the Eagles to stay healthy. Fingers crossed on that.


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