More On The Preseason Opener

Posted: August 10th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 17 Comments »

I have not finished re-watching the game.  It didn’t come on NFL Network until today.  I did re-watch the 1st quarter on, but studying plays over and over can sometimes cause that stream to freeze up.  DVR has no such issues.

I wrote a column for SB Nation Philly on some young players that stood out.  In the preseason opener, I think it is more important to focus on the young guys than the veterans.  Some of you may say “He’s just making an excuse for the starters looking sloppy.”  Not so.  I’ll cover their sloppiness in the DGR.

The point is that each preseason game means something different.  The opener is a time for the vets to shake off some rust.  The young guys / backups are fighting for jobs and to climb the depth chart.  Important game for them.

The second preseason game is more important for the starters.  They have a game under their belt.  They need to show progress.

The third preseason game is a dress rehearsal for the season opener and is the only truly important game for the starters.  This is when the team needs to impress.

The finale is all backups.  They are really fighting for their jobs in that game.

Last year in the PS opener we beat Baltimore 13-6.  We held their RBs to 14 carries for 48 yards.  The next week the Steelers dominated us, 24-14 (starters 21-0).  They had 22 carries for 93 yards in the 1st half.  Which game was more indicative of the Eagles in the first month of the season?

I’m not worried about the starters, but I’m sure as heck not happy with what I saw.  I happened to wear an Eagles t-shirt today and a few people said “good win”.  These are casual football fans who don’t really understand the preseason.  They just know when the Eagles win, Tommy isn’t walking around in an angry mood.  I quickly explained that the win was nice to see, but that I was more focused on the sloppy play of the starters than getting a W.

If the coaches and players can work out the kinks in the next week and we play better in the second game, my concerns will go by the wayside.  If the starters continue to be sloppy, I’ll start to get more concerned.  The preseason opener isn’t the game to focus on the vets.

* * * * *

Lots of roster talk already.  Will the Eagles keep 6 DEs?  Will they go with 3 TEs?  Will they keep a FB?  Too early to answer these questions. Fun to discuss, but there are 3 preseason games left.  Things will sort themselves out, injuries and performance wise.  I hope we get to September and still have these questions to deal with.

* * * * *

Did anyone enjoy Brian Baldinger as the analyst on Thursday night?  I normally like Baldy, but he said some really strange things.  Seems like he is better in a studio situation where he knows what he’s going to say than in a game where you are working on the fly.

I often point out that Baldy can be a hyperbole machine.  In the game he started talking about Alex Henery becoming the best PK in the NFL.  Uh, okay.  Might be a tad early for that.  And this was before the winning FG.  Henery was very good last year in the way that the Eagles used him.  I think he’s got the potential to be an outstanding kicker, but let’s slow down on the “best in the NFL” talk until he’s shown that he is even among the best group of kickers.

Some people had serious doubts on Henery last year because of how conservative Reid was with him, as well as the SF misses.  I think Reid wanted to be careful with him, not for fear that Alex couldn’t get the job done, but just to make sure not to mess with his confidence in case there were any struggles.  I think Reid will be more aggressive with Henery this year.  Hitting that 51-yard FG to win last night was a good start for him.  Anyone who watched Henery at Nebraska knows that he is comfortable with the game on the line.  Seems to bring out the best in him.

Let’s hope Baldy’s comment proves to be true, even if it is a few years premature.


17 Comments on “More On The Preseason Opener”

  1. 1 TommyLawlor said at 12:57 AM on August 11th, 2012:

    Feeling even better about Kendricks and Ryans as I study the tape.

  2. 2 TommyLawlor said at 12:59 AM on August 11th, 2012:

    Worse about Jai-Jar.

  3. 3 the guy said at 1:12 AM on August 11th, 2012:

    So you’re saying that Jai Jar is not just bad, but actively embarassing? Didn’t we cover this 10 years ago?

    I can’t be the first one to refer to him as the “Phantom Menace”, can I?

  4. 4 TommyLawlor said at 2:05 AM on August 11th, 2012:

    You know the old joke about the employee evaluation…”every time I think he’s hit rock bottom, he pulls out a shovel and starts digging”. That’s Jai-Jar and the PIT game.

  5. 5 SteveH said at 2:18 AM on August 11th, 2012:

    As good as this draft class looks, I think Jai-Jar will be remembered as an epic second round whiff. He can hit hard at least, as Vinny Curry well knows.

  6. 6 Brandon Gleklen said at 1:26 AM on August 11th, 2012:

    There was also Jaiquawn Jarrett. Oh boy. He was awful on the first couple of drives. I need to check the tape after that. Jarrett missed tackles. He took bad angles to the football. It looked like the TD pass was his fault. Not good.”

    Worse than that? Uh oh.

  7. 7 Anders Jensen said at 5:13 AM on August 11th, 2012:

    Good to hear about Ryans. I have read so many places that Ryans had a bad game because he wasnt flying around the field. Seems Kendricks could be the first really impact LB the Eagles draft in a long long time (Since Trotter?)

  8. 8 Jyolteon said at 1:01 AM on August 11th, 2012:

    Will you be giving us a projected 53 man roster after each preseason game, or just wait until the end of the preseason?

    Also, follow up question to the McNutt one I asked a couple days back…How much has he benefited from Riley Cooper’s injury? Is Cooper’s spot in danger if McNutt impresses the rest of the preseason/camp?

    And on a completely unrelated note…I work at the Seahawks official Pro Shop at Century Link Field. Today we got a memo from the powers that be telling us to be positive about the Terrell Owens signing. Even got a statement from the GM, said something about him trying his best to build a championship roster.

    Fans around here are generally optimistic about TO. I can’t help but chuckle.

  9. 9 TommyLawlor said at 2:07 AM on August 11th, 2012:

    I won’t project the full roster. Too many uneducated guesses. I will talk about guys on the bubble and others who look like they’ve earned jobs.

  10. 10 TommyLawlor said at 2:08 AM on August 11th, 2012:

    I think McNutt and Cooper can both make the team. I’m assuming 6 WRs and Chad Hall to the PS.

  11. 11 T_S_O_P said at 2:27 AM on August 11th, 2012:

    When do we expect Cooper to return?

  12. 12 D3FB said at 2:29 AM on August 11th, 2012:

    Is Hall PS eligible? I’m pretty sure he was on the 53 all of last year which gives him a vested year making him ineligible. Although I will defer to Sam on this.

  13. 13 dropscience said at 2:35 AM on August 11th, 2012:

  14. 14 Virgile - Bubqr said at 7:25 AM on August 11th, 2012:

    The thing that impressed me the most in this game was Vinny Curry’s violence. This dude was not doing any ankle-tackling or finesse moves, he was pushing linemen/TE around and punishing RBs. I was so impressed by his physicality, I didn’t expect that from a rookie.

  15. 15 Anders Jensen said at 10:10 AM on August 11th, 2012:

    I think his only real major knock was that he isnt an athletic freak, but watching Curry reminds me so much of Cole.

  16. 16 Anders Jensen said at 10:24 AM on August 11th, 2012:

    Tommy, do you think we could see more roll outs with a bunch of short to medium completions this season to take advantage of the athletic OL and make it easier for Vick to see down the field and get rid of the ball quicker

  17. 17 LeicesterEaglesAce73 said at 6:15 PM on August 11th, 2012:

    This is the same Baldinger that said Chaney would be the best middle linebacker in the NFL…?