What I Was Looking To See And What I Saw. With Grades Included.
1) I am looking to see the people in that stadium get on their feet and cheer their heads off for Coach Reid at the start of the game and give him their support during this difficult time in his life.
I saw the fans do this very thing. It was a classy move done by everyone involved. Eagle’s fans get a bad rap, but they are the best in the business as far as I’m concerned.
2) I want to see the first string offense score a touchdown on the first or second series. The last time the Eagles played the Steelers in preseason they began to show the first signs of the nightmare team who at the time were called the “Dream Team.” I want to see them get, look sharp, and get out.
I saw an offense that barely got to see the field in the first quarter and barely did anything when they were playing. Once again the Steelers expose some of the cracks on the offense and defense. Once again the Red Zone defense gets exposed. Once again we as fans are making excuses for it.
3) I want to see how Kafka performs under live pressure. The Steelers are a team who will blitz in preseason games. They don’t let up so this will be a real test for Kafka. It will be a chance to see if the Eagles can count on him this season if he is needed. Considering the often injured Mike Vick is the quarterback he most likely will be needed.
Under live duress Kafka panicked and threw what was meant to be a screen pass right into the stomach of a Steelers defender. There was also a lot of dink and dunk plays. Most of his deep passes were inaccurate. Overall it was a very poor showing for Kafka.
4) I want to see the rookies obviously. Especially those who will be playing and having an immediate impact this season. Kendricks, Curry, Cox, Thomas, and Boykin all could end up with significant playing time this season. This will be our first chance to see if they will be up to the task. Consider the fact some of Reid’s former great players (McNabb, Westbrook, Sheppard, Brown, and others) weren’t expected to come in and make an immediate impact like these rookies are being expected to.
I thought Kendricks played well, but he was still making a few mistakes, but he was talented enough to overcome them. Boykin and Johnson showed some life to the return game I haven’t seen in a while. Cox is still learning and his curve seems longer than expected. Curry had himself a party in the backfield. Foles looked great out there. Granted it was against third string players, but he escaped pressure, and he got rid of the ball quickly against the blitz. He did enough in my opinion to at least get some reps this preseason to see if he can actually challenge for the number two spot.
5) I want to see some heads get knocked by Jarrett. There have been stories out in camp that Jarrett’s been laying some wood out there. He apparently even made McCoy fumble (something he did once last season), so I want to see if Jarrett has turned the corner is ready to try to give Coleman a run for that safety position.
My goodness this kid was terrible out there. He took poor lanes against the run and the pass. He made terrible decisions all over the field and he slammed hard into his own man on a few occasions. He is going to hurt one of his teammates if he doesn’t get cut first. I was rooting for the Temple product, but I don’t see him being an NFL pro.
6) I want to see Brandon Graham version 2. Everyone keeps talking how he’s been a man on a mission to prove everyone wrong. Thursday is his first chance to get started.
Brandon Graham version 2 was as good as advertised. He played a nice game verses the starters and the backups. I think he’s made Tapp expendable and a possible trade chip prior to the final cuts. On a side not Philip Hunt has to make this team. Dude can ball.
7) I want to see someone take over the return game. Last season between Jackson moping and Dion Lewis having no idea how to return kicks the Eagles struggled on special teams and were often strapped with poor field position. I want to see one of these young kids can step up and solidify the return game. Starting drives inside the 20 after the other team scored simply isn’t going to get the job done this year.
Looks like both kids showed explosiveness out there and could become valuable assets to this team. Although I think it will be hard for the Eagles to justify cutting Joselio Hanson. The guy is just a pro. He made two great stops in a game where the defensive secondary didn’t have much of a positive going for them. Boykin didn’t have a great game in the secondary when he was out there. It will be interesting to see what the Eagles do with Hanson.
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