Friday, August 12, 2011

My Thoughts Eagles/Ravens


Finally, football has returned. I actually got down to the Linc Thursday night to check out the revamped Philadelphia Eagles and for the most part, they looked pretty good. Considering that no one has had as much practice time as usual before the first preseason game, I thought the Eagles were in decent shape. So, let’s look at the game:

What I liked…

-I just mentioned about how teams haven’t had as much practice time as usual, so I was concerned going into the game that it was going to be littered with flags and generally sloppy play. Not the case. I was impressed at how few penalties there were (mostly in the first half) from both sides.

-Vick looks sharp. Only one series, but it is what it is. Vick looks just fine.

-It was good to see Alex Henery drill a few. Also, from what I could see at the game, there weren’t any issues with the holds by punter Chas Henry.

-Speaking of Henry, I didn’t care for what I heard on WIP driving home. I like Brian Startare a lot, but I disagree with his assessment of Henry’s evening. He noted that Henry had four punts, none inside the 20 and a 38.0 yard average. All facts. But it doesn’t tell the story and I get livid when people refuse to really look at a punter’s actual performance. His first punt was perfect, but the coverage team had to get all hyped up and couldn’t down the punt. Instead, they piled into the end zone. His next punt was gorgeous from about the minus 48. This kid can kick a beautiful spiral. It turned over and bounced about a yard inside the end zone before kicking back out. If he shortens that kick by a yard or two, it’s perfect. His next punt was about two yards deep in the end zone and kicked out the back. Not great, but it was another booming spiral. His fourth punt wasn’t so hot, I admit. But what was clear is that this kid looks like he can kick for sure. Will he be great? No clue. But, it’s not fair to just look at punts inside the 20 and average, and make an assessment of his performance.

-Did anyone notice Nnamdi Asomugha covering the rookie WR Torrey Smith early in the game? Laughable. He seemed to dance with him up the sideline as he had his hand in Smith’s back pocket. Smith had no chance to do anything even if he wanted to.

-Good play by the defensive line. Trent Cole was disruptive the entire time he was out there. And look at Darryl Tapp getting a pair of sacks. Like my buddy Jay and I always say during games, “Darryl Tapp always finds a way to contribute.” Let’s hope they get this d-line going this season.

-I like Dion Lewis. He’s tiny, but he’s got some jitter.

-Mike Kafka seems infinitely more comfortable in this offense now. Sure, most of what he completed was short, but there were a few intermediate throws in there. Andy Reid once again has a deep QB depth chart.

-I hope there is room on this roster for Colt Anderson. Not just the interception, but he made a brilliant open-field tackle on the sidelines that probably prevented a touchdown. I just have a feeling he’s going to get caught in a numbers game.

-I love that Eagles fans get so into even preseason games. When Tyrod Taylor’s last-ditch, 4th down toss fell harmlessly to the turf, the people left in the stadium were genuinely excited. I saw high-fives and people standing and cheering. The outcome of the game means absolutely nothing, but they were all into it nonetheless.

-Chad Hall had a nice night, but he’ll be caught in a numbers crunch most likely. Still, good audition for the other 31 teams.

…and not so much…

-I got texts from a bunch of people during the game that were really happy with Ronnie Brown. I’m not. He looks like he’s running on the beach. It could be that he’s doesn’t have his legs under him yet, or it could be that injuries have really taken their toll. I wouldn’t be totally shocked if at the end of the preseason, Lewis gets the call behind LeSean McCoy. I’m not saying that’s going to happen, but Brown doesn’t look to have much in his legs. Blitz pickup could end up determining who wins out.

-The Ravens have Tyrod Taylor as their backup. Yikes. I spoke to a Ravens source Thursday night who said the team is very concerned about their backup QB situation, and I can see why. I was told that they were really hoping to get Marc Bulger back, but that doesn’t seem to be happening. Taylor is a project, not a backup on a team with Super Bowl aspirations.

-I didn’t like that we didn’t get a better look at the linebackers and offensive line. But, I can’t really complain about that. Rather get them out of the game and keep them healthy.

That’s all I have for now. Hey, it’s preseason for me too. It’s late and I’m tired.

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