The concept of finality is, in and of itself, one of the many reasons to tune in and watch the Jets and Eagles tangle (6:35 p.m., 6abc). It's been a strong preseason for the 3-0 Eagles in a lot of ways as they've learned a lot about some of the young players on this roster and have come to understand that, yeah, this is a pretty darn good group here.
With the roster at 75 players, to be whittled to 53 by Friday at 9 p.m., there is a clear sense of urgency. Roster spots are on the line tonight. While the coaches have had months to evaluate and break down players and scenarios, last impressions do count. So here are some things to look for tonight as the Eagles play the final game in this 2012 preseason ...
QUARTERBACK: MORE FOLES AND A SHOT FOR EDWARDS
Who isn't excited to see
Foles starts and plays the first quarter. Then it's
The Eagles aren't going to hand off, hand off, hand off all night just to get this thing done. They're going to run the offense. Repetitions are very important for Foles, who starts his second straight game, his first at Lincoln Financial Field. The play calling may not be remarkably sophisticated, but the Eagles are going to throw it around some. Quite a bit, I'm sure. Let's see Foles take another step forward.
As for Edwards, he has done everything asked to win a job. The questions are these: Is his arm strength adequate after the shoulder injury? Do the Eagles prefer the developmental aspect over the he-is-what-he-is reality of the veteran Edwards? How important is it to have a veteran teaming with Foles behind
We shall see. Tonight is huge for Edwards.
RUNNING BACK: CAN THE EAGLES KEEP FOUR?
The perfect scenario is that both
Polk is a bruiser who has done a very good job between the tackles, in pass protection and in the passing game in the summer. For the first time in a long time, the Eagles have four roster-worthy halfbacks here. It's a great situation right now.
But is there is any way the Eagles can keep all four? Brown has been a standout in kick coverage and Polk has played well there, too. Maybe that's a way of justifying keeping all four and going light at another spot on the roster.
WHO ARE THE BACKUP OFFENSIVE LINEMEN?
There has been quite a bit of moving and shuffling behind the starters, and that's going to continue until Howard Mudd has what he likes. Rookie
The line is not nearly as set as we thought it would be exiting last season. There is still work to do.
THE SAFETY NET: WHO MAKES IT?
It really comes down to this: Can either
Jarrett struggled early in the preseason but has since seemed to stabilize. Atogwe has been bothered by a hamstring injury and hasn't played much at all. Thomas showed up last week with some plays and could gain more notice with a big effort tonight.
Are there any quality safeties on the streets?
HOW DOES THE D LINE LOGJAM WORK OUT?
There are a lot of quality defensive linemen here, and everyone agrees with that. It's also hard to figure that the Eagles would be able to keep 11 defensive linemen on a 53-man roster. Can the Eagles keep six defensive ends, including veteran
It's a huge wait and see now for the Eagles as they race closer to the Friday deadline. The coaches wanted competition and that's what they are getting from a defensive line that has been nothing short of outstanding in the 3-0 preseason.
MISCELLANEOUS ISSUES ...
You can go up and down the roster and look for answers. Who makes the grade at linebacker? Does
The starters aren't going to play in this game, but there are plenty of stories and players to follow. Game four of the preseason is upon us, and with it comes the roster cutdown and then it's clear sailing to the opener in Cleveland.