Anything worse than a preseason game? Sure, a preseason game delayed by weather. Yet that's where we are now, sitting here in the press box at Lincoln Financial Field. We've just been told that it could be a 45-minute delay, as two storms are converging. And the masses here are restless ...
But I'm having fun. It's something different, right? And this isn't an Eagles Television Network, so I'm not on the field scrounging for interviews, talking to the likes of Brian Billick. I'm in the press box shooting the b.s. with Hugh Douglas and the rest of the media here.
What did we see in the first 10 minutes of the first quarter? I have my notes, which I will recite here (and if you are reading this live, wow, you are a serious Eagles fan!) ...
- David Akers opening kickoff three yards deep in the end zone. Jed Collins made the tackle at the 22-yard line.
- Good blocking by the makeshift offensive line in a first drive that was, ultimately, killed by a penalty. Todd Herremans did a nice job at left tackle blocking Julius Peppers, with help at times from left guard Scott Young.
- Excellent work from the first-team defense. Asante Samuel came right out and broke up a pass. Juqua Parker had good pressure from the left end spot, beating up on first-round draft pick Jeff Otah. The defense had two strong three-and-out series to begin the game.
- Still need to see more on special teams. DeSean Jackson has a chance to be a great punt return man, but he is clearly still adjusting to the tempo of things. He is heading side-to-side rather than up the field when he had a chance for a couple of returns early against Carolina. Instead, he was limited to 5- and 6-yard returns. And a penalty on Jackson's second return, which ended at the 50-yard line, moved the Eagles back 10 yards to their 40-yard line.
I'm blogging the "lowdown," from league officials, and the latest is that another storm is coming behind this storm and that 9:15 p.m. is the earliest (it's 8:50 now) they will re-start the game.
"Ain't gonna see no more Donovan McNabb, no more Brian Westbrook," bellows Douglas. "The rookies are playing the rest of this game!"
Game on! It's 9:17 p.m. and the players are back on the field. Can you believe FOX went to "Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?" Wow. Can't they talk about Brett Favre for another 35 minutes?
I spent a long while with Ray Didinger, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and he talked in glowing terms about Collins, who made the tackle on the opening kickoff, then had a 3-yard run on third-and-1 and blocked well early in the game.
"He's going to make the team, isn't he?" said Didinger.
I don't know about that, but Collins came out and showed he was ready to be the guy. Collins started at fullback and is clearly in the lead ahead of Jason Davis and Luke Lawton.
The players are warming up. This is very strange.
Officially, it was a 58-minute rain delay. Andy Reid came out throwing, as McNabb completed a third-and-8 pass to Kevin Curtis for a first down. The stands are, well, fairly empty. The rain is pouring down. It's football season, ladies and gentlemen. The Eagles are driving after a third-down completion to Jackson.
Here we go ...