Philadelphia Eagles News

Bubble Boys Make Last Stand

As the final roster spots were up for grabs Thursday night against the Jets, here is a look at who made the best case to win a job ...

  • Nick Graham became the first Eagle to get his name said during the game, as he made the tackle on the opening kickoff.
  • Jerome McDougle makes a pass deflection early, and then garnered half a sack in a tandem with Bryan Smith. Regardless of the outcome in the next few days, however, he really fought for his job.
  • Fullback Tony Hunt didn't waste too much time making his presence known. A few plays into the Eagles' first drive, he picked up a blitzing linebacker, allowing Correll Buckhalter to bounce outside for nine yards. After the drive, he pulled down Ahmad Carroll on the kickoff return. Special teams are going to be a huge part of determining who wins the fullback battle, and Hunt's performance there has been solid. His tailback skills were utilized as well. He touched the ball five times – three carries and two catches.
  • Jason Davis made an impact in his first action, getting four yards on a third-down plow and to pick up a first down. Interestingly, in the second half, he played fullback in front of Tony Hunt, who played tailback.
  • Michael Gasperson was a big target down the field in the preseason. Despite a numbers game, he's making it tough to let him go. He barely missed a touchdown on the Eagles' first drive, having one foot inbounds on a fade route from Kevin Kolb. On the next drive, he made a comeback grab and reached for a first down. Late in the first half, he pulled in a pass even while being interfered with. He finally got one of those deep balls in the fourth quarter, a 54-yard gain from A.J. Feeley. His line: three catches for 80 yards.
  • Bam Childress got involved more than a few times, too. He caught four passes for 37 yards, including a touchdown, on which he showed some fancy footwork to get into the end zone. "I'll just wait on a phone call – I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing," Childress said. "I just went out there and wanted to make plays. Wanted to get open and get my hands on the ball. I put it all in God's hands after that."
  • At this point, it'd probably be a shock if Joe Mays didn't make the team. Once again, he seemed like an animal on the field with reckless disregard for his own body. He made big hits, but the impressive thing is the quantity of plays he's in on – running backs, tight ends and even the quarterback when he took off downfield felt his wrath. Mays was in there to make a play. Twelve tackles for Mays.
  • Kyle Arrington is one of the guys fighting for the fifth cornerback spot, if there even is one. He came out of nowhere to tackle lightning-fast wide receiver Paul Raymond on a reverse attempt.
  • Cornerback Therrian Fontenot showed a gamble-taking mentality during training camp, and it paid off with a sliding interception early in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, it was called back with a penalty on Quintin Demps.
  • Defensive end Bryan Smith made a few plays early. He showed a nice burst, getting into the backfield a few times and making stops on Jets running back Jesse Chatman. He hurried and/or knocked down Jets quarterbacks on numerous occasions, and he also split a sack with Jerome McDougle. Along with (who else?) Joe Mays, he stopped Chatman on a third-and-goal run. His final line? Eleven tackles, and 1.5 sacks.
  • On a downfield throw to Hank Baskett in the first quarter, the offensive line provided great protection of Kevin Kolb – noteworthy for King Dunlap, especially, who managed to contain his man despite a flurry of moves. On a first-down run for Lorenzo Booker, Dunlap pretty much deposited former Eagle Marques Murrell with one hand.
  • Winston Justice looked really good last week, and continued to provide some adequate protection, until a holding penalty on him negated a big play from Matt Schobel on third down in the second quarter.
  • Justin Roland took his turn making a tackle on special teams, too, and finished with four overall. He's best known for his long interception return for a touchdown in the Panthers game two weeks ago. Did it make enough of an impression to keep coaches intrigued?
  • J.R. Reed could be caught in a numbers game. Will the Eagles keep five safeties, or five corners? What about neither? He made four tackles, trying to solidify his spot. There's little doubt, that he's an important special-teamer. He sprung Quintin Demps on two lengthy kick returns with full-speed, downfield blocks.
  • Kris Wilson was brought in to provide another target from the tight end spot, and he made a nice grab across the middle after Matt Schobel dropped one, probably a good time to make a play for Wilson.
  • All of a sudden Mike Marquardt becomes an important name in Philadelphia. With Dan Klecko missing reps due to an unspecified wrist injury, the defensive tackle's sack of Erik Ainge late in the first half might open a few eyes. Klecko returned later in the game.
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