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Final Thoughts Before Eagles Meet Bengals

CINCINNATI -- They are going through the warmups now. I see Terrell Owens looking ripped in his full-body suit. I see Dhani Jones hugging some of the Eagles coaches for whom he played. I see the Eagles warming up, preparing for preseason game No. 2, an important one for several reasons. Here are some last-minute thoughts on this preseason contest ...

 Here is the list of players who won't play: Asante Samuel, David Pender, Nick Cole, Jamaal Jackson, Todd Herremans, Victor Abiamiri. Mike McGlynn gets another start at center and Joselio Hanson starts at cornerback in place of Samuel. Mike Bell plays. He is someone to keep an eye on in a big way. Bell's recent injury problems are hopefully a thing of the past. Would love to see him stay healthy and help with his hard-charging running style. UPDATE: Bell went through the warmups in uniform, but then watched the game from the sidelines in a tee shirt and shorts. Andy Reid will provide an update after the game.  
  • Hanson and Ellis Hobbs against Owens and Chad Ochocinco seems like an excellent opportunity for the Eagles to evaluate their corners. Not only that, but the pass rush will be under inspection. If Carson Palmer has time to throw, watch out.
  • Macho Harris does not have this team made, by any means. He needs to get healthy.
  • Cincinnati has two backup defensive ends in the lineup, Jonathan Fanene on the left side and Frostee Rucker on the right side. It's the preseason, folks. Take these one-on-one matchups for what they are worth.
  • I think the Eagles are going to throw the heck out of the ball tonight, and then try to pound it with the running game in the red zone. I really want to see Stacy Andrews in the run game.
  • To me, one of the underrated matchups tonight is SAM linebacker Akeem Jordan against the Bengals' outstanding pass-catching tight end, Jermaine Gresham. The rookie from Oklahoma is a very athletic player whom the Bengals want to use a lot in the passing game. We'll get a taste of Jordan's coverage skills in this game.
  • It is a perfect night for football. The last time the Eagles were here, the weather was dreadful and so was the team in a 13-13 tie. I'm expecting so much more tonight. This game, by the way, is blacked out locally. Such a shame that the fans here can't enjoy the nationally-televised game.
  • Good game to grade Kevin Kolb against Cincinnati's blitz. I expect defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer to bring the heat against the Eagles' offense. Let's see how Kolb reacts.
  • I look at the Bengals' roster and it's just a mystery how good this team is. I see a lot of names, but I don't know if they can play. The Bengals, though, expect to be a Super Bowl contender this year. The acquisition of Owens has the media excited.
  • Owens, by the way, wrote an opener letter to the Bengals fans and placed it in the local newspaper here on Friday. He wants to have a home for more than one year. I'm just glad that it is some other team's drama this year.
  • Good game for Stewart Bradley to go out and play with confidence against a powerful running game. This field is artificial turf, and, yeah, I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
  • Ochocinco is wearing gold shoes and, as he did the last time the Eagles played here, made a point to invade the Eagles' pre-game warmup. Last time he had Donovan McNabb throw him a pass and everybody made a big deal about it. This time, he wanted Michael Vick to throw him a pass and Vick obliged, and Ochocinco laughed to the Eagles watching, "I just caught a pass from Mike Vick. I just caught a pass from Mike Vick ..."
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