Philadelphia Eagles News

Five Storylines For Tonight's Game

Here are the five storylines that I'm watching tonight when the Eagles host the Jacksonville Jaguars beginning at 7 PM (6abc/ETN) ...

5. Who keeps his dream alive for a roster spot?

The Eagles will trim the roster to 75 players shortly after tonight's game. The Eagles already made a set of roster moves on Tuesday releasing quarterback Adam DiMichele and wide receiver Shaheer McBride to sign tight end Tony Curtis and linebacker Curtis Gatewood. The Eagles could decide to place Stewart Bradley and Cornelius Ingram on injured reserve, which would mean only three players would have to be released. With the starters expected to play into the second half, the backups may not see a whole lot of playing time. That means the reps they do get are that much more significant.

4. The return of the Michael Vick experience

Vick is the No. 1 reason most people are tuning in to watch tonight's game. Casual sports fans are keeping an eye to see how Vick does in his return to football after being out the game for two years. Head coach Andy Reid said that Vick will play with the first-team offense sometime in the first three quarters. Will the anticipation build that much more if Vick isn't in the game early on? With only two weeks of practice, it will be interesting to see how far Vick has come along and whether we can get a glimpse of how he can impact this team in 2009.

3. On defense ... Fundamentals, fundamentals, fundamentals

It's one thing if the defense doesn't game plan to anticipate what the Jaguars are going to do on offense. But it's another to have mental breakdowns and execute the fundamentals poorly. Missed tackles kept drives alive last week against the Colts. Starting jobs are on the line. The only break for the Eagles is that with the Jaguars playing their third preseason game in 11 days the starters are not expected to play very long.

2. Brian Westbrook and LeSean McCoy in action together

Westbrook is expected to see his first preseason action as he recovered from ankle surgery in June. McCoy has carried the lion's share of the reps to date. While the first-team offense is expected to play into the second half, it's unlikely that Westbrook will see that much action. What we want to see is how he cuts ... How he reacts to getting hit ... Is the breakaway speed still there? ... Will he shy from contact? As for McCoy, he can secure a spot as a backup that the Eagles can rely upon. He had an impressive debut against the Patriots, but took a half-step back against the Colts. Let's see how McCoy reacts, especially if he is given a majority of the work once again.

1. With a majority of the offensive line in place, how will it look?

There were two starters on the offensive line in place for the preseason opener. There was only one last week against Indy. Tonight, three of the offensive line starters will suit up for the Jaguars game. Jason Peters started at left tackle in the opener, but left early due to his quad injury. He struggled while in the game as he admitted that he was adjusting to the calls and the snap count. Jamaal Jackson has been the rock at center. He's the only starter to play in the first two preseason games. Tonight, we'll get to see Stacy Andrews debut in midnight green. One of the prized free agent signings of the offseason, Andrews has been held out for precautionary reasons as he recovers from an ACL injury incurred at the end of last season. And don't discount Winston Justice at right tackle. With the regular season opener inching closer and closer, Justice has to mentally prepare that he could indeed be the starter.

-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 8:55 a.m., August 27

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