Head coach Chip Kelly said that the plan for Thursday's preseason game against Carolina is to play the starters for the first half.
"We're trying to get our ones more work through the first and second quarter now. We'll see how that plays itself out," Kelly said. "Does that mean it's going to be by series or whatever? It depends on how many snaps and how long the series are. So all those guys, whether it's Nick or Matt or any of our ones, they really go one drive, two drive, some of those guys in there in the 10 to 12 range. We want to get that extended as we get into our second preseason game.
"So hopefully we can get those guys through the second quarter. It just depends on how it plays itself out. If we get a lot of reps in the first quarter, it's more by the number of snaps. In the ideal world, we'd like to get them into the first and second quarter, and not see those guys at all in the second half. But it depends on how it plays itself out."
Nick Foles will start at quarterback, but will split first-team reps with Michael Vick. Running back LeSean McCoy is expected to make his preseason debut along with cornerback Cary Williams. Both players were injured for last Friday's preseason opener. Left tackle Jason Peters will "probably not" play as he recovers from a hamstring injury. Long snapper Jon Dorenbos is also not expected to play due to the concussion he incurred in last Friday's game.
The Eagles did not extensively game plan for Thursday's game as Kelly said the team is still in Training Camp mode. The Panthers do present an interesting test for the Eagles defense. Kelly certainly remembers Panthers quarterback Cam Newton from his college days. Newton's Auburn Tigers beat Kelly's Oregon Ducks in the 2010 BCS National Championship. The Panthers also utilize some of the read-option packages with Newton that Kelly has installed in Philadelphia.
"He has a unique quality. He throws the ball extremely well. He's not just a runner, but he presents a lot of different problems that most running quarterbacks do because of his size," Kelly said. "He's really built like an NBA power forward."
Overall, Kelly wants to see improvement across the board from last Friday's game.
"I think for some of the young guys, the surprise and the newness hopefully will wear off when they're a little bit more in tune to the game. There were some wide-eyed guys and understandably so in that first game against the Patriots," Kelly said.
"But, defensively, we need to be better in terms of our gaps, in terms of our pursuit to the football, getting everybody to the ball and rallying and making sure we'd stop those long runs and those long plays that they had. Offensively, I thought we did a good job in ball security. Though we did lose one fumble, and one fumble is one too many. We've got to do a little bit better job sometimes."
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