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In Game 4, Some Roster Questions Answered

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. --On a night when the story was, again, Michael Vick's status, Kevin Kolb was poised, primed and promising as he led the Eagles to 24 first-half points. Tight end Tony Curtis made his roster bid with four receptions, one for a touchdown, and was open other times he went out on routes. The defense had holes, the special teams gave up big plays, and, well, the preseason is over after the 38-27 loss to the Jets at Giants Stadium.

What did we learn? Here are some of the things I saw ...

  • No question the Eagles wanted to see Curtis and he did not disappoint. More of an in-line blocker in his career, Curtis showed in a featured role that he could run routes, create some separation, catch the football and even make somebody miss. As a threat in the red zone, Curtis is a tall, rangy target. Will he make this team? We are going to find out, but at the very least Curtis gave the coaching staff something to consider. The Eagles have Brent Celek at the position, and they have a lot of question marks after that. Curtis could very well figure in the mix.
  • I loved what the Eagles did with Michael Vick in his 10 first-half snaps. That option play is devastating, and the threat of Vick running inside opened up outside running lanes for Danny Amendola, who picked up 21 yards on 3 carries. Great stuff. I still think Vick has a long way to go as a pocket passer, which he knows. It is part of the process, folks. The Eagles have to teach Vick how to play the position. It is not going to happen overnight.
  • Terrible run defense by the Eagles, who at one point allowed an average of 10.1 yards per rushing attempt. Poor, poor performance by the front seven. If the Eagles wanted any of their linebackers to distinguish themselves, it didn't appear they did. Good game from Trevor Laws -- at least he showed up and made a play or two, and Jason Babin continued his roster push -- but the defense didn't do too much else to make coordinator Sean McDermott happy.
  • Once again, Eldra Buckley played outstanding football with 33 rushing yards in the first half. Then he picked up a first down on a third-and-1 run in the third quarter and converted another one in the fourth quarter. And, oh, he rushed down the field and made the play on the opening kickoff. I think Buckley will make the team, and I think he will play. He has earned playing time with his special teams.
  • Cornerback Jack Ikegwuonu had a good reaction on a bobbled pass and made an interception and a return to set up a touchdown, but he also gave up too much in coverage. Now, here is how the NFL works: Cornerback Dimitri Patterson went down with an ankle injury and you hope it isn't serious. Patterson is a starter as a gunner on special teams. If he is hurt seriously, does that open a roster door for Ikegwuonu? Stay tuned.
  • Tough game for King Dunlap at left tackle. Who wins a backup offensive tackle job here? It could be Mike McGlynn, who filled in for an injured Winston Justice and did a good job at right tackle. McGlynn has played center, guard and tackle in this preseason. And just as I wrote that, McGlynn gave up a sack and the Jets forced a fumble on a sack against Vick.
  • David Akers has plenty of leg, and he crushed a 48-yard field goal. It was a good way to end his preseason.
  • What in the world are the Eagles going to do at wide receiver? Amendola showed up again against the Jets, and Brandon Gibson had another strong game. This has been the deepest group of preseason wide receivers in the Andy Reid era.
  • Who starts at free safety in the opener at Carolina? I say it's going to be Quintin Demps, but I know McDermott will give Macho Harris some looks there. Harris is in the right place at the right time for someone so young in this defense.
  • Poor game from Sav Rocca. He just never got into any kind of rhythm at all. His mechanics must have been all out of whack. Let's hope his clunker is out of his system.
  • Too many big plays allowed by the Eagles defense in the preseason. Now it counts. Let's keep score of the big plays from this point forward.
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