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Inactive List Is Revealing

SAN DIEGO --Jason Peters went through the pre-game warmups, hoping his injured ankle would be good enough to play against a rush-heavy San Diego defense. Didn't happen. Peters was on the list of inactive Eagles for the game, a list that was revealing in several ways. Let's take a look ...

  • Without Peters, the Eagles have a makeshift offensive line once again. Todd Herremans plays left tackle, with Nick Cole at left guard and Stacy Andrews at right guard. There is not as much athleticism up front as the Eagles want, so it wouldn't shock me to see the Eagles try to establish the running game early. I'm not saying this is going to be a run-heavy game for the Eagles, but playing some power football suits Andrews a lot more than does the screen game, if you catch my drift.
  • As expected, Akeem Jordan is out. You will see the Eagles juggle their linebacking corps, using Chris Gocong at times in the middle. He will blitz the "A" gap and try to wreak havoc that way. Will Witherspoon at WILL and Moise Fokou need to come up big against Darren Sproles and Antonio Gates, respectively.
  • No Quintin Demps, so Jeremy Maclin is likely to get the call on kickoff returns. He was shaky in the preseason and then has had a couple of nice returns since. If the Eagles can get him a crease ... I want to see Maclin use his speed. Haven't seen that breakaway speed yet. I would love to see it here.
  • Why did the Eagles activate Ramzee Robinson rather than second-year man Jack Ikegwuonu at cornerback? Special teams, primarily. Robinson has played special teams in the NFL and Ikegwuonu has not. The book on Robinson: Fast, tough and hungry to do well. We'll see. Having Sproles returning kicks is a scary, scary thing.
  • Only two quarterbacks up, with Michael Vick backing up Donovan McNabb. I say that Vick gets some good snaps in the spread formation as the Eagles look to get him into the offense a little bit more.
  • A key for the defense is to get Trent Cole unlocked on the edge. He goes up against Marcus McNeil from his right defensive end spot, but I would like to see the Eagles move him around a bit and try to get some good matchups. Cole has to dominate this game today.
  • No P.J. Hill today, as if that is a surprise. Eldra Buckley is a key player on special teams as the third halfback and he could help on short-yardage, too.
  • Bran Westbrook is healthy and ready to play and the Eagles are going to use him a lot in a bunch of different ways. The offense needs a big, big day from Westbrook.
  • Nothing unusual from the Chargers injury list. Shawn Merriman is going to play, of course. The Eagles must do a good job against the blitz.
  • Great day for kicking here in San Diego. Perfect weather. Very little wind. Sav Rocca and David Akers should have big days.
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