Andy Reid and Tom Heckert have some decisions to make when they meet on Friday and discuss the various methods to cut down to 53 players. They have some tough calls to make, no question about it. But other than Jerome McDougle and the defensive end numbers, and then the fullback position, and maybe the extra offensive lineman the Eagles might think about keeping should Max Jean-Gilles be seriously injured, it seems fairly cut and dried.
In a 27-20 loss to the Jets on Thursday night, several things stood out. Among them ...
- Tony Hunt went right down on special teams and made a tackle on a kickoff and did a pretty nice job blocking from the line of scrimmage. Jason Davis converted a third-and-short run and seemed to block pretty well. Tough call. I couldn't lean one way or the other, although if you really pressed me I might say Hunt has the edge. Which means exactly nothing because I have not watched film of this game.
- Rookie defensive end Bryan Smith was outstanding in his first extended action. He had 11 tackles, 1 1/2 sacks, three quarterback hurries and two tackles for loss. He is on this team, if there were any doubts. Smith has a huge, huge upside, but he may not play much early this season.
- McDougle had three tackles, 1/2 sack and a quarterback hurry. I just don't see how the Eagles can keep seven ends, but maybe they do. Maybe they find a way to keep a player who has more than proven he belongs in the NFL.
- Kevin Kolb finished a good preseason by completing 13 of 21 passes for 138 yards. He completed 48 of 83 passes for 480 yards in the preseason. He is ready to go. "I have no doubt that I could put Kevin in a game and he would play well," said Reid after the game. I don't doubt it, either.
- Quintin Demps is the real deal on kickoff returns, bringing one back 51 yards and averaging 34.3 yards on kickoffs. He had a key muff on a punt return, but Demps is probably about third or fourth in the pecking order there.
- Scary injury for Jean-Gilles, who went down with about five minutes left in the fourth quarter. He was helped off the field and then carted into the locker room. The early diagnosis: sprained left knee. The Eagles won't know more until Jean-Gilles takes an MRI or does more testing on Friday morning.
- I love it that Reid sat down all of his starters and included rookie DeSean Jackson. The Eagles escaped four preseason games without a season-ending injury to a starter. That's huge. And it sure seems rare in this day and age.
- Lorenzo Booker had 18 touches for 93 yards and a touchdown. He played a good game and showed good speed and moves. He will help this offense.
- Big three-catch, 80-yard game for Michael Gasperson. He has improved a great deal. I still think he is a long, long shot to make this team, but maybe he hooks on elsewhere.
- A.J. Feeley deserved a better fate than his 13-of-25, one-touchdown, two-interception performance. Too many drops and passes that bounced off of hands.
- I feel so good about Trevor Laws and Dan Klecko at backup defensive tackle. Very good combo there.
- Not sure about Rocky Boiman making this team. Not sure at all. He didn't seem to get off blocks very well, but hopefully I'm wrong.
- The Eagles committed only four penalties for 35 yards, but a personal foul penalty on Jean-Gilles cost the team points and just seemed huge. Stop the penalties now, guys. The games count next week.
- Joe Mays is a tackling machine. He had 12 tackles and was extremely active. I liked that he had a tackle on special teams. That is where he is going to play this year.