There is just too much negative out there when, truth be told, there is so much positive to see with this Eagles football team. The preseason, after all, is about preparing for the speed of the regular season, about evaluating personnel and making sure the best 53 players are kept on the roster. As I write this, the Cowboys are getting smoked in Houston. Think Dallas is overly concerned? Not at all.
The preseason too often does not resemble the regular season, so instead of fretting over the many areas the Eagles need to improve, let's take a look at the true plusses of this 2010 summer ...
LeSEAN McCOY, RB
His 18-yard touchdown on Friday night was pretty and a clear indication of McCoy's capabilities. He hit the hole hard, made defenders miss and showed some speed to get into the end zone. Most important, McCoy has been extremely durable as he has ascended to the role of No. 1 halfback. McCoy is on his game, and no matter that the Eagles haven't run the ball particularly well in the preseason.
A second-year back who has the role he has certainly has a lot on his shoulders. McCoy has grown up a lot in his second season. He is stronger and more physically capable than he has ever been and he is ready for this role.
STEWART BRADLEY, LB
There is no doubt after watching Bradley throughout training camp and in the preseason that he is back from his knee injury of a year ago. Bradley has enjoyed a tremendous summer, and his impact on the defense has been clear. Hasn't the defensive speed been noticeable and startling? With Bradley leading the way, the front seven has been physical and much more sure in its tackling.
Bradley has no mental residue from his injury and he has committed to his body. The result is that the Eagles have a three-down linebacker in the lineup who sets the tempo for the defense.
**THE ROOKIE CLASS
So far, so great. First pick Brandon Graham is starting, second-round pick Nate Allen is starting, third-round pick Daniel Te'o-Nesheim is starting (in the defensive nickel), fourth-round pick Trevard Lindley is moving up the depth chart at cornerback, fourth-round pick Clay Harbor is a promising second tight end and fifth-round selection Riley Cooper is really, really good and deserves some playing time at wide receiver.
As many as 10 (11 maybe?) of the team's 13 draft picks look primed to make the 53-man roster and this draft class deserves its kudos so far. The game changes in the regular season, of course, but this group -- headlined by Graham -- could be special and add to the deep talent base already in place here.
**KEVIN KOLB, QB
His numbers aren't anything special and there is no doubt the offense has had its ups and downs in three preseason games, but Kolb has matured quickly into the starting quarterback position through the spring and the summer. The team responds to him and his stand-up style, and the offense has every bit of confidence that when the game plan goes in, and the lights go on, this group will soar.
Kolb saw a lot of blitzes through three games and he has a greater feel for what defenses will try to do to him. As long as he stays within the scheme and takes what the defense gives him, Kolb will have a big year. He is more mobile than many expected, an added weapon in the offense.
What I like most about Kolb is how he handles the situations, both positive and not quite so. He doesn't change. He appears unflappable. And that confidence will pay off in the long run.
**ELLIS HOBBS, CB
One of the major question marks coming into the summer, Hobbs has blossomed at right cornerback. He is a physical, tenacious player who challenges on every play. Hobbs is going to have a lot of tough matchups ahead, and he is going to battle the size differences and the constant scrutiny.
Hobbs has every intention of blowing away all of the expectations. He studies the game and has an incredible chip on his shoulder. Hobbs has been very good thus far along with Asante Samuel on the other side.
**THE HEALTH PICTURE
You know that this is maybe the most important statistic of the preseason, and the Eagles -- knock on wood every day -- are ahead of the game. They emerged from the third preseason game with a couple of players -- wide receiver DeSean Jackson (neck) and defensive end Trent Cole (ankle) listed as day-to-day moving forward, so neither injury should threaten the opener against Green Bay.
The most serious injury remains center Jamaal Jackson, and his situation is positive, too. Jackson says he feels great, that his rehab is coming along well and that he is not counting himself out for the Green Bay game. We'll see about that. If Jackson is to play against Green Bay, he would have to take his practice work to a new level this week.
Todd Herremans played a half on Friday and is ready for the opener. Juqua Parker will be fine after missing the Chiefs game because of a sprained ankle. Good, good news after three games in the preseason. Not many teams can say that.
*DAVID AKERS, K *
He went a perfect 10 for 10 on field goals in the preseason, and has every bit the range he has ever enjoyed. Akers, a Pro Bowl kicker a year ago, is in line for a similar season in 2010. That is incredibly comforting news. In fact, the entire kicking game is in excellent shape. Sav Rocca has been outstanding, and long snapper Jon Dorenbos is spot on in his game.
AND THE REST TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT
The Eagles still have one of the most talented offensive groups in the league, one that is going to give defenses fits. The offensive tackle tandem of Jason Peters -- who must clean up his penalties -- and Winston Justice is more than solid. Leonard Weaver is a Pro Bowl fullback. Ernie Sims has worked his way right into the defense.
The defensive tackles have done an excellent job against the run. Michael Vick has been terrific working in as a "change-of-pace" quarterback with the starting offense. Dimitri Patterson has stepped up to provide quality depth at cornerback. The Eagles have four legitimate safeties with Allen and Quintin Mikell starting and Quintin Demps and rookie Kurt Coleman in reserve.
Feel better? Hey, the preseason is often a mirage. If you go into the opener with all of your bullets in the holster, you have a chance. The Eagles still have two weeks to go before Green Bay comes to town, but the good news of the preseason far outweighs everything else if you look closely and understand what the preseason is all about.