Philadelphia Eagles News

Meanwhile, In Other Eagles News ...

Lost in the background of the All-Michael Vick, all the time coverage of the Eagles is their 27-25 loss to New England that opened the preseason. As the Eagles get back to practice amid the non-stop Vick chatter, it is important to remember that there is the team dynamic in place here. So let's pause for a moment from Vick -- if that's OK -- and discuss some of the other things going on with this team ...

  • Cornerback Sheldon Brown had a tremendous game and is having perhaps his best summer. Brown is always ready to go and comes to each and every day of work fully prepared, but there is no doubt he has taken his game to a new level. Whether it is the mental part of things, or his physical preparation, I don't know. Brown is playing very confident football and he has been breaking on the ball so, so very well.
  • Who is the team's fifth cornerback? At this point, it has to be Dimitri Patterson. Patterson was a starting gunner on punt coverage, along with Joselio Hanson, and Patterson really works it on the outside. None of those vying for the fifth cornerback job have really distinguished themselves in coverage or made a lot of plays, but Patterson's special-teams play and his spot on the depth chart as a gunner seem to give him the edge to date.
  • No question that Eldra Buckley deserves a much more significant look and consideration for the third halfback job. He had a great game with a couple of touchdowns and hard running against New England. His most important play could have been his touchdown catch. Buckley just doesn't catch the football as well as other backs on this team, but he came up with a beauty for a score in the game. Lorenzo Booker blocked pretty well and made an excellent sideline catch, and he may have the edge for the job now, but Buckley is at the very least closing the gap.
  • Jason Peters has rust to knock off. Not sure how much, if any, practice time he will miss because of his strained quad, but Peters didn't get off the ball as quickly as he wants and wasn't as dominating as he needs to be.
  • I'm guessing the Eagles keep six linebackers. Can they keep seven? I don't think they have done that in the past, so I'm sticking with six. Who are they? Well ... Akeem Jordan, Joe Mays, Chris Gocong, Omar Gaither, Tracey White and ... Moises Fokou? The seventh-round draft pick from Maryland seemed to be around the ball a lot on Thursday. Not sure how well he played on special teams, but Fokou has caught my eye a lot of late. Where would that leave Matt Wilhelm, who also seemed to play well on Thursday?
  • Yeah, Winston Justice did a good job out there against some pretty good pass rushers. He was called for one holding penalty when he gave up inside position, but overall the feedback on Justice was pretty good. And guards Nick Cole and Max Jean-Gilles were fine inside. The first-team offense ran the ball well and just missed on some opportunities in the passing game. Donovan McNabb wasn't as sharp as he wanted to be. Had he hit a couple of open receivers -- a tipped ball cost one completion, for example -- the first group might have had more to show for its night.
  • Leonard Weaver touched the football and did a good job with the ball in his hands. This is an exciting development. Not sure how much he will touch it, but Weaver showed that he is a good runner and a short-yardage threat, and he is still a strong blocker. Everything we saw in training camp came true for Weaver in a game situation.
  • I'm sure David Akers is bothered by his 43-yard miss, wide left. No need to re-hash it here. He needs to make those kicks. The snap and hold were fine. Akers has plenty of leg and his numbers in practice have been outstanding. He will get it done.
  • Mike McGlynn is a much better center than he is a guard. He played second-team center and appeared to play quite well. Good battle for those backup offensive line spots.
  • If the Eagles were to keep six defensive ends, would they go with Jason Babin right now over Bryan Smith? Could very well be ...
  • I'm excited by Jeremy Maclin's open-field play-making ability. The two punt returns he had -- the first of which was nullified by a penalty -- were electrifying. His catch and run for 28 yards was impressive. Look at it this way for Maclin, folks: In his first preseason game, after missing a lot of time in training camp, Maclin had a 28-yard catch, a 31-yard kickoff return and a 21-yard punt return. And he really doesn't know what he's doing out there. The kid is just a natural football player, and by the end of the preseason he is going to be ready to help this team.
  • Good timing and execution on a blitz by Macho Harris, who has a real chance to make this team as a safety.
  • Continuing the theme of Rookie Watch, LeSean McCoy (should I call him Shady on every first reference?) is the real deal. I actually didn't think he looked as quick as he did in training camp, and McCoy still gained 55 rushing yards on 10 carries and added 12 more yards on a pair of receptions. We are going to see McCoy lining up with Brian Westbrook on the field together this season.
  • Hoping to see defensive end Victor Abiamiri and defensive tackle Trevor Laws on the practice field very, very soon. This next week is critical for the players who are injured to suit up for practice if they plan to play in the preseason.
  • When is Westbrook going to practice? All along, Andy Reid said mid-August was the target time for him to start working with the team. Here we are ...
  • Not a bad job at all in some short-yardage situations from end Darren Howard and tackle Willie Williams. The Eagles, late in the game, had a big stop on fourth down and Williams was right there in the mix. He has hung around a lot longer than I thought he would.
  • What's happening at tight end? Brent Celek has the shoulder sprain, which Reid indicated after the game wasn't too serious, and Matt Schobel is trying to get back on the field to practice. Eugene Bright gained valuable reps in the game and so did Rob Myers, who looks like he has a clue out there. I still wonder if the Eagles can keep more than two tight ends on the roster with all of these wide receivers and backs and offensive linemen they want to keep. Getting down to 53 players is going to be an adventure.
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