Both Brian Westbrook and Donovan McNabb gave their point of view on the benefits of the preseason earlier in the week leading up to Friday night's showdown against the Steelers. In short, it's a live audition designed for reserve players to make their mark.
"I think it's more important for the younger guys, for those guys who are trying to make the team, guys who have been doing well in practice out here now to really display it out in game situation," McNabb said.
The type of player that McNabb referred to includes wide receiver DeSean Jackson, linebacker Joe Mays and the team's first pick in the 2008 draft, defensive tackle Trevor Laws.
Jackson's quick burst had fans "ohhhh-ing" and "ahhhh-ing" all through training camp. The 5-10, 175-pound receiver can hardly wait to put on a show after a long training camp.
"I'm extremely excited to go play this game on Friday," Jackson said. "It's been a lot of hard work in this first camp for me, my rookie camp, so I'm just looking forward to cut it loose man - play some football."
McNabb will have his eye on Jackson. The rookie has so much playmaking potential that it can captivate even a 10-year, five-time Pro Bowl veteran quarterback such as McNabb. Lorenzo Booker has played a season in the NFL already with the Miami Dolphins, but his untapped possibilities are just as intriguing.
"I do want to see Booker and DeSean on special teams and also on offense," McNabb said. "But just most importantly, you see some of these young guys like DeSean and Booker, to be able to pick up big yards for us in the special teams department, that's something I'll be definitely watching."
On the defensive side of the ball, Mays enters Friday's game as the second team middle linebacker. He earned the nickname "Head Buster" from his teammates in the process of moving up the depth chart. Playing time will be spread out so Mays will try to make an impact in the game just as quickly as he did at Lehigh during training camp.
"The days are counting down right now and I'm real excited to perform in my first NFL game," Mays said. "I get a quarter and a half to show what I can do, so I have to come out here and work hard and try to impress the coaches and the fans."
For the last three weeks, the Eagles have been pounding away at each other. Now they get to be physical against someone not wearing midnight green uniforms.
"I'm pumped, that's all I've got to say," Laws said. "I'm out here at camp hitting these same guys over and over again. It's good to get some new meat out there and play some real football."