Here is a look at two rookies who will debut in Friday night's preseason opener against the New England Patriots. One of them is defensive tackle Bennie Logan, a third-round pick out of LSU who has played at the highest level of college football. The other is tight end Will Shaw, who tried out during the rookie minicamp and earned a spot on the 90-man roster.
Bennie Logan Ready To Get Physical
For the past three days, defensive lineman Bennie Logan has donned the pads and rushed the quarterback but hasn't been able to do anything other than play two-hand touch with the man in the red jersey.
That all changes for the third-round pick on Friday night when the lights go on and the action is live in the preseason opener between the Patriots and the Eagles.
"I just want to go out there and be dominant," Logan said. "Stop the run. Rush the passer. Do all of the things I've been practicing and improved on during camp."
Logan has played all over the line, but has been featured as the backup nose tackle during Training Camp. The former LSU Tiger is no stranger to doing the dirty work to allow his teammates to clean up.
"I understand my responsibilities and what I have to accomplish while I'm out on the field," Logan said.
Logan is no stranger to big games. In 2011, Logan's Tigers won the SEC Championship and played in the BCS National Championship. Even though he's had a taste of the crowd at Lincoln Financial Field at the open Training Camp practices, Friday night will provide an appetizer of what to expect when the games count in the standings.
"It's something I've always dreamed of. ... I think I've prepared really well for my first preseason game. I'm looking forward to going out and execute," Logan said. "I don't think my emotions will be too high. I do a good job of controlling my emotions before the game because I still have to play the game. I still have to execute my plays and do things that my coaches are looking for me to do. I'm just really looking forward to it overall."
The pads will be on and the tackling will be live. It will give Eagles fans a better glimpse of the third-round pick and what he can truly do.
-- Chris McPherson
Rookie Will Shaw Anxious For First NFL Action
From an outsider's perspective, the first game of the preseason may not mean that much in the big picture that is the regular season. The starters typically play for a series or two before watching the rest of the game from the sidelines. But what about the other players? There are those like rookie tight end Will Shaw, who views Friday night's game against the Patriots as a tremendous opportunity for him to prove himself to the coaching staff.
"I'm pretty anxious about it," Shaw said after Thursday's practice. "It's a great opportunity, probably something that I've looked forward to since I was a little kid. It's just a huge opportunity and I'm glad that I'm able to partake in it."
The Patriots have been in Philadelphia since Tuesday, and have practiced with the Eagles for the last three days. The teams went against each other in multiple drills, including 7-on-7 and full 11-on-11 scenarios. Shaw says that these practices have been very helpful to him and his teammates because they simulate the feeling of being in an actual game.
"I think it was great work for both teams," said the rookie from Youngstown State. "It was a great experience. I didn't know that we did these type of things, but it was definitely fun and it was definitely good work. It probably gave off more of a game atmosphere than you would get in a regular practice."
Shaw has had to learn an offense that is not like anything that he has ever been a part of. Head coach Chip Kelly has his tight ends lining up all over the field during practice, from the typical position at the end of the offensive line, to split outside of the hash marks and even in the backfield. Learning this offense has been a challenge for Shaw and the other tight ends, but he believes that they are all embracing the experience.
"It's been an adjustment coming in," the 6-foot-3, 245-pound converted safety said. "We kind of knew that's what he wanted in the offseason. We've kind of embraced having to know basically every position on the offensive side of the ball to try to be as versatile as possible."
Some people have questioned whether we will see the Eagles offense running at full speed or at a slowed-down and basic tempo for the first game. According to Shaw, he expects the team to work quickly in order to keep improving as a unit.
"I think we're going to run what we have and run it at full speed and make the most of it and try to perfect everything that we can," Shaw said.
-- Alex Smith
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