This Thursday night, we'll see a lot of young players who most fans don't know a whole lot about in the preseason finale against the New York Jets.
But there are at least two players who will be on the field quite a bit who are seasoned vets. Wide receivers Hank Baskett and Kelley Washington have played in a combined 142 games, caught 183 passes for 2,407 yards and 17 touchdowns. Both a tall, physical receivers who are very good special teams players and dependable options on offense. It remains to be seen whether this Thursday night will determine whether one or both of the veterans make the final 53-man roster.
"I come in thinking anything is possible," Baskett said. "We have such a strong group of receivers this year. We all have to prove our case. We'll see what happens after this game, but I definitely feel like I need to go out there and solidify my spot on the team."
Baskett knows first-hand that anything is possible. Last year, the Eagles kept seven receivers out of training camp.
"The possibility is there. This group is strong," Baskett said. "Everyone saw someone new stand out every day at training camp. It's going to come down to who proves their case."
Baskett is well-versed in Philly's offense and the coaches know what he can do. He was one of the seven to make the 53-man squad last season before being released in the middle of the season and ending up with the Colts. Baskett was re-signed to a one-year deal in the offseason.
Washington is coming off the best offensive season of his seven-year career. With the Ravens, Washington caught 34 passes for 431 yards and two touchdowns. Washington signed with the Eagles during training camp. He doesn't believe that he needs to wow the coaches on Thursday night. He wants to show the coaches that they can simply trust him.
"I think I've done some good things. There are a lot of things that I need to work on. I'm just trying stay consistent and let the coaches know that I can be a reliable guy whether it's special teams-wise or as a backup receiver," Washington said. "I just need to go out and stay consistent and show them I can be a force on special teams and that they can depend on me if something happens offensively. That's all I want to do."
Baskett described Thursday night's game as a "get your mind right game" for all of the young players who haven't seen extensive preseason action to this point. Washington knows that it's a "big game" for anyone fighting for a spot. The two veterans will leave it all out on the field Thursday night and we'll see where the chips fall.
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 7:00 p.m., August 29