Eagles vs Patriots Preview

Samuelint_medium

Preseason game 3 is upon us and it's the game where we should see the starters playing into the 3rd quarter. For the Eagles, there will be some notable returns to the starting lineup as well as som notable absences.

Reggie Brown will be held out of tonight's game after suffering a hamstring strain against the Panthers. With the news that Kevin Curtis is out, the Eagles do not want to take any risks with Reggie's health. The next time we'll see him is week one against the Rams and team sources are saying they expect him to be 100% healthy.

In the absence of the Eagles 2 starting WRs, Hank Baskett and Desean Jackson will start and Jackson is excited for the opportunity,

I'm just excited to get out there and start with the 1's," Jackson said. "It's a tremendous opportunity for me. I feel like I've been doing a good job getting in the playbook, getting with Donovan (McNabb). Being a starter is a lot different than being a backup receiver. I just have to go out there and put in the work. It's a little different because you're taking more reps and you have to go out there and go hard the whole time. When I was with the 2's, I was behind Reggie and I'd usually go in when the 2's go in there, but now I'm in there with the 1's and the tempo's a lot higher and I have to learn a lot faster."

Desean currently leads the NFL in catches so far in preseason play.

Also getting his first shot in the starting lineup, albeit at a new position, is Tony Hunt.  Hunt's impressive play on special teams is what has led the Eagles to try to find a spot on the roster for him at fullback.

'He's obviously taken more of an initiative to do well on special teams, and that's one of the main areas that we have to have our fullback able to contribute in,'' special teams coordinator Rory Segrest said.

Hunt feels the learning curve from RB to FB will not be that hard.

''The pass plays, you're running the same routes, and with pass protection, you're doing the same things, blocking the same way and blocking the same people,'' Hunt said.

Making his return to New England tonight is former Patriot Asante Samuel. Pats safety Rodney Harrison update fans on Samuel's mood these days...

"I talked to him the other day," Patriots safety Rodney Harrison said. "He's doing great. Wouldn't you, $60 million richer? He's doing wonderful."

Yes, I'd imagine if I was $60 million richer I'd be doing great as well. Asante will be in the starting lineup tonight and is expected to as long as the starters do. Against Carolina he started, but didn't play after the lightning delay because his hamstring had tightened up. As for the reception he'll get? Pat's Pulpit plans to cheer.

As for the Patriots, QB Tom Brady is not expected to play. Without him, the Pats offense has struggled

Without him, backups Matt Cassel, Matt Gutierrez and Kevin O'Connell have produced a total of just two touchdowns. Starting running back Laurence Maroney hasn't done much better, with just 21 yards on 13 carries in the two games.

The Boston Herald is saying that it's "a possibility" Brady could suit up tonight.

After the news this week, all of Philadelphia eye's will be on the play of our WRs... but as Pat's Pulpit says, the Pats DBs may be ripe for the picking after their performance against Tampa

Defensive Backs - Uhhm...Was this the "I'm in Jello" mime game?  Both Ellis Hobbs and Fernando Bryant were playing so soft I thought I was watching a Charmin commercial.  And the safeties weren't much better.  Granted, John Lynch was practically suiting up on the plane ride from Mile High Stadium, but let's show 'em school is in session with teacher's Harrison and Lynch presiding over the lecture.

Even though it doesn't count, it's always fun to face the Pats. So here's to a good game with NO injuries and maybe a Samuel pick off one of the backups against his old team?

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