One of the themes I noticed in some of the reactions posted here after the game was that a segment of the BGN population didn't think Casey Matthews played particularly well in the Eagles first preseason game Thursday night. Some even went so far as to call him "poor." I was surprised at that characterization because frankly he did jump out either way to me watching the game live.
Then, I found that Matthews was actually only on the field for 8 snaps. That made me even more skeptical about reports that claimed to really take anything from his performance Thursday. I just don't know what you can tell about a guy after seeing him for eight snaps. So I checked out a few of the position by position reviews that a few Eagles writers I like did and it turns out, they were pretty happy with what Matthews showed in his extremely limited time.
Tommy Lawlor focused on Matthews and saw something he liked.
The guy I wanted to focus on was Casey Matthews. He wasn’t on the field all that much. He didn’t stand out, good or bad, vs inside runs. I liked what I saw from him on a couple of pass plays. There was a screen where he stuck with the RB and threw off the play. There was a 3rd down pass play where Casey hugged up tight on the RB and Joe Flacco had no options. The DBs took away the outside guys and Casey was all over Ray Rice. Those are subtle things, but they are exactly the kinds of things I think Castillo wanted from Casey.
So far Matthews hasn’t looked out of place. He has been good in camp and he was good again in limited snaps on Thursday. It appeared Matthews might have been fooled on a Joe Flacco to Ray Rice screen pass that gained 23 yards on the opening drive, but it was his tight coverage on the tight end that forced Flacco to hold the ball and allowed Trent Cole to record his first sack later in the first quarter.
Sheil Kapadia did his "man up" column and looked at Matthews.
Tough to judge him based on the small amount of plays. Against the run, the Eagles defensive line did a great job, but you could see that Matthews will have to work on getting around offensive linemen and shedding blocks. In coverage, he did a good job on the tight end on Cole’s sack.
So in general, these reports kinda confirmed what I felt on my first watch about him. He wasn't on the field much at all and when he didn't stick out as really good or really bad at all. So, if you've given the game another watch or paid special attention to Matthews, what did you see in those 8 reps he took?