Ok, so I'm going to take a look at some of the things I'd like to see from the Eagles when they play the Steelers. It should be a good game, the physicality from the Steelers will be something this team hasn't experienced much yet, it'll be a good measuring stick for how far this team has come.
I don't take the Steelers lightly though, I personally don't respect some of their players for the obvious cheap shots followed by crying like babies when they get fined for said obvious cheap shots.
So I will get right into this thing and hopefully you like it.
Offensive Line VS Steelers front 7:
The Starters will be playing the first half unless we just start doing so well and don't want to risk injury. I really would like to see our OL handle the Steelers front 7 because without a doubt they're one of the best in the game, if we can block them and keep Vick clean we can block anybody. I think the Steelers front 7 is going to be the best measuring stick we're going to get before the Regular season gets underway so keep a close eye out. Now for some specific players to watch:
- Kelce: He's going to get some starters reps, Casey Hampton is a hard guy to block (shows him as their starter at NT so if I'm wrong please inform me) and Kelce will most likely have to face him in 1 on 1 situations often. If Kelce has a good game against this front 7 it may secure him a starting spot especially if Jamaal struggles.
- King Dunlap: I'm not very high on King after that Ravens game, he looked awful, I don't even want to see him on the field anymore. But luckily when it comes to Football you get a chance to redeem yourself. Like I've stated before that front 7 is a difficult one but if King struggles like he did against the Ravens backups then I think he'll be handed the pink slip. But if he does well he'll be a step ahead of Harris and Justice. This may be a make or break game for Dunlap, even if he only plays 2 quarters.
- Danny Watkins: I liked what I saw from Danny last week, even if it was just a few plays. I think he needs to improve a little bit with the pass blocking but honestly that's even a reach for me at this point. I'd like to see him make some great blocks and show more solidarity in both the run game and the passing game. He doesn't have much to worry about as far as keeping his starting job, but the room for error is literally 0 when it comes to Mudd.
Linebackers vs Steelers Running game:
It goes without saying that our LB's are very young, and for the most part are very inexperienced. They are literally the only unknown on this team at this point. As much as I hate to say it they will probably make or break this season, if they're awful we're going to have some issues, however if they're solid-good our defense is going to thrive.. I'm not worried about them in coverage, I think Fokou's done well enough in the past 2 seasons to be considered a solid coverage guy, Chaney's got the speed and potential and Matthews was touted as the best coverage LB in this draft and he did very well last week against the Ravens. But when it comes to the running game I'm focusing on these guys:
- Matthews: He has to show he can shed blocks and take down the RB. He had like 8 plays last week but even myself, the leader of the Casey Fanclub, must admit I wasn't happy with his ability to shed blockers. I'm going to chalk last week up to it only being 8 plays and him not being able to get in a rhythm, and it being his first action is a game scenario at MLB. If he can show he's capable of shedding those blockers and getting to the RB's then I'm going to be much happier.
- Chaney: I want to see Chaney cover more, I didn't get to see much of him in coverage last week but I want to see how far he's progressed from late last season, him being solid in coverage will go a long way for this team. Also I'd like to see him take on some OLmen and shed the blocks, just in case he needs to move to the Middle somewhere down the line.
- Rolle: I want to see Rolle play LB, I'm not sold on him at all but I know the talents there albeit in a small package. I personally feel that having 2 good options as a backup will boost this LB core greatly and for some reason I've chosen him to watch this week.
- Clayton: I don't know why people rave over him, I just don't see him as a LB, he's got the speed of a DB and the size of a LB but for some reason he's not very physical, I want to see him play against the run, and him most likely being our main backup/reserve I don't think it's to much to ask for him to make a strong showing.
Any WR not named Desean or Avant vs Steeler secondary:
Desean's a monster, I'm not worried about him, same with Avant. But anybody aside from him (Not counting Maclin because he's just been cleared) doesn't have me sold. Cooper made a great play last week and he's a given to make the roster but I'd really like to see somebody step up and make life difficult for this coaching staff come cuts. Here's who I'm watching tonight:
- Chad Hall: Say what you will but the guy's a capable player, I like him because last week he was making some good plays. I think he'll be our #5 WR until Smith comes into play but even then I want Hall to stay in the picture. He's not the flashiest guy, and he's not the best but he makes some plays here and there and is a great story. That being said I'd like to see Hall do a bit more, I want some yards after the catch and I want some tough grabs, hell I'd like to see him put some moves on guys. I'd even like to see him take some snaps at RB (More on this later)
- Sinorice Moss: Everyone was on this guys jock early in TC but he's disappeared, I didn't see 1 thing from him in the Raven game, at least Hall made some catches. Moss just needs to make some kind of impact, he's got some talent and he's an older guy it's time for him to do something. I think if he's quiet this game he's most likely one of the first gone.
- Higgens: I hear all about him and how great he is.. but once again like Moss I don't see it.
Running game vs Steelers front 7:
Like I said above, one of the best front 7's in football. I'd love to see McCoy get some open lanes and make some great runs. I'd love to see some more of Brown and Cooper, I'd really love to see Locke get a few looks. It's going to be key for our Running game to be strong because I think we're going to be playing from ahead a lot this season and we'll need it to kill the clock and finish out the game but we can't just rely on McCoy because he's our best offensive player. Oh and as promised Hall, I'd like to see him get some carries here and there, I think he did a decent job last season on his carries. So here's what I'm looking for:
- Chad Hall: I'd like to see him get a couple of carries, I said above I don't expect him to be a home run threat and I don't even expect any long runs, I'll be happy with a 10 yard run from him. What I'd like to see is him line up at RB and get 3-4 yards on a carry, this could be a great thing for us, we can line Vick up with no RB then signal Hall into the single back and hand it off to him to get a few yards every once in a while and with Halls running style the new blocking scheme could really help him.
- Cooper/Locke/Lewis: I know everybody here loves Lewis and Cooper, I personally love Locke.. But one of the 3 has to emerge and do something, they were decent last game, but honestly if that's the type of production we're going to get I think the coaching staff will stick with Buckley due to his experience. I'd love for one of these 3 to go out there and put up some yards and have some good runs. I was really impressed with Coopers size and explosion after a knee injury, I'm really pulling for him to do something because he'd be a great compliment to McCoy in a year or two.
- Brown: I liked what I saw from him last week (aside from his number of coarse) and I'd like to see another strong showing.
Secondary VS Steelers WR's
I'd like to see our Secondary dominate, if they can completely take WR's out of the game and even 1 of our LB's can handle a TE then we're going to be a great defense. (yes I said great, come at me)... This isn't so much of a Corner issue, it's more about the Safety's which I'm very confident in. I'd like to see our Safety's make plays again, Jarrett has me excited, Page had a strong showing, Nate's looking every bit of the part and Coleman's looking damn good. So here's who I'm watching:
- Lindley: Lindley is my boy, I think he did a pretty good job last week against the Ravens and I'd really like to see him make this team, he's going to be something special and I'd rather it be here than somewhere else. I saw him shut down Miles Austin twice last season and I'd like to see him face the Steelers WR's who aren't a cakewalk by any means.
- Marsh: Like Lindley I think he did pretty well last week, the pass rush helped him (and Lindley) out a lot. Marsh is actually looking good, and if given a few years can really turn into something special. I want to see him match up with Wallace or Brown in particular because of their speed.
- Coleman: I have a feeling that Jarrett closed the gap on Coleman's starting gig last week, I view Coleman as a guy who's indispensable to a team because no matter if he's starting or that 3rd Safety we're going to use him a lot and he's going to produce. He's bulked up a lot and looked much faster, I want to see him come down in the box and really harass the RB's.
Our DL vs the Steelers OL and Big Ben:
Big Ben is a guy I respect as a football player, he's a tough QB who I've liked on the field since he was a rookie and laid a block for Willie Parker. Ben's not and easy guy to get down and he's mobile, that's something Flacco and Taylor aren't (yes Flacco's big and yes Taylor's mobile but they're not the combo that Big Ben is so shut up). Anyway, our DL will most likely get after him and Ben will most likely get away a few times due to his size and strength, and I'm looking forward to it. Their OL isn't exactly the greatest but they're good enough to give our DL a challenge.. So here's who I'm watching:
- Landri: He had a good game last week, he may have played his way into a roster spot in most peoples eyes but not in mine, he needs to turn in some more good games in order to sell me on him. I hope he can do what he did last week again because he was exciting to watch.
- Tapp: I love Tapp, I think he'll overtake Babin at some point this season. I want to see him get to the QB more because he's a strong guy and will really give Ben fits. I think he's going to have a good game.
- Te'o: Most of you hate him, I don't. Te'o quietly had a good game last week he got pressure and even a sack. I look for him to continue this against the Steelers. I like what Te'o brings to the table skill wise and I think this system suits him well, we'll most likely need him to play at some point this season so I'd like to know he can game with the best of them.
- Jenkins: I want to see him dominate this game, I was happy with last weeks performance, but I want to see him get so much pressure up the middle because I want to see what our D can do against a mobile QB like Ben.
Everybody to stay healthy, on both teams.
Nothing is worse than a team losing a starter to injury during a game, especially during a preseason game. So I hope that every player regardless of the colors they wear stays healthy and plays well. I also hope that the Steelers bring their A-game because great competition breeds a great team.
Also on the health front Maclin's back and I'm glad it's nothing serious, he'll still be in my prayers because his illness is still relatively unknown and nobody should be ill for 6 months. It's going to be great to have our best WR back for this season, we're going to need him.