Much has been said since Chip Kelly took over as the HC of our beloved Eagles. Since then there have been more questions than answers also and the first preseason game with give us a tiny hint as to what the answers to those questions will be... That being said I do think there are some players that demand a close look during this evenings preseason matchup against the Patriots.
For all of us a good showing by Riley works 2-fold. First it will show us that he can lessen the blow we took when we lost Maclin for the season, and second it will allow for much of the other "stuff" to blow over. On the football side of things Cooper has been talked about as a guy having a great camp even before Maclin got injured, and if he is able to roll that into the preseason games and then the regular season it'd be great to have him firing on all cylinders for whomever is under center.
Brown has been a guy I haven't heard to much about since OTA's, and with a guy like him I'm not entirely sure that it is a bad thing. Looking back to last offseason it was Brown that showed up in the preseason and stole the backup position, and I feel that with Polk looking great these last few weeks a good showing in game one will help Brown hold off that push from Polk... Point being I feel like Brown is a guy that's more of a "game" guy than a "practice" guy, that's not saying he's lazy in practice or sucks in practice I just feel that when things get serious and he straps up the helmet he's going to play at a level he'll never reach in practice.
The guy seems to be doing everything right, he's working with Avant, he's getting in any and all extra work he can and he's making plays in practice. As a rookie UDFA he's doing everything he can to prove he can help this team out immediately.. Unfortunately for us we might actually need that help immediately with Maclin's injury.. I'm not looking for Shepard to go out there tonight and take over the game, I'm not looking for him to go out there and score a couple of TD's, I just want to see something that gives hope that he can be relied upon in backup or reserve role. This is almost as important as who the QB will be in my opinion because that 5th WR is an injury away from a heavy dose of plays, and that guy must be trusted.
This guy was one of my favorite draft choices because he just made so much sense for the Eagles and for Chip's ways. He's a guy who can line up at NT and hold his own and a guy who can line up at either DE position in the 3-4 and be a force. The thing I like about Logan is he's not great at any one thing but he's above average at everything, and having a guy like that along the Defensive Line is a great asset.
I think it's important for Logan to come out and have a good showing because I feel he could take over for Sopa at some point this season at the NT spot, I want to see something that validates what I felt about him before he was drafted.
From all accounts he's simply been the best player on the field for much of Training Camp, I would like to see what he does matched up on the Outside against Tom Brady, I feel this will be the best test to measure how he will do when attacked. Boykins has had his size and athleticism analyzed a million times, but if the guy can play he can play not matter what the perceived limitations are and tonight I want to see the strides he has made over this offseason.
It's important to see Brandon succeed tonight on the outside because if Fletcher or Williams gets injured we all know who's taking their spot while they're out, and having a solid option would make many of us sleep easy.
Everybody says he doesn't have a chance in the world of being named the starter, I don't exactly agree or disagree with that statement however I feel that Barkley should get at least a slight consideration when you're holding a position battle and the other two options are a guy who hasn't been good since 2010 and a guy who played decently last season as a rookie but is still very unproven..
Barkley showing up and having a good game would likely start to get him in the conversation for the starting gig if both Foles and Vick have trouble tonight. Barkley must show that he understands the system, that the game isn't to fast for him and that he can protect the football...
Let's begin this with a side note; I do feel that if Vick loses the QB competition that he will be gone, no need to keep a guy when you can start developing Foles and Barkley... Which brings me back to Dixon...
With what was said above if Vick is gone then obviously the Eagles will require a 3rd QB, that guy will likely be Dixon and I'd like to see what he does on the field tonight when he's back with his Coach from college.
The former 2nd round pick clearly needs to have a good game to hold off Kenny Phillips and Wolfe. Allen is more in the mold of a center field safety who should do well in coverage. I think that he needs to play well in order to ease the pain of just having a overly shitty streak of shitty Safety play.. Hopefully he can show what he flashed his rookie year.
I like Chung, but this more has to go back to what I said about about the bad Safety play than it does about Chung himself... He more or less has to show that he's able to stay healthy, not many people are dumb enough to question the ability.
Once again a good showing by Chung tonight just gives us hope that 1/4 of our secondary won't be a complete waste of space.
We can have all the talent in the world in the trenches but without a good center we're screwed, Kelce is a good center however he's coming off an injury that affects many lineman for 1-2 years after it happens. I will more be looking for the explosion from Kelce, I need to see him get off the ball like he use to and not favor that knee, I will also be looking for signs of mental block, which is what holds many people back after an ACL injury.