Philadelphia Eagles preseason football is just a few days away. With the Eagles and Colts scheduled to face off on Sunday afternoon, I reached out to our friends over at Stampede Blue. Josh Wilson (@coltsfanwilson) kindly took the time to answer my questions about the upcoming game.
Let's take a look at the answers.
1) The Frank Gore era in Philadelphia is one that Eagles fans will never forget. So many memories were made. What was the reaction like when it was announced he'd be leaving Philly to sign with the Colts?
At first, I think fans were so surprised that they didn't really know what to make of it. We had been hearing that Gore was interested in playing for the Colts, but once it sounded like he was headed to the Eagles fans kind of just moved on. So initially, it was more surprise than anything else, but Colts fans are clearly excited about having Gore around. After seeing Trent Richardson the past two years and not having a 1,000-yard rusher since 2007, Colts fans are just excited to have a proven running back. So while at first it was all just a surprise as Gore changed his mind, there's no doubt about it: Colts fans are thrilled to have Frank Gore with the team, and for good reason.
2) Trent Cole and Todd Herremans were the longest tenured Eagles before they were released this offseason. What kind of roles will they have with Indianapolis in 2015?
Both Trent Cole and Todd Herremans should be starters for the Colts in 2015 - at least to open the year. With Herremans, he appears to be the clear favorite at right guard and should be the starter there. And unless there is an injury or unless Herremans struggles massively, I expect that to continue all year. As for Trent Cole, he's currently playing with the first team defense at the rush linebacker spot, and he's going to be expected to provide the biggest boost to the pass rush early on while Robert Mathis still works his way back from the torn Achilles suffered last year. Once Mathis returns, I expect him to take over as the "starter," but Cole will still see a large role in the defense as a pass rusher.
3) Do Colts fans keep up with Cody Parkey at all? It's not like the Colts could get rid of a legend like Adam Vinatieri, but I've always wondered how Indy fans felt when Parkey drilled the game winner last year in Week 2.
I think a lot of Colts fans do keep up with Cody Parkey, at least to some degree. He obviously never played in a regular season game with them or anything like that, but he was around in camp and preseason and fans were excited to see how well he did a year ago - besides for that game-winning kick in week two. In all seriousness, however, while fans hated losing to the Eagles in that fashion, I think they were happy for Parkey. They realized that the Colts did a number of things wrong that led up to that point and so, while they didn't like the loss, they were happy for Parkey. I know that I certainly was happy for him last year and hope that he continues that success this year.
4) Don't think you it's pretty weird that the Eagles and Colts are playing a preseason game in 91 degree weather outside at 1 PM in the afternoon on a summer day?
Yeah, just the fact that they're playing a preseason game on 1 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon is odd enough, as they're the only game during that time slot this week, but then when you consider the weather it makes it even stranger. The Colts play at 1 on many Sundays throughout the fall, but in the preseason? That was kind of odd, and their other three games are on Saturday, Saturday, and Thursday.
5) Who are some lesser known Colts backups that could stand out?
With this being the first preseason game, there are a number of backup players who I'm really looking forward to seeing in the game, but I'll only highlight a few here. On the offensive side of the football, I'll be watching the wide receivers quite a bit. The Colts are loaded at the position, and even their backups look great. First round draft pick Phillip Dorsett and rookie Duron Carter (who the team signed out of the CFL this offseason) both have a lot of talent and I can't wait to see them in a game. Defensively, I'll be looking at a couple of draft picks in particular. Third round defensive end Henry Anderson is a guy who I really like, but it's hard to get a good understanding of him from training camp. I think he could be a good player when it comes to games, however. Fourth round safety Clayton Geathers should have a big role with the Colts this year, and I'm looking forward to seeing him work at safety and also perhaps at linebacker some in dime packages. So those four guys are all rookies but are players who I am really excited to see in a game and who I think have potential to be possible standouts on Sunday.
Bonus: Score prediction? It's only preseason but hey, why not.
I'm excited to see some of the Colts' depth, and I think that they might be able to score a few points since they have a good backup quarterback in Matt Hasselbeck and a lot of depth at wide receiver. I'm really not sure about the defensive depth, and while I think the Colts might be able to put up just enough points to pull it out, the fact that they never seem to do well in the preseason makes me take the Eagles in this one, 23-20.