The Philadelphia Eagles 2015 preseason football schedule finishes tomorrow, Thursday, Sept. 3 as the Eagles take on the New York Jets. In preparation for the game, I reached out to our friends over at Gang Green Nation. John Butchko kindly took the time to answer my questions about the upcoming match-up.
Let's take a look at the answers.
1) What was your impression of how Mark Sanchez played with the Eagles last season after Nick Foles went down?
I'm sure you and your readers know more than I do, but I did catch a bunch of Sanchez's starts. I think he saved his career. After the way things ended with the Jets, I thought there was a real shot he might be out of the league in two years. I think he's established himself as a quality backup quarterback.
He didn't seem a whole lot different from his time with the Jets to be honest. He gets hot if everything is working around him, and he gets comfortable. Maybe the defense or special teams stakes him to a lead before he even steps on the field. His first read is open a lot. When things go poorly, they snowball. He loses confidence. The shoulders slump. He starts giving the football away like he doesn't want it.
The results were just better because the Eagles put him into favorable circumstances much more than the Jets ever did.
I think he's the kind of guy who can be part of the machine, but he can't make it run on his own. That's a solid backup. Unfortunately, the Jets invested in him like he was a franchise savior. He's in the right spot now for him.
2) How are Jets fans liking former Eagles defensive coordinator and new head coach Todd Bowles?
It's tough to say much before the team plays a real game under a coach. That first training camp when you have a new guy, I think every fan assumes he'll be a big upgrade. It doesn't always pan out that way.
What I can say about Bowles is many media members who saw the team prepare both last season and this season say this year's camp was much crisper. The execution was much better. They also say there was less tolerance for little things like players showing up late to meetings.
How much this will mean once the games actually start I don't know. I guess those are positives. No matter how things go with Bowles, I do think the Jets needed a change. Rex Ryan's tenure had run its course, and I don't think he was going to turn things around.
3) If you could steal one player off the Eagles' roster, who are you taking?
Well I've always wondered what would happen if the Jets traded for Tim Tebow.
Seriously, though, I'd probably go with DeMarco Murray. The Jets have four decent backs, but they don't have a guy like Murray who can do it all and take over a game.
4) The Jets made some upgrades this offseason, but the quarterback spot is still a question mark, especially with Geno Smith missing some time. How do you see this Jets season playing out? Do you have a record prediction?
The quarterback spot still would have been a question mark even with Geno Smith in the lineup. The Jets didn't do a whole lot to help him those first two years. Even if you take that into account, the results have been ugly, and it isn't clear Smith can play effectively in the league.
I'm not going to pretend Ryan Fitzpatrick is very good, but he is a known commodity. That commodity happens to be a level of play that is higher than anything the Jets have seen in years. I think the hope is he is good enough for the rest of the roster to prop up. There is a lot of talent on the defensive side of the ball. The team has a good receiving duo. Hopefully this is enough to limit what Fitzpatrick has to do.
I could see the Jets falling anywhere between 6 and 10 wins depending on whether they catch a few breaks. Let me be optimistic and say 9-7.
5) Let's hear a score prediction for this especially meaningless preseason game.