Kansas City, Here We Come - PS Week 3 Preview
Posted by Tommy Lawlor
Tonight, all Eagles players put their lives in the hands of the football gods. For the first time, we face...Eric Berry. He is a rookie Safety for the Chiefs, but that's like saying that the USS Nimitz is a boat with some dudes on it. Eric actually has just as much firepower as an active carrier. The difference is that he can also kill you with kindness. He once broke my right arm with a thank you card. Eric could offer to help DeSean Jackson up after a tackle and accidentally rip him to shreds. Still, it is better to take your chances with happy Eric than his other side. Let's hope Eric is in good spirits and takes it easy on our beloved Eagles tonight.
As for the other players in the game...this is the closest thing to real football that we see in the month of August. Our starters will play about 3 quarters. There is no more shaking off rust and trying different combinations for experimentation's sake. Tonight we need to see good results. Winning would be great, but at the least we need to see good football. We want a more polished, efficient performance than the first couple of weeks.
Here's what I'm looking for:
Red Zone improvement --- We have shot ourselves in the foot in the first couple of games. We've made mistakes in every way imaginable. The starters have only played 3 quarters so it isn't like we've got a significant problem to this point, but we absolutely need to see progress in this area. We must score TDs. A poor showing in the RZ tonight makes this a serious issue. Anyone who watched Green Bay play last night (59 points???) wants to see us score a TD or two before the season opener.
Better KO coverage --- I wrote about our STs play recently. The biggest issue is poor coverage on kickoffs. We aren't getting off blocks and to the ball. STs is all about effort and hustle. We need guys selling out to make plays. The young guys have had a couple of games to learn. Tonight we need better results.
Functional OL play --- Last week our blocking was bad. The players failed individually and as a group. That was a bad, bad showing. Can't have that tonight. KC isn't nearly as good a front seven as Cincy so we shouldn't be beaten from a talent standpoint. Also, the guys hopefully spent a lot of time reviewing tape with Juan Castillo to learn from last week's mistakes. Juan had plenty to work with. No blocker had anything close to a good game.
We do get Todd Herremans back. He will start at LG. Todd won't play as long as the whole starting unit. Todd might be a little rusty since he missed so much time this summer. I can live with a little of that from him. He's such a veteran in our system that he should get up to speed pretty quickly.
Mike McGlynn will have to deal with a NT for the first time in the preseason. That actually might make things easier on him. Mike needs a bounce-back game after last week. We still don't know what condition Jamaal is in and Nick Cole's knee might keep him sidelined a while longer. For now, Mike is the #1 C and he could use a good game to get back on track.
Mike Bell --- We finally get to see our new RB in action. Mike has been itching to go for a few weeks, but the coaches have been cautious with him. There isn't a question about his talent. The concern is durability. Limiting his PS reps was a smart move. We do need to see him in action to get a feel for where he is physically. If Bell looks banged up, we might have to make a move at RB. If he's okay, we're okay. If he's not...time to work the phones. Remember what we're looking for from Mike. He is a physical, downhill runner. We want to see him move the pile and fighting for tough yards.
Clay Harbor --- I know he can catch the ball. I saw him do it at Missouri State. I saw it at the Shrine Game. I saw it at the OTAs and up at Lehigh. I would like to see it in an actual NFL game. Call a TE screen. Force him the ball. We aren't a team that needs 2 TEs to catch a ton of passes, but I want to see Clay as a receiver prior to the regular season.
Michael Vick --- Week 1 I loved what I saw. Week 2 I hated what I saw. Tonight should be interesting then, huh? Mike needs to bounce back and have a good game. I know his blocking isn't ideal, but a good QB will either overcome that and succeed or at least limit his mistakes. Throwing the ball up for grabs is unacceptable for a talented veteran QB.
Kelley / Hank --- Someone needs to step up in the battle for the #5 WR spot. I've gone back and forth with these guys. It would help if someone would earn the job.
Chad Hall --- We all want him to blow us away and make the team, but time is running out. Chad needs to show some ability with the ball in his hands, whether as KOR, PR, or runner/receiver.
Brandon Graham --- So far, so good. He's worked his way up to the starting role. Now let's see him continue to play well. Sacks would be great, but I can live with consistent pressure on the QB.
Backup LBs --- There are 5 LBs that I like (the starters + Gaither, Clayton). That leaves an opening or two for other guys. We need Tracy White, Jamar Chaney, or Moise Fokou to show they deserve a spot. If not, we might be looking at other teams. Fokou seemed so promising a few months ago, but hasn't impressed me in the 2 games. It would really help if he were to have a good night.
Macho Harris --- Our starting FS from last year isn't a lock to make the team. He's caught in no man's land. He's got a year of FS experience, but is now playing CB. The problem is that he's missed the first 2 games and lots of practice. We don't know what he can do at CB. Macho will do himself a world of good with some solid CB play or a good game on STs. You know the team wants to keep him around, but Macho has to show he fits in somewhere.