By Eagles Gab Columnist Chris DeSantis
Well here we are in week three of the preseason. It’s a week that could be crucial for most teams. Last week the Philadelphia Eagles took a beating, so this week is especially critical for them.
In comes the Cleveland Browns, who I like to refer to as “The Philadelphia Eagles of the Midwest”. (due to the fact that former Eagles General Manager, Tom Heckert, is now with the Browns at the same position, and also new Head Coach Pat Shurmur was the Eagles Quarterbacks coach for years.) Boy I like that McCoy kid at Quaterback for the Brownies. As long as Browns management is patient, they have a gem there at quarterback.
Okay, so now to our “Dream Team”. (Thanks Vince!! Nice call there buddy!) What I would like to see this week is second-year QB Mike Kafka get some real work in. I know we are going to see the starters for the first half – and then some – but I would really like to see Kafka get a series or two with some of the “ones” because I really believe he is a better backup than Vince Young. Yes, Young is a proven winner, but he is also a work in progress in the West Coast offense. Head Coach Andy Reid and Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg will get him where he needs to be. We all know starter Michael Vick is amazing – really amazing – but where does Coach Reid turn if – God forbid – #7 goes down. Even if he’s just out for one series, I think we need to know that our backup QB can move the ball down the field and not just hand it off to Shady LeSean McCoy and (“Mr. Wildcat” himself) Ronnie Brown out of the backfield.
What about the Offensive line? It seems like this is slowly becoming a reoccurring theme with the Eagles. Andy loves his linemen, and yes our first pick, Offensive Guard Danny Watkins, should be a stud down the road. (The lockout really handicapped all the rookies.) Hopefully Offensive Line Coach Howard Mudd can get these guys straightened out. Last year was a nightmare right from the start. O-tackle Jason Peters proved to be a great pickup in 2009 via free-agency. Hopefully he can continue to perform at a Pro-Bowl level and protect whoever our QB may be.
I know last weeks game against the Steelers was a rough one. However, with all the new pieces on defense, we just need to have patience. This team has only been together for about a month now and we are not 100% sure that Asante Samuel will be around for the entire season. (Personally, I hope so because he is a real ball hawk.) I believe this defense just needs time to gel. I know we are going with youth at the Middle Linebacker position by having Casey Mathews LB out of Oregon as our starter, but I do think this is probably the right choice, in my opinion. Coach Washburn will have our D-line all-over the opposing QB’s. Bringing back former Eagle Jason Babin was a great addition and he is going to draw a lot of attention. Probably so much attention that it will allow Defensive End Trent Cole once again be a Pro Bowl caliber player. Bringing in Cullen Jenkins at Defensive tackle wasn’t a bad idea neither.
Like I mentioned earlier, this weeks’ game against the Browns is crucial. So, as the players are scrapping to make every play count, make sure to take your seat in your recliners, grab your favorite beverage and chips, and get ready to dissect the roster along with Coach Reid and his staff. This is only the beginning of an amazing season – a “Dream Season”, right Vince?