Preseason is all about depth and making a roster spot.
There may not be a tighter match-up than the fight to be named starting QB for the Eagles.
Battle of the QB: Both Vick and Foles were able to lead the Eagles in for a TD for their preseason opener against the New England Patriots. Foles plays at a “faster pace” than Vick. Foles is expected to start versus the ‘black on black uniformed’ Panthers on Thursday night.
Vick is looking ahead to Thursday night’s game against the Panthers calling it “…a great opportunity to try and do it all over again.” Vick played well. He “is excited about the offense” and the ability to “produce.” Vick has learned a lot over the years and “now understands the importance of preseason.”
Coach Kelly was “pleased” at the performance of his QB’s. He has “confidence” in both of them. So his decision to name a starter will not be an easy one. Coach Kelly says the QB battle has to be decided before the Washington Redskins game.
How will Matt Barkley do? Barkley did not impress anyone with his “average” play against the Patriots.
Similarities between the teams:
Competition is key in this league. Vick and Foles are fighting for the starting QB spot in Philly. In the Carolinas, Anderson is trying to keep the number two spot and Clausen is nipping at his heels.
Both teams have questions of the depth at WR. Who will show up, show out and make a roster spot?
I guess the question will be, “Which team is the one who excels the most”
Similarities between Newton and Vick:
Cam admired Vick as he watched how the game of football transformed. Vick was all the hype in ATL. Cam has since then transformed the game himself. Cam has brought the hype to Charlotte. Now both QB’s are once again on the field. But QB’s don’t play QB’s….they play against Defenses.
Both QB’s (Cam and Vick) seem to understand that a ‘W’ is a ‘W’ (preseason or not) Both understand the importance of TEAM; “to be put into position to excel.” They both know that it is a work in progress; it “doesn’t happen over night.” Both “do not want to turn the ball over.” Vick says, “if it happens don’t be surprised, I’m trying.”
Both Vick and Cam can throw a dart. Strong arms.
Cam “is anxious” to get back on the field against another opposing team. He should be, as both fans and Cam wanted another shot after the interception that was thrown, being his last play of the night against the Bears.
What to look for:
Eagles Defense – What Defense? All jokes aside, Eagles have a decent pass rush, (Chris McCoy had a sack and a half) however, there were a couple of missed tackles when Eagles played the Patriots. The Eagles in their first preseason game gave up 248 rushing yards. Will the Panthers have a lot of success in the run game against the Eagles?
Eagles Offense – UPTEMPO… Kenjon Barner, an Oregon alumni, knows full well that Coach Kelly’s offense has an “intense tempo.” Barner is our inside guy, that the coaches have questioned about the style of offense that can be expected. The Eagles compare their similar style offense to the Panthers.
It’s not a mystery that the Eagles like to pass the ball. They have a good WR core and some guys were able to have success– guys like Salas, Harbor, Avant, and Miller. And lets not forget about DeSean Jackson and Riley Cooper. Coach Kelly also likes to move the TE’s around.
This should be a good opportunity to see what we have in our corners and safeties. Captain Munnerlyn acknowledges that “it will be a great test” for them. They will need to “execute the game plan” and “play fast.”
The Eagles are expecting a lot of zone read from the Panthers, says Eagles safety Kurt Coleman. Coleman feels that they will perform a lot better against that kind of offense versus the style of offense that the Patriots showed.
Lane Johnson, a rookie, is the guy that protects Vicks blindside. Coach Kelly praises Johnson as being possibly “the most consistent offensive lineman.” Pay close attention to this match up…who will go after this hogmollie?
Penetration thru the Eagles O-Line is key—disrupt the Eagles QB. I expect big things from the Panthers defense. Guys like Mario Addison and Frank Alexander, under Coach Washington’s direction are getting ready for the showdown and they are “prepared.” They’ve “put in the work” to go up against Philly who, “gets the ball off within 19 seconds each play.” I expect to see the rookies step up and continue to perform well, guys like Star and Short (K.K.). The continued work in the preseason will help out both guys as they establish a name for themselves in the NFL.
And after the impressive play of the Panthers defense, when they accumulated a total of seven sacks against the Bears for their preseason opener, I expect the D-Line to continue to cause havoc.
Written by: Phillip Boyce