Eagles Backups Drop Preason Finale To Jets, 21-17

Rookie S Kurt Coleman was the star, recovering two Jets fumbles and returning them for TDs.

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NY Jets At Philadelphia Eagles Preseason: Andy Reid's Post-Game Press Conference

Eagles head coach Andy Reid met the media after his team dropped the preseason finale 21-17 to the NY Jets. Here were the highlights.

On why he elected to pull Vick from the game before halftime:

“Because I wanted to. I think he’s had enough work. The guy is 30-years-old, and he’s been in this league a long time. I think he’s ready to go.”

On the extended playing time for QB Mike Kafka:

“That was really why I pulled [Michael Vick]. Mike Kafka needs the work. He is a young guy and I just think that as many reps that he can possibly get are great for him. He can learn from it and we have it on tape so that he can come in and study it. I just think that every snap that he can get is a positive for him. For what he played tonight, he can learn from it.”

On whether any players other than S Kurt Coleman stood out from tonight’s game in terms of roster decisions:

“I don’t know about the roster spot part of it, I’ll go back and look at that, but I liked what I saw from [RB Eldra] Buckley. He ran hard and aggressive when he had the opportunity and he was able to play fullback and special teams. There were a handful of guys.”

On what kind of player S Kurt Coleman is developing into:

“Obviously, he’s always around the ball, and that is always a good thing. If he has an opportunity to hit, he usually makes contact and he gets you pretty good. I might say that he had a miss a couple weeks ago, but for the most part he is a secure tackler. He likes to punish you when he hits you.”

On whether tonight’s game will help with making roster decisions:

“This will help in some of the closer decisions that we’ve got to make and both [General Manager] Howie [Roseman] and I tried to spend a lot of time during camp and these preseason games really evaluating the young guys and giving them a lot of opportunity to play and just seeing how they handle it. We’ll get together tomorrow and Saturday and go through all of it.”

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NY Jets At Philadelphia Eagles Preseason: Michael Vick Plays Only Two Series

Michael Vick started a game for the first time in about four years tonight and before the game Andy Reid indicated that he would likely play the whole first half. As it turned out, Reid saw all he needed to see in two series and Vick was given the rest of the night off.

Vick led the Eagles to a FG on the opening drive, which ended up being the only scoring drive of the game for the Eagles offense. While he was off target on a couple passes, he didn’t turn the ball over and generally looked better than he had in the previous two preseason games. Andy Reid obviously felt there was no point in asking him to play more. Vick finished 3 of 5 for 56 yards. He also rushed for 11 yards and a first down.

Mike Kafka took over from there and really struggled completing just 9 of 27 passes with an INT. He finished with a dismal 26.9 QB rating. So after a great performance last week leading a last minute drive for a win, Kafka lays an egg. Fairly typical for a rookie QB in the preseason.

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NY Jets At Philadelphia Eagles Preseason: Kurt Coleman Returns Two Fumbles For TDs

Eagles rookie safety Kurt Coleman capped off a fine summer by recovering two fumbles and returning them for TDs in the Bird’s preseason finale against the Jets.

Coleman, who was a standout at training camp, amassed 18 tackles over the preseason and had one pass defense in addition to his two big plays tonight.

The Eagles drafted Coleman out of Ohio State in the 7th round of this year’s draft and so far the rookie has outplayed veterans Quintin Demps & Macho Harris. Right now he figures to be the primary backup to Quintin Mikell at SS and possibly the long term replacement.

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Jets At Eagles Preseason: Top Five Eagles With The Most To Gain Tonight

While pretty much everyone in this final preseason game is fighting for a job in some way, there are some guys with a little more to gain than others.

1. Michael Vick – Vick isn’t in danger of being cut, but he has looked pretty terrible this preseason. For a guy hoping to find a job as a starting QB next offseason, tonight may very well be his last shot to get himself on film running an offense and playing a significant amount of time.

2 and 3. Quintin Demps & Macho Harris – Two guys who were fighting it out for a starting job going into this game last year are fighting for a backup job this time around. What’s worse, both have so far been outplayed by two rookies (Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman). Actually, if you count that Macho Harris was moved back to safety after he was outplayed by rookie corner Trevard Lindley, then that makes three rookies. At this point it would seem likely that only one of these two will make the 53-man roster.

4. Hank Baskett – Another guy who has been outplayed by a rookie. While Baskett might be ahead of Riley Cooper on the unofficial depth chart, Cooper has clearly been playing a larger role. What’s more concerning for Baskett, though, is that it seems Kelley Washington, who was picked up mid-camp, appears to be getting as much if not more opportunities so far this preseason. That’s bad news for Hank because Washington is a noted special teams player, which has always been an area where Baskett excels.

5. Joselio Hanson - The Eagles gave Hanson a nice chunk of money last year after he’d come off a strong 2008. Since then he’s been suspended for taking an banned diuretic, struggled when he came back, and struggled so far this preseason. Hanson seemed penciled in as the nickel corner before this preseason, but that may not be the case any more. Dimitri Patterson and rookie Trevard Lindley have both arguably outplayed him.

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Mark Sanchez To Serve As Offensive Coordinator Against Eagles Thursday Night

Wow, you’ve got to hand it to New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan. He’s one heck of an unconventional dude. His latest stunt? Ryan reportedly will have Mark Sanchez sit out Thursday night’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles, opting instead to have Sanchez serve as the Jets’ offensive coordinator for the evening.

The idea, of course, is to expose Sanchez to a different aspect of the game, giving him a coach’s perspective on why and how certain plays are called. It’s a clever way of doing things. Ryan said he used to do it in Baltimore on defense, letting LB Ray Lewis and S Ed Reed call plays in the preseason. They gave it up, he said, when they realized it’s not as easy as it looks.

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Preview: Philadelphia Eagles Host New York Jets In Preseason Finale

Michael Vick will start at QB for the Eagles as they play their final and traditionally least important preseason game at Lincoln Financial Field Thursday against the NY Jets. Andy Reid announced earlier this week that the starters would sit, while the backups and third stringers will both get to play a half in the preseason finale. The fourth preseason game is  typically the one where the guys "on the bubble" of the roster have their last shot to win a job. Andy Reid stressed the importance of this game for both himself and those bubble players.

"You've got to make sure, at least, you want to make sure that you're right. So you are going to exhaust that and try to give these guys as many reps as you can. Are you a 100-percent right with players leaving here and going and being successful with other teams? No, but we're going to try to exhaust ourselves and to make sure we make that right decision. And this game is great for that. It gives you an opportunity for some of these guys that are right on the edge to show you what they have, without starters or with extensive playing time."

Reid also said that there are still jobs up for grabs not only on the Eagles, but on other teams as well. After teams make their final cuts this week, players will move around quite a bit. If a guy puts in a strong performance in this final game, he could very well catch on with another team if he doesn't make the Eagles.

"Well there are spots. I'm telling you there are spots, so it becomes very important for these players. I mentioned that to the ones that were working as a scout team throughout the week, that make sure you give these guys an opportunity, and give them a good look so they can go out and excel. On the other hand, I think you're given an opportunity whether you make it here or whether you make it somewhere else to have valuable film collection that somebody can look at and evaluate you as a football player, not including [Roseman] and myself, but maybe if you have a chance with another team."

The game kicks off at 7:30 Thursday night.

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