6 Total Updates since August 9, 2012
9 months ago Update 0 comments
Vick injured his thumb early in the first quarter after his hand hit the helmet of his center Jason Kelce. Vick immediately left the game and later went to the locker room for more tests and X-rays, which came back negative. Vick was 3-for-4 for six yards before leaving the game
Vick's injury is a big plus after backup quarterback Mike Kafka has been ruled out for the next 2-3 weeks with a broken hand. If Vick would have missed any significant time, it would have left Trent Edwards and Nick Foles as the only healthy quarterbacks on the roster.
9 months ago Update 0 comments
Mike Kafka, a backup quarterback hoping to make the Philadelphia Eagles for the 2012 season, has fractured his hand and will miss 2-3 weeks, according to reports. Kafka went 5-of-9 for 31 yards with one interception in Philadelphia's first preseason game, a 24-23 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
With limited opportunities to impress in the preseason, Kafka's injury could cost him a lot more than the time he'll miss. That may be more than he can afford, as both Nick Foles and Trent Edwards looked better in the first preseason game. Foles went 6-for-10 for 144 yards with two touchdowns in the game and Edwards threw 8-for-12 for 74 yards and one touchdown. Kafka will still be able to participate in 7-on-7 drills with his non-throwing hand.
An injury isn't how any team wants to decide their backup quarterback situation, so Eagles fans hope that Kafka makes a quick and complete recovery in time to give an accurate impression of his value to the team.
9 months ago Article 0 comments
The Eagles played their preseason opener on Thursday night. The game was a mixed bag of results, but there were some young players who really helped themselves. Let's take a look at them.
9 months ago Update 0 comments
The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Steelers 24-23 in their preseason opener Thursday night at Lincoln Financial Field. However, this one was much more tense than a preseason game is supposed to be, for a lot reasons. We had a Michael Vick injury scare, a crazy debut for a rookie QB, multiple lead changes in the 4th quarter and it was all capped off with a 51 yard game winning FG with just seconds left on the clock.
Eagles fans got a pretty big scare as Michael Vick whacked his hand on Jason Kelce’s helmet. As you can see here, he was clearly in some pain… or he was going to the bathroom, I couldn’t quite tell. Vick did not return to the game afterward, although none of the starters did so he obviously wasn’t going to come back either way. He spent the rest of the half standing on the sidelines with his thumb in a cup of Gatorade. X-rays at halftime were negative and after the game Andy Reid said it was just a contusion.
While Vick’s injury scare was the big story of the first half, it should be noted that the first team offense did pretty much nothing in their two series.
Jaiquwan Jarrett got the start and had a pretty disastrous go of it. This gif sums his night pretty well. He took poor angles on tackles and appeared to blow coverage on the Steelers first TD. You could see Nnamdi Asomugha shade coverage toward the sideline, but the WR broke in and Jarrett starts to the step in that direction, but clearly he was too late. It was a pretty terrible showing overall for the 2nd year safety. While we’re talking about 2nd year defenders… Brian Rolle wasn’t very good either.
The obvious bright spot for the defense was… everyone on the defensive line. Literally. They had 7 sacks including 2 for Phillip Hunt, who flat out dominated Steelers 2nd round pick Mike Adams. Brandon Graham, Cedric Thornton, Darryl Tapp, Monte Taylor & Xavier Brown also collected sacks. Derek Landri was in the backfield seemingly every play in the first half and Vinny Curry was just tossing OTs aside in the 2nd half. We all heard about Curry’s pass rushing ability, but his play against the run was really impressive. While the Steelers do have a terrible offensive line (and backup OL), the Eagles are going to have a tough time deciding who to cut. Because while you could hardly notice, the Eagles’ two starting DEs, who led the league in sacks as a pair, weren’t even playing.
The other bright spot for the D had to be the play of rookie LB Mychal Kendricks. On the first play of the game, the Steelers ran a stretch play and Kendricks ran down the RB to the sideline and pulled him down for a sound tackle. Overall, he was pretty much exactly as advertised. Very fast and a sound tackler.
NICK FOLES. Does this guy have future Cardinals QB written all over him or what? The rookie went 6 for 10 for 144 yards and 2 TDs. His first TD was very Ben Roethlisberger like as he ducked to escape pressure, rolled out, and chucked the ball on the run probably 40-45 yards in the air to a wide open Damaris Johnson, who ran it in for a 70 yard TD.
On the Eagles’ very next possession, Foles hits Mardy Gilyard for a 44 yard pass on the very first play. It was a nice throw by Foles, but the catch by Gilyard, who had the DB hanging all over him, was very impressive. Also, while Gilyard clearly fell right on top of the pylon, which makes it elementary that he scored… the replacement refs called him down at the one. The Eagles challenged and Gilyard was awarded the D for a really great effort.
As you can guess, people in the game thread already started calling for Foles to take over the backup job over Mike Kafka, who was very poor in his limited action tonight. His biggest lowlight came when, under pressure, he basically flung the ball blind across his body and straight into the mitts of Steelers DE Al Woods, who returned it 53 yards.
Bryce Brown ran him down to prevent the TD. Brown, by the way, really bolstered his case for a roster spot tonight, with an impressive 33 yard run in the 3rd quarter. He also caught 2 passes for 16 yards.
Actually, among the backup QBs, Kafka had to be considered 3rd best. The much maligned Trent Edwards looked pretty good leading the team on a two go ahead 4th quarter drives. The first ended with a TD pass on 4th down to Jamel Hamler and the other ended with a 51 yard game winning FG from Alex Henery.
It may be too early to anoint Foles, but I don’t think its crazy to say that Edwards has played himself into the backup discussion.
The return game was something we were watching for and so far so good. Brandon Boykin took his first kickoff attempt 46 yards & Damaris Johnson took his first punt back 33 yards (it was called back). Overall, a pretty good debut for the pair of rookie return men.
As preseason games go, this one couldn’t have started much worse, but in the end was actually pretty fun. Watching the defensive line tee off, Foles’ crazy debut, Trent Edwards leading two go ahead 4th quarter times, Alex Henery hitting a 51 yard game winner… It was good time.
Next time, let’s have our good time a little earlier in one of these preseason games.
9 months ago Update 0 comments
Michael Vick left the field Thursday night in the Philadelphia Eagles' preseason opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers after injuring his throwing hand on center Jason Kelce's helmet. Vick left the field wincing in pain, but did stay on the sideline instead of heading for the locker room for more medical attention. From several accounts, the injury does not appear to be overly serious.
Vick injured his hand on the Eagles' first series, and likely would not have played much more whether or not he hurt his hand making it difficult to gauge the exact extent of the injury. The Eagles have a lot riding on Vick this season, their Super Bowl hopes chief among them. Expect the team to be very cautious going forward.
UPDATE: X-rays taken of Vick's thumb came back negative. Feel free to start breathing again.
For more on the Eagles, please be sure to check out our blog Bleeding Green Nation and SB Nation Philly for all the latest news and updates. For the latest on the Steelers, be sure to check out Behind the Steel Curtain and SB Nation Pittsburgh.
9 months ago Update 0 comments
The Eagles will open their preseason tonight against the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Linc. Head coach Andy Reid said yesterday that he expects Michael Vick and the rest of his offensive starters to play about a quarter. Don't expect to see much more of Ben Roethlisberger either.
Despite all that, there still should be some pretty interesting things to watch from an Eagles perspective. One will be the defensive line, where Reid plans to play his "starters" for the entire first half. I emphasize starters there because in reality the starters are injured. So it's really the second team that will start and see extra time. That will give fans a chance to get some extra looks at DE Brandon Graham, the Eagles first round pick in 2010 that's spent much of his first two NFL seasons sidelined by a knee injury suffered midway through his rookie season. Back healthy this year, Graham has been one of the standouts at camp and could finally pay off on his promise this season.
Extra time for the starting defensive line also means more time for 2012 top pick Fletcher Cox and 2nd rounder Vinny Curry. We'll also see Darryl Tapp and Phillip Hunt rotating in at defensive end as well Antonio Dixon at DT, who missed most of last season with a triceps injury.
Rookie LB Mychal Kendricks, who has been drawing rave reviews at Lehigh, will also make his debut along with the Eagles most significant offseason addition, LB DeMeco Ryans. While those two are penciled in as starters, the 3rd LB spot on the weakside is still very much up for grabs with Brian Rolle, Jamar Chaney & Keenan Clayton competing for that job.
There's also a pretty notable battle happening in the secondary where Kurt Coleman has so far retained his starting job from last year. However, veteran free agent addition OJ Atogwe and 2nd year man Jaiquwan Jarrett will be gunning for his spot. With presumed starter Nate Allen out with a hamstring injury, all three figure to play major roles tonight.
On offense, amongst the starters the guy to watch will be LT Demetress Bell, who the Eagles signed to replace pro bowler Jason Peters. Peters was lost for the season after tearing his Achilles (and then tearing it again) during an offseason workout at his home in Texas. Peters was a dominant force for the Eagles last season and played a big role in LeSean McCoy's breakout season, so the level to which Bell can replace him will be a big storyline for this season.
There's also an interesting battle going on at RB. LeSean McCoy obviously has the top spot locked up, but 2nd year man Dion Lewis is competing with rookies Bryce Brown and Chris Polk for the backup job. There's only likely to be 3 roster spots available for RBs, so one of these guys will be the odd man out. So far, Lewis has outplayed the rookies at camp while Brown holds a slight edge over Polk for the last spot.
Tight ends may also be an interesting battle to watch with starter Brent Celek sitting this out as he heals from an MCL sprain. Clay Harbor is the incumbent backup with former Penn State TE Brett Brackett mounting a serious challenge for a spot. Brackett has impressed with his size and pass catching ability in camp, but so far has lagged noticeably behind Harbor as a blocker. For a backup TE, blocking is a big deal. So it should be interesting to see which of these two can make a mark tonight.
Finally, the return game will be of interest as it's unlikely that any of last year's return men will reprise their roles from last season. Dion Lewis hasn't returned any kicks in camp and the Eagles prefer DeSean Jackson to focus on WR, with his punt duties scaled back. Rookie Brandon Boykin is the leader for the kick return job with undrafted rookie WR Damaris Johnson leading the way on punts. However, the punt job is still very much up for grabs with Chad Hall and Boykin still in the mix.
Kickoff is at 7:30pm tonight. To chat with Eagles fans during the game check out Bleeding Green Nation.