Friday, August 10, 2012

Eagles - Steelers Preseason Takeaways

A good friend and I took in tonight's game in the South Philly soup -- seriously, humidity this summer is downright inhuman -- and here's what I took away from the event.

> The Garrett Reid moment of silence was nice. And observed. Nice standing O later for the note from the Reid family. And that's about it. Back to unreality.

> The Philly first-team offense was two three and outs and a hand injury to Michael Vick, so there really wasn't much to recommend it. If you want to continue the narrative that Lefty Seven is just a trick that works against bad defenses, I have nothing to refute you from this evening. But at least he's not seriously hurt. Yet.

> Mike Kafka was the worst Eagle QB on the field tonight, and it wasn't even close. And that includes Trent Edwards. Yes, this Trent Edwards.

I don't mean to bury a guy for a quarter of a preseason game, but Kafka didn't telegraph passes tonight. He texted them. He Twittered them. He Facebooked them, and then he sent embroidered invitations as to where they were going, for fear of otherwise seeming uncouth. Not good.

> Pittsburgh Fan, you aren't much fun to watch a game with. At least, not the ones who were in my section. Lots of guys narrating the game as if they were home in the trailer, yelling at the TV, or hooting and hollering way more than is necessary for a preseason game. Seriously, you had less class than Eagle Fan tonight. That's hard to do!

> If Big Ben makes it through this season upright, I'll be amazed. No one's giving any respect to a Rashard Mendenall-free running game, he still holds the ball way too long, and the Eagles -- not exactly an elite pass rush, especially with Trent Cole getting minimal use, Jason Babin out, and the schemes as vanilla as southern Oregon -- were all over him tonight. This team might still win its division, but I'd put the over/under on Ben starts at 12.5. And take the under.

> Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie decided to try to decapitate Byron Leftwich for 15 yards and a drive continuation during the part of the game where everyone was paying attention. If you want to continue the narrative that DRC is too dumb to be an elite CB, I got nothing to refute.

> From the starters, Mychal Kendricks made me all kinds of happy tonight. He's a tackling machine with a tireless engine, and maybe the first good OLB this team has had since before ESPN became insufferable. Me Likee.

> Nick Foles made some great throws with the third-stringers, and looked to be a lot more intriguing than Kafka tonight. Nice touch on the deep ball especially.

> I liked what I saw out of the deep RBs (Chris Polk, Bryce Brown) and WRs (Mardy Gilyard and Damaris Johnson). Brett Brackett, the Penn State TE, not so much. Think Hank Baskett with worse hands. Oof. And Tiger Jones, despite making a fourth down catch to continue the game winning drive, was more trick than treat.

> There will be no winner in the Eagles' punting competition; there will only be a loser we see more of. Mat McBriar and Chas Henry are making me long for Sav Rocca. No, seriously.

We stayed until the end and saw a win, so there can't be too much bitching, really. But man alive, preseason just makes you feel dirty, for actually giving tacit approval to such an obvious con and scam of the general public. But at the end of the day, hey, it's football, and we've missed it. Maybe not all of it, and the first 2 quarters did qualify as community service... but then things picked up, and we got to sing at Yinzer Fans. Three more weeks of silliness to endure.

> Regardless of the stakes involved, watching Alex Henery hit a 51-yarder to win this late was fun, and encouraging, given the weight of the air tonight. And since he did it into my end zone, It Must Be A Sign. My Concern Rays are at the top of their game!

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