Asante Samuel and Swoop (philadelphiaeagles.com)

A Look Back At The Kitty Cat Game

An Electrifying Night: I can’t remember the last time an Eagles game was delayed due to lightning. I guess it is more likely to happen in August then during the regular season. The delay seemed to really hurt the Eagles. Before the rain, the Eagles were moving the ball pretty well, but were unable to score. After the break they looked to be in a funk. McNabb was suddenly making mistakes, WRs were dropping passes, and the offense was unable to do much overall.

The Fake Field Goal: I spent most of Friday listening to WIP, and heard tons of people ripping Andy Reid for calling this play. Don’t they get that the preseason is the time to run a crazy play like that? If it results are disastrous, like they were, it ultimately does not matter because the game does not count.

Why do so many fans rip game plan calls in a preseason game? Andy Reid does not approach the pre season looking to win football games. His main goal is to get the starters a few reps to shake off the rust, and then evaluate the young players. He has been doing this for ten years now, and it makes you wonder how these dopes don’t get it.

Offensive Line Reshaped: The starting o-line looked a lot different than it is expected to look on opening day. Todd Herremans started at LT in place of Tra Thomas(back spasms), Max Jean-Gilles started at RG in place of Shawn Andrews(depression), and Scott Young filled in the vacancy left by Todd Herremans at LG.

Overall this group was excellent in pass protection. Herremans completely dominated Julius Peppers which was great to see. I see LT as the best position for him, and he may have a big future there. Max Jean-Gilles followed up a good performance with a shaky one. In this game he was turning into a penalty machine. Penalties stall drives, and leads to your team losing the game.

Samuel Plays: The Birds big time free agent CB Asante Samuel is back from his hamstring injury, and made his Eagles debut. He was tested very early in the game, and was able to break up a pass intended for Mushin Muhammad.

Samuel did not return to the field after the lightning delay, but it was nice to see him make a play.

DeSean Jackson Impressive Again: Is it me, or does DeSean Jackson always look open? The kid finished the game with 7 catches for 71 yards, including a nice 19 yard catch. Jackson is much more than just a punt returner, and should actually be a part of the offense in his first season.

Speaking of punt returning, Jackson finally broke off a nice 27 yard return. The problem was he ended up fumbling the return, and it was luckily recovered by Matt Schobel. You loved to see him make a big return, but you also hate to see him put the ball on the ground. Ball security should be priority one, and the coaching staff will continue to stress that to him. With a little work he could turn out to be a big help as the punt returner this year.

Not Much Of A Kick Returner Battle: That is because Lorenzo Booker has been terrible here, and rookie Quintin Demps looks pretty good. Booker seems to drop the ball every return, he dances way too much, and lacks the ability to break tackles. Demps secures the ball, runs hard, and just keeps it going straight. His kick returning style reminds me a lot of hoe J.R. Reed used to return kicks in 2004. I think this battle is over. Quintin Demps is the Eagles kick returner.

Kevin Kolb Played Well: Last week Kolb did not show you a lot, but this week he did. Minus a few select mistakes, Kolb was poised, made accurate throws, and even was able to stretch the field.

On a Panthers blitz, Kolb had an unblocked defender in his face, and was able to throw a beautiful pass to Hank Baskett down the middle of the field. Baskett dropped the pass had the ball hit him in the helmet.

Later in the game, Kolb aired up a sweet 33 yard touch down pass to Greg Lewis. Kolb read the 1-on-1 coverage, and was able to make a perfect pass to Lewis. It was the best pass of the game for either team.

Dawkins Jacks Up Moose: In the Pittsburgh game Brian Dawkins gave up a touch down by taking a bad angle trying to tackle Santonio Holmes. People questioned if he was losing it, but this week Dawkins redeemed himself with a vicious hit.

Panthers QB Jake Delhomme lobbed a pass up to Mushin Muhammad, and Dawkins came in with a very violent collision to break up the play. The call on the field was a touch down, but replay showed that Muhammad clearly dropped it, and clearly got jacked up.

It was a great play by Dawkins, and I want to see more of this in ’08.

Rocca Punting Well: Last years training camp story Sav Rocca had a poor 2007 season. Thursday he hit 7 punts for only a 37.5 average, but he managed to get five of them inside the 20. That is the main goal of any punter, and if he can continue to get the ball inside the 20, the Iggles will win the battle of field position every time.

A Big Sack For McDougle: A man who many felt was not going to make this team once again showed that he belongs. McDougle once again pressured the QB often, and came up with a big sack. Could this former first round pick finally start to pay off? It would be an amazing story if it happened.

Hunt’s Big Run: Tony Hunt had appeared to be on his way out the door until the 2nd half of this game. Hunt ran hard, made some guys miss, and had one amazing run. On a play designed to go right, Hunt burst through the line, cut back left, broke through a tackle, and then was off to the races. It was an exciting play, and one that may have saved Tony Hunt’s roster spot.

News And Notes:

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Tags: Asante Samuel Brian Dawkins Carolina Panthers DeAngelo Williams DeSean Jackson Donovan McNabb Greg Lewis Hank Baskett J.R. Reed Jake Delhomme Jerome McDougle Justin Roland Kevin Kolb Lito Sheppard Lorenzo Booker Max Jean-Gilles Mushin Muhammad Philadelphia Eagles Quintin Demps Rashard Cook Reggie Brown Richard Marshall Sav Rocca Scott Young Shawn Andrews Terrell Owens Todd Herremans Tony Hunt

  • http://lombardiave.com DJ

    For Reid’s fake kick, all the opponents have that on film now and will have to prepare for it in a game situation as they saw it happen.  That will take up more time in their practices making other things easier for the Eagles.  I say it was a genius move.

  • coatesvillain

    The special teams is really worrying me right now.  I didn’t think it was possible for them to get worse but the blocking on the return teams has been pretty pathetic.  I’m hoping it looks a lot better in the next game.

  • Tracer Bullet

    I didn’t like the fake FG mostly because it was a poorly designed play. The preseason is exactly the time to try that kind of goofy stuff.

    That said, the special teams are making me real nervous. The coverage units have been mediocre and the return units no better. I see opposing tacklers running free far too often.

  • http://insidetheiggles.com/ Ian

    I think the special teams has shown some positive things. I have to disagree with the coverage units being bad, because I have noticed a lot of good coverage tackles, and they really have not given up a big return to anybody. Tony Hunt has made two great tackles on kickoff coverage.

    The kick returns have looked bad, but Lorenzo Booker drops the ball almost every time, dances around too much, and just has not ran hard. Quintin Demps ran with the 2nd team special teams unit, and had some good returns. He just ran hard, kept it straight, and followed the blockers. If the blockers do their job the kick return game will be fine.

    Thanks for the comments.