The Eagles kick off the preseason slate tonight with a game at Lincoln Financial Field against a tough opponent in the Pittsburgh Steelers. You won’t see much of the starters and the game’s outcome couldn’t be any more meaningless, but there are still some reasons to sit down and watch. Let’s take a look at what to watch for on the offensive side of the football.
Demetress Bell. Most fans will want to see Michael Vick lead an efficient drive and, more important, stay healthy. But also keep an eye on new left tackle Demetress Bell. Pittsburgh won’t be dialing up exotic blitzes, but they’ll bring the heat. This should be a good opening test–one that the Eagles desperately need Bell to pass.
Mike Kafka: How will Kafka play in what is likely to be an extended audition as Michael Vick’s backup. If you listen to local and national media it’s almost a forgone conclusion that Vick will get hurt at some point this season, so it’s important that Kafka can at least provide the Eagles with a competent performance should they need him. Kafka needs to be smart, efficient, and execute his intermediate throws.
Marvin McNutt: McNutt comes with relatively low expectations as a late-round draft pick, but solid production from the former Iowa standout would give the Eagles a huge boost. McNutt has had an impressive camp and looks to keep it going in his first live action. Eagles WR Riley Cooper will likely miss the start of the season and the Eagles will be looking to McNutt to provide some much needed size at the receiver position. Can he create enough separation, find open spots on the field, and catch the football? Those are the questions he must answer if he wants to secure a spot on the depth chart.