There isn't much that needs to be said. Sure, prior to the Philadelphia Eagles preseason finale, one versus the Indianapolis Colts, Nick Sirianni and his coaches will prepare a pre-game speech. The question is this. Do they need to do so? If the guys on the back half of the roster aren't excited or nervous, they may want to check their pulse. They have to know that there's so much that rides on this one.
Like so many of the NFL's other franchises, Philly's coaching staff now values joint practices more than they value preseason games. Don't get us wrong. The Birds will take the game seriously, but for many of us, Thursday's affair, albeit one that will air on Amazon Prime, will provide quite a few opportunities for a nap.
Don't tell the fringe guys that. We expect them to go out and give this one everything that they have. They may not need a rah-rah speech. If they are the competitors that we believe they are, they'll find the necessary juice for this one.
In short, jobs are on the line. This is the final interview.
Here are ten Eagles that we don't mention as often as we do others. Expect to hear their names during the preseason finale.
1. Janarius Robinson, EDGE/defensive end
The Eagles seemingly lucked out when the Minnesota Vikings placed Janarius Robinson on their practice squad. Philly signed him to their active roster off of their scout team last season.
He was placed on injured reserve on October 15th and activated on December 6th. He looks the part of an NFL defensive end but must play like one more consistently.
2. Marlon Tuipulotu, interior defensive lineman
The Eagles have desires to make Marlon Tuipulotu a backup nose tackle for second-year man, Jordan Davis. He just hasn't been able to stay healthy. You know the saying... Availability is a skill.
Davis, Fletcher Cox, Jalen Carter, and Milton Williams should make the roster. What happens if a decision has to be made between Marlon and Kentavius Street? Will being a former sixth-round draft choice save the more familiar face?
3. Fred Johnson, offensive lineman
Last season, the Eagles shocked us by giving a roster spot to Josh Sills. Don't be shocked if they surprise us again by giving a job to Fred Johnson.
He has to earn it, but this dude is talented. Keep an eye on him, and don't be shocked if he lands a spot on the game-day roster.
4. Tristin McCollum, defensive back
They didn't do so last season, but the Eagles have kept five safeties in the past, often dedicating one to special teams. Reed Blankenship has solidified himself as a starter. K'Von Wallace and Sydney Brown have had nice camps. Justin Evans earned more opportunities to run with the first team, and of course, Terrell Edmunds is in the mix.
The spotlight is one you Tristin McCollum! Make the most of it!
5. Josiah Scott, cornerback
Let's make long stories shorter. The Eagles value Josiah Scott more than fans do. He is never going to reach the levels that Darius Slay and James Bradberry have, but he also isn't as bad as some believe. With Zech McPhearson injured and out for the remainder of the current season, a new opportunity may have presented itself.
Mario Goodrich, Johnny King, Brett Toth, Tyree Jackson, and Ian Book probably aren't going to make the 53-man roster. Their best shot at remaining in Philly will involve a potential stay on the practice squad. We expect their best efforts in the finale.
6. Mario Goodrich, cornerback
Mario Goodrich isn't mentioned as often as we discuss Mekhi Garner and Eli Ricks, but he's someone we'd like to see Philly continue to develop. The question is this. Do the Eagles agree with that theory?
7. Johnny King, wide receiver
Let's be honest. Johnny King never had a realistic shot at making the Eagles' 53-man roster. The question is this. Did he have a shot at making the practice squad?
Maybe the Eagles keep three wideouts on the scout team. Maybe they don't, but, at minimum, Devon Allen, Jadon Haselwood, and Deon Cain stand in the way of his chances to land there.
8. Brett Toth, offensive line
The Eagles entered their 2023 training camp with an idea, try and take a nice lump of coal in Brett Toth and turn him into a backup center. That idea didn't work out too well. He should get some extended time on the field in the finale, maybe. He has one last chance to prove himself.
9. Tyree Jackson, tight end
Tyree Jackson's time in Philly could be dwindling down to its final four quarters. The experiment (his transition from quarterback to tight end) appears to have failed. There's some talent here. but he has to leapfrog Grant Calcaterra and Dan Arnold to have any shot to make the roster. Maybe he lands on the practice squad?
10. Ian Book, Philadelphia Eagles
Seeing Ian Book watch the entire second preseason game from the sideline may have told us everything we need to know about how the Eagles value him. He should get some work in the finale, but he's competing for a spot on Philly's practice squad or an opportunity to play elsewhere.