If you weren’t enough of a psychopath to watch all 180 minutes of the Philadelphia Eagles preseason games, you’re definitely more well-adjusted than the rest of us. You can only watch the back-of-the-roster guys play so much before it gets mind-numbing and headaches occur.
Yeah, it was interesting to see if Kelee Ringo had what it takes to be in the NFL. We even found out about Eli Ricks and Mario Goodrich, but it was much more fun to see Jalen Carter’s three plays where he embarrassed a grown man who’s been in the league for a handful of years.
In short, despite a few snoozers, we found reasons to smile.
If nothing else, the preseason got us absolutely hyped to see how new Eagles players can perform.
The importance of preseason games seems trivial, to a point. We know that the Eagles value their joint practices much more than they value preseason games, so it seems silly to take what we see on the field as a definite truth.
That being said, the preseason games still gave us the opportunity to actually see our new guys in live action. That got the blood pumping HOT.
Jalen Carter, DT
He only played two snaps during the first game, but the Eagles' ninth overall draft pick Jalen Carter, made his presence known in a BIG way. The Baltimore Ravens won't forget him for a while. During a rep that earned a lot of attention, he took Ben Cleveland and threw him in the trash.
Again, it’s the preseason, and no, Cleveland isn't the Ravens starting right guard, but he’s no schlub. We could blame a lack of elite footwork, hand placement, or any of those things, Cleveland is still six-foot-six and 330 pounds. No one that size should be tossed aside like a toddler.
Everything we’ve heard about Carter from his teammates has been glowing endorsements. The NFL letting him fall to the ninth pick in the draft is going to be a case study someday, but here's a promise. No Eagles fan is going to complain.
Nolan Smith, Linebacker
The Eagles' 30th overall draft pick Nolan Smith, was taken out of the preseason game against the Browns with a dinged-up shoulder. Afterward, he said it was just a precautionary measure and that there was nothing to worry about. Then, he missed several practices that followed.
How do we put this? We were uncertain of his statement's accuracy.
Despite his playing time being limited, he delivered and proved his mettle. He showed off his football I.Q., his speed, and power. Those are all going to be things that translate to real and competitive football games, and we can't wait to see him mature with time.
Like Carter, Nolan has received some high praise. His pre-draft comp was Haason Reddick (which you love to see). He has also been called the defensive equivalent of Jalen Hurts. That's something else you love to see. If all of that proves to hold weight, the Nolan Smith hype will prove to be real.
Syndey Brown, Safety
When third-round draft pick Sydney Brown said that he wanted to be a “feared player”, it was hard to avoid the temptation to think about Brian Dawkins. Raise your hand if you remember Dawk sending Alge Crumpler to the Shadow Realm in the 2004 NFC Championship Game.
No one is saying that Brown is going to end up being Brian Dawkins, but man… having a player who wants to be that physical and violent is something that we have wanted to see for quite some time. Having that kind of player in the secondary makes defense a whole lot of fun to watch.
He’s only a rookie, so he has a lot of time to develop his skills and get his body right. We don't know who will line up opposite Reed Blankenship as a starting safety, but if Brown finds himself back there at some point this season, it'll be exciting. We only got to see just a smidge of what Brown can do and buddy… if you’re not stoked about him, you have to check your pulse.
D’Andre Swift, Running Back
On April 29th, the last day of the 2023 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions traded D’Andre Swift to the Eagles for the equivalent of a couple of loose cigarettes, a handful of change, a half-drunk bottle of water, and a used Kleenex. Whatever the deal was, it would certainly appear that the Eagles absolutely fleeced the Lions.
There have been varying degrees of D’Andre Swift hype during training camp but before the first preseason game, people wondered if he lost a step due to injuries, if he was injury-prone, or if he wasn’t physical enough of a runner. Well, we put the injury-prone part to bed so all that was left was based on his play style.
Listen, we all knew he was good, but then on his second carry in the preseason game against the Ravens, he ripped off this little diddy.
It was just a casual 22-yarder, and he made that mamajama look pretty. If Swift is doing that behind the second-team guys on the offensive line, think about the meals he’s going to cook when he gets to run behind Jason Kelce and company.
It's easy to be pumped over the talent on this team. Yeah, there are certainly some question marks, but the newcomers shouldn't give you cause for concern. They have excited us about Philly's future and have given us plenty of reasons to be excited about the future.