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Opening Some Eyes


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Opening Some Eyes

Posted: August 13th, 2023 | Author: Tommy Lawlor 

The Eagles lost to the Ravens on Saturday night. This is the preseason so you don’t care all that much about the outcome. More than anything you want the young players and new guys to show you something. The Eagles have plenty to be happy about despite the 20-19 loss.

DT Jalen Carter didn’t play much, but he showed how special he is.

That is a dude. Carter’s splash play came on third down and forced a punt. You could see just how gifted he is, with a dynamic combination of quickness and strength. He’s also smart. He had a good pass rush plan on that play and executed it perfectly.



Nolan Smith was more up and down. His first standout play was a mistake that led to a 37-yard run. Smith went looking for the ball inside and lost contain. RB Justice Hill bounced the play to where Smith had been and took off. That set up a TD.

Smith seemed to do a good job of setting the edge on run plays that came right at him. He played on STs. He also had one QB hit.

Let’s talk QBs for a minute. Marcus Mariota was what we expected. He ran too much, but did make plays with his feet. His accuracy isn’t ideal, to put it mildly. He finished 4-29 as a runner and 7-11-58 as a passer. If he builds on that, fine. If he plays that way the next two weeks, it would make me a little nervous.

Rookie Tanner McKee was terrific. The complaint everyone has had about him this summer is he’ll only throw short stuff.


I was very impressed with McKee. He was accurate and made good decisions. Throws had good velocity. The thing that stood out more than any other…pocket presence. He didn’t seem the least bit nervous. I would have him try to coach Mariota on how to settle down in the pocket. McKee has a major lead for the #3 spot. If he keeps playing well, you wonder if he could push Mariota.

We got to see Ian Book’s first action as an Eagle. I wish we hadn’t. I think he was on the field for 12 called pass plays. He threw 5, completing one. He ran 5 times and was sacked twice. I’ve never seen a QB so hesitant to throw the ball. You would think some James Bond villian had his family hidden in an abandoned volcano and Book was told he better not throw passes or they would be hurt. (Remind me to pitch that to Hollywood)

We didn’t find out anything definitive about RB. Gainwell and Scott sat. Sirianni said they’ll play in an upcoming game. He wanted to get a look at D’Andre Swift and Rashaad Penny. Both guys looked good. Swift had a 22-yard run. Penny had gains of 9 and 10.

Quez Watkins and Britain Covey had hamstring soreness so they sat out. Greg Ward and Tyrie Cleveland had 5 catches each. Cleveland had a couple of nice grabs. Joseph Ngata was 1-4. He had a long gain wiped out by an OPI call. I didn’t get to see a good replay (the Ravens telecast was terrible). Apparently Sirianni wasn’t too happy with the call.

I was impressed with the Eagles OL. None of the starters played. I thought the #2 line was good. Tyler Steen was the LT and had a good showing. The Ravens had to blitz to get pressure. I thought the #3 OL did some good things. I’ll need to study the tape to get a good feel for their performance.

DL Marlon Tuipulotu and rookie Moro Ojomo both flashed. Tui is in his third year and is playing his best football. Ojomo caught my eye a few times. He has a good combination of strength and quickness. He drew a holding call that wiped out a TD run. Reserve NT Noah Elliss had a TFL. I’ve been curious to see him in action. He is a big, strong dude.

I don’t have much to say about the LBs. The key guys didn’t play. I only saw Myles Jack for a few snaps. Shaun Bradley got hurt and maybe out for the year. UDFA Ben VanSumeren played a lot. He had 6 tackles. You can see his athleticism, but he is still raw.

Sydney Brown led the team with 9 tackles. He played fast and physical. Love his tackling. He closes to the ball and wraps up. K’Von Wallace had 5 tackles and a FF. I thought he played well.

CB Josh Jobe looked good in coverage. He did have one penalty. UDFA Eli Ricks was the star of the secondary.

He also had another PBU. Kelee Ringo looked good in coverage. I thought he would be a project this year. Ringo was better than I anticipated. Let’s hope he doesn’t have to play, but good to see his talent coming through. Mekhi Garner was physical on STs an defense. Mario Goodrich had 3 tackles and a couple of PBUs.

The secondary showed good potential.


There was some overall sloppiness by the team that the coaches will need to clean up.

  • Missed FG
  • Delay of game
  • Timeout to avoid delay of game
  • 7 overall penalties
  • Blown assignments on defense

You expect that stuff in the preseason opener. The players showed talented and worked well together.

Good start to the preseason.


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On 8/13/2023 at 4:39 PM, PoconoDon said:

Someone is gonna try to double move Ricks. He looks disciplined though so he may be ok there.

I doubt he makes the roster only because of the numbers there but he is someone that has quite a bit of potential ... would be great to develop him on the practice squad for a year (maybe 2) as both Slay and Bradberry are getting long in the tooth.  If somehow we turn 2 of Jobe, Ricks, and Ringo into solid future starters that would be absolutely huge.  

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