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Preseason Game Review – PHI 18, CLE 18


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Preseason Game Review – PHI 18, CLE 18

Posted: August 21st, 2023 | Author: Tommy Lawlor 

The Eagles were sloppy in their second preseason game.
  • Pre-snap penalties
  • Missed blocks
  • Dropped passes
  • Missed tackles
  • Sloppy coverage

The result was a tie so it clearly wasn’t all bad. In fact, I was fine with the performance. The players who needed to play well did so, aside from Marcus Mariota. He rode the struggle bus for the second straight week.

Injuries were an issue. You’ve likely read those details by now. The key will be seeing how quickly DL Moro Ojomo gets back. He suffered a concussion so that could be days or weeks.


Marcus Mariota – Another bad outing. Overthrew targets several times. And these weren’t close misses. I don’t like his mechanics. Isn’t stepping into his throws and is releasing the ball too early. You know it is going to sail. Had some good throws on short, quick passes. He was decisive and got the ball out quickly. There are factors that go into why he’s not playing as well as expected, but the bottom line is that he had a bad game.

Tanner McKee – The exact opposite. McKee is playing like a polished veteran. He shows poise in the pocket. He’s reading the defense and making good decisions. He made some terrific throws. Accurate. Good velocity. Almost always gave his guys a chance to make a play for him. I am blown away by how impressive he’s been. I am scratching my head to think of the last Eagles rookie QB who looked this good. Not only did he win from the pocket, but had to run and be creative on 4th/goal play. Rolled right and his initial receiver was covered. Found Deion Cain in the back of the end zone and got the ball to him. Drop. Still impressive.


Trey Sermon – Had a 33-yd TD run. Caught a pass and got 14 yards. Led the team with 68 total yards. But you have to classify this as a bad game. RB is about more than just running and catching. Had fumble on screen pass. Fringe players can’t make that mistake. Then failed to pick up blitzing LB and that led to a sack. Later, hit the next blitzer, but didn’t sustain and the guy sacked Mariota. Didn’t protect the ball or the QB. Ugh.


Oz – Only played a bit before getting hurt and leaving the game. Showed really good RAC ability on early screen. Burst, balance and strength to run through an arm tackle. Got 17 yards on that. Also had a PR for 11 yards. You can see he’s got some juice when the ball is in his hands.

J Ngata – Went 3-39. Numbers are fine, but still not impressive. Rounds his cuts. That won’t work vs good corners. Doesn’t get separation.


Grant Calcaterra – Sloppy block at the 2nd level. Good effort on in-line block. Still a work in progress with his blocking. Caught 1 pass for 7 yds. Good hands. Natural catcher.

Tyree Jackson – 2-41 as a receiver. Highlight was a 35-yd catch and run. Was wide open on the play. Showed good speed in getting to the void and then made a smooth hands catch away from his body. Okay as a blocker. Showing enough that he should still be in the mix for a roster spot, but he’ll turn 26 this year and has injury issues. Needs to really shine to help his cause.

Brady Russell – Good on STs. Hustles his butt off. Effort blocker. Could have value as a practice player. Guys with great motors can be important in that setting.


Josh Sills – Opened at RG. Failed to get blitzing LB and that resulted in a safety. Beaten for a sack on the next play. Ugh, not a good start. Settled down and had some good run blocks. Had key block on good Penny run up the middle. Moved to LG in the 3rd. Looked more natural at LG. Part of his value is versatility so needs to play well at RG this week.

Tyler Steen – Started at LT. Solid showing, but still struggling to anchor well. Gets moved back too much. Must learn to re-anchor. Moved to RG in early 2nd Q. Had a false start on 3rd/1. Not good. Then had a false start on the next play. Ugh. Had a good block of LB on screen pass to Sermon. Looked good on the move. Best compliment I can give to Steen is that even though he’s a rookie, he looks like the Eagles best backup OL. All rookies need work.

Fred Johnson – Played LT. Not as good as last week. Erratic in pass pro. Did have some good run blocks. Strong, physical blocker. Not a smooth mover. He’s bounced around the league for 4 years so there’s not much upside, but could be good PS material.

Julian Good-Jones – Played C. Quick from snap to block. Played some G in the 4th Qtr. Needs to use his hands better and play stronger. Has some potential, but needs work.

Tyrese Robinson – Played LG and RG. Has a strong, thick build. Physical blocker. Has some pop.


Nolan Smith – Only credited with 1 tackle, but was disruptive on multiple plays. You saw strength, speed, quickness and a relentless motor. Left the game with a shoulder injury, but it’s nothing serious. You’ll enjoy Fran’s video clips.

Love seeing Smith be so disruptive. That’s him at his best.

Tarron Jackson – Solid showing. Got pressure on multiple plays. Credited with 3 tackles, 2 QB hits and a TFL. Looked quick off the edge, but just isn’t explosive. Played hard, despite being out there for 89 snaps (72 on D, 17 on STs). That’s a crazy amount. Failed to get a RB for a TFL on 3rd/2. No idea how he didn’t make that play.

Derek Barnett – Doesn’t stand out the way you would expect a vet to, but also coming back from injury. Tough and physical, but not disruptive enough. Was at his best with power rush.

Janarius Robinson – Best I’ve seen from Robinson. Flashed on a few plays. Showed his athleticism. Almost got a sack in the early 2nd Q, but DTR escaped. Got off a block and stuffed a run at the LOS. Showed some power and physicality in some of his rushes. Disciplined on runs where there was a bootleg fake. Had 3 tackles and 2 QB hits. You can see why the Eagles like him. Athletic rusher.


Marlon Tuipulotu – Played NT and DT. Good pressure on early pass rush. Late got off a double team to get part of a sack. Used good push-pull move to shed block on a pass play. Beat the C and got a hit on the QB in the mid-2nd Q. Had 1 tackle, 0.5 sacks and 2 QB hits. Looks like he’s taken another step forward.

Moro Ojomo – Good game. Played with good leverage. Strong. Able to get under blockers pads and move them back. Had 3 tackles and a QB hit. Just missed a sack. Suffered a concussion and left on a stretcher, but no long term injury.

Kentavius Street – Used hands well. Engages blockers and keeps them off his body, but can struggle to shed. Did get rid of the RG to get in on sack. Used a good rip move to get pressure on a 3rd down. Had 2 tackles and half a sack. Had a chance for an INT on a batted ball, but dropped it. Clocks have better hands.

Olive Sagapolu – Big dude. I was impressed by his agility. Unfortunately  I didn’t think he played to his size. Wanted him to be more of a run stuffer.


Zach Cunningham – Didn’t stand out that much when watching live. Very impressed on the re-watch. Had 7 tackles and a TFL. Stuffed a couple of inside runs early in the game. Loved seeing him work through traffic, get to the ball and make the stops. This defense struggled with that a year ago. Tackled WR more than 20 yards downfield after catch and run. Good effort. Cunningham was good vs the run and in coverage. Should be starting beside Nakobe in Week 1.

Nakobe Dean – Good game. I liked his speed and movement skills. Highlight was when he shot a gap, hit the RB and knocked the ball loose. "Got skinny” as he moved through the line so he could get to the RB.

Was in on 3 tackles and had the FF. Looked good to me.

C Elliss – Up and down game. Had 5 tackles, 2 TFLs and a PBU. My issue is that I’m seeing too many missed tackles. Elliss gets to the ball and is physical, but isn’t always getting his guy down. Saw that last week as well. Got TFL on screen. Made a good play in space to get to DTR on a scramble, but failed to tackle him. Hit a pulling OL in the hole and then got the RB for minimal gain. Broke up pass to RB over the middle. Had tight coverage. Good in coverage on multiple plays.

Nick Morrow – Bottled up a screen, which allowed Elliss to get the TFL. Got into the backfield on 3rd/2, but couldn’t get control of the RB. Didn’t give up on the play. Chased it down and got in on the tackle. Good effort. Struggled with traffic. Got stuck in the trash too much.

Ben VanSumeren – Good showing. Played fast. Was in on 3 tackles. Still needs to work on processing, but when he reads a play, gets to the ball quickly. Batted down a pass. Blitzed and almost got to the QB. Exploded up the field. Love that athleticism. A project, but has a lot of upside and just might play his way onto the roster.


Justin Evans – Physical. Had some good hits in the game. Moved throught traffic to get TFL on run play. Closed to the ball quickly after short throw to the TE. Had a chance to get to a WR on a sideline throw. Went for the ball and missed. WR scored a TD. There have been plays in both games where a receiver got by him when Evans was caught flat-footed. Veterans shouldn’t get beat like that in the preseason. I have concerns with his coverage.

K’Von Wallace – Missed tackle of RB near the goal line. Led the team with 7 total tackles and recovered a fumble. Solid as tackler. Didn’t stand out in coverage.

Terrell Edmunds – Does a good job of keeping things in front of him. Takes good angles to the ball. Solid tackler. Credited with 4 tackles.

Sydney Brown – Only had 1 tackle, but it was impressive. Had a shot at another. Dove at a RB in traffic and missed. Didn’t cost any yards.

That speed is something else. Just explodes to the ball and delivers a big blow. Seemed to play deep a lot and the ball just didn’t come his way.


Mario Goodrich – Slot. Gave up completion on 3rd/5 that moved the chains. Good break by WR created separation. Good PBU on short route. Quick break on the ball. Generally looked good. Good change of direction. Showed a good feel for coverage.

Kelee Ringo – Liked his performance better on the re-watch. Gifted athlete who can stick with receivers. Needs work to be sure. Gave up explosive play because he couldn’t locate the ball. That’s simple, but critical.

Ringo has the raw ability to be a good starter in the NFL, but he must hone his positional skills.

Eli Ricks – Had a chance for INT, but couldn’t get the ball cleanly. On another play, fell down and gave up slant. Got off balance as receiver went back to the inside. Broke up a downfield route. Used his length to get to the ball. Love the playmaking potential he’s shown. I’m not sure it will be enough to make the roster since CB is deep, but he’s looked good.


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