Against the backdrop of tragedy, the Philadelphia Eagles have still found a way to maintain focus on the task at hand: playing football and preparing for Thursday night’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
While many fans scoff at preseason action, it’s a critical tool for the Birds to evaluate exactly who makes it to the 53-man roster at the start of the regular season. It’s a big deal to players as well.
While we’ll only see a glimpse of the starters, it will be our first look in game action at critical additions to the team like middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans.
And Ryans couldn’t be more excited to make his debut in green. He expressed what many players must be feeling right now. The intense training with teammates is needed, but it’s time to go against someone else.
It’s time. It’s time to start hitting someone with a different colored jersey. It’s a fun thing we’re looking forward to. We have great competition out here against our offense, but it’s fun to strap it up and go out there against someone else.
Ryans also knows and spoke to the importance of that first preseason game for the team’s rookies.
Once you get through the first preseason game and you know you can step in and hang with the big boys, it’s one thing that will go away quickly, but one thing that you will always remember is your first preseason game. You remember the plays that you make. I’m just going to tell them to relax and do what they’ve been taught and have fun.
Making a run
Two rookies that have drawn interest since being drafted and signed, respectively, are Bryce Brown and Chris Polk. The fact that Brown was drafted and Polk wasn’t a surprise to many, the running backs are battling it out for the teams #3 spot.
Polk has the edge with blocking, as he has experience with it coming out of Washington’s pro-style offense. Brown doesn’t have that background but is drawing praise for his pure rushing ability.
Polk had the play of the day at Monday’s practice, described with an amusing pop culture reference below.
In what was the play of the day, cornerback Brandon Hughes entered the pocket and suddenly was launched in the air like Batman in his initial meeting with Bane.“I actually messed up on that play because I went to the wrong side,” Polk said. “I knew he was coming, so I just had to get back there quick. I don’t want the quarterback getting hit on my behalf, so that’s something I try to hang my hat on.”
McBriar is #1
“I don’t know if it’s totally official. Maybe they know a little bit more about Chas and just want to see where I’m at, and maybe I’ll get some more opportunity. I don’t know. It’s really nothing to me. Doesn’t matter to me.”
The depth chart doesn’t contain anything unexpected. Two interesting notes: Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman are the team’s starting safeties, and Mychal Kendricks is featured as the starting strongside linebacker.