Tuesday, August 11, 2009

What to look for this Thursday

The first pre-season game always sets the tone for the entire year. Just look at 2008; The Eagles never fully recovered from their August 16-10 loss to the Steelers, and Pittsburgh went on to win the Super Bowl.

With that in mind, here are keys to look for in the game:

1) Who’s playing on defense?
Quick, name three players on the Iggles D right now. Lito? Nope, he’s on the Jets. Stewart Bradley? Out for the season. Trent Cole? Out for this week. Dawkins? Don’t go there. Sean Considine? No, thank gawd. Juqua Thomas? Not his name.

So who exactly is starting? Good question.

2) What position is Leonard Weaver playing?
It should be fascinating to see the longtime Seahawks fullback take the field for the first time in an Eagles uniform. Maybe they’ll split him wide as a fourth receiver. Maybe they’ll bring him inside to play left guard. Maybe they’ll put him in as a defensive tackle.

One thing is for sure – The third-and-one specialist won’t be touching the ball on third and one. That’d just be ridiculous.

3) Where’s the gatorade?
Gametime weather is supposed to be 80 degrees and humid. All I’m saying is that it’ll be hot and muggy, and McNabb might need some.

4) Can Hank Baskett win a job?
DeSean Jackson is the #1 WR. Kevin Curtis is #2, and first-round pick Jeremy Macklin and slot receiver Jason Avant are safe as #3s.

Baskett? Looks like he’s fighting Reggie Brown for the last wide receiver spot. And the Iggles need to see solid production to keep one of them around; They never hold onto underachieving wideouts for no good reason.

Speaking of which…

5) Can Greg Lewis win a job?
Ha! That’s the Patriots problem, not the birds. Good riddance, finally.

6) What mediocre 7th-round pick will become the next Koy Detmer?
You know, that one guy who looks good really late in the game when anyone with skill has stopped playing, but he ends up scoring two TDs and everybody thinks he’s the next Joe Montana or Barry Sanders? That guy.

Nominees include RB Marcus Maileli, WR Brandon Robinson and LB Matt Whilhelm. Trust me, you’ll be begging for more after scrub time Thursday.

7) Can Cliff Lee keep it going?
He’s 2-0 with only two earned runs in his first two Philly appearances. Can he go to 3-0?

Remember, kids, it’s still baseball season.

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