We have a game tomorrow night, so it’s time once again for the time-honored tradition of “Know Thy Enemy”. This week is our annual 4th preseason game matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles, so we talk to the editor of the Fansided site, Inside the Iggles. Adam MacDonald, editor of the site, brings us all of the “dish” on the Eagles. Take a look at our discussion:
THE JET PRESS: How do you feel about the team, moving out of the Andy Reid era and into the Chip Kelly regime?
INSIDE THE IGGLES: There’s definitely a good feeling in the air when it comes to the Eagles right now. Philly fans respected what Andy Reid did for the city and for this football team and we won’t ever forget it, but at the same time every knew it was just time to move on for both parties. Chip Kelly has re-energized the fan base with his scientific yet simplistic approach to football. He does some strange things (blaring loud music all through practice, personalized player smoothies etc.), but it’s never “we’re going to do this because I’m the boss”, but more “we’re going to do these things, here’s why this will help you”. The players have 100% bought in. It’s important to note that this is definitely a honeymoon phase, and it will be interesting to see how the team handles adversity… but so far, so good.
TJP: I know we won’t see him Thursday night, but is Michael Vick ready to return to his past form?
ITI: Well it all depends on what past form you’re talking about. Vick had a MVP caliber season in 2010 but since then he has struggled. Many attribute this to Andy Reid’s attempt to turn Vick into a pocket passer, but the main problems – his struggles with reading defenses and not turning the ball over – have been part of Vick’s game since he’s entered the NFL. Reid had Vick passing 40+ times a game and rarely running, which is just a poor use of his skill set. I expect Chip to let Vick use his legs a bit more but at the same time not recklessly. On Saturday against the Jaguars Vick made a few questionable decisions but he also moved the ball well. The ideal situation for Vick would be for the line and the run game to start rolling so he can be used more as a threat and less as a weapon.
TJP: What are some competitions on the Eagles’ roster that will be interesting to watch?
ITI: As starts going, most spots have been solidified but there are a few battles still playing out. Isaac Sopoaga was brought in from the 49ers to help transition to the 3-4 defense at nose, but 3rd round pick Bennie Logan out of LSU is making a serious push for that starting spot. Patrick Chung has claimed one safety spot but the 2nd is still wide open. The battle for the 2nd RB spot is also an interesting one. Bryce Brown is the favorite but Chris Polk closing the gap.
TJP: How about some new players? Who are the young, exciting players that Jets’ fans will want to watch?
ITI: As I mentioned above, DT Bennie Logan has been looking solid. He’ll get looks all over the d-line, playing end and nose in the 3-4 looks and tackle in the 4-3 looks. He’s a big kid with long arms and uses them to keep separation and swat passes. On offense check out 2nd round TE Zach Ertz out of Stanford. He’s a big target that Chip Kelly wants to move around to create mismatches. You can also check out 4th round USC QB Matt Barkley and see if you think he’s NFL ready. Let me know your thoughts!
TJP: Are the Eagles ready to make a run at the NFC East?
ITI: I think if you look at the NFC East you’ll see it’s pretty wide open. There’s no overall favorite you only need about 9 or 10 wins to take it. Chip Kelly will need to get everything out of his weapons on offense because the defense is still very in transition. If Kelly can find anywhere near the success he had at Oregon, with the weapons the Eagles have, they can be in the hunt.