Know Thy Enemy: Jets vs Eagles Edition
By Alan Schechter
Aug 20, 2012; Foxborough, MA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick (7) hands off the ball to running back LeSean McCoy (25) against the New England Patriots during the first quarter of the preseason game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE
In this week’s “Know Thy Enemy”, we talk to Bob Wankel from insidetheiggles.com about his team and the upcoming game tonight:
The Jet Press: How are you feeling about the team as you head towards week 1? Any major issues?
Inside the Iggles:At the completion of this year’s draft I was as high on the Eagles as about anyone in the country, but in the afterglow of what appears to be one of the team’s best drafts over the last decade I’m getting a little gun shy. The Eagles will undoubtedly be in the mix this season, but there are some major concerns. When Nate Allen enters the season as the “sure thing” at safety, then you have to wonder just how shaky the rest of the unit will be. Second-year strong safety Jaiquawn Jarrett was expected to make the jump, but has been inconsistent at best. The team also brought in veteran O.J. Atogwe for depth, but he’s struggled to remain on the field as he’s battled various nagging injuries. Beyond the safety position, the interior of the offensive line has struggled a bit, which has been a surprise. That unit geled late last season, so that they’re struggling now is a bit of a concern.
TJP: How is Michael Vick’s health? We have seen it be a concern through the recent past.
ITI:The good news is that Michael Vick should enter the season at full-strength. That’s always a team’s primary goal in training camp and the postseason. The bad news, of course, is that he exited both preseason games in which he played very quickly. Vick’s health is the primary concern heading into this season and he did nothing in August to quiet those concerns. I don’t think it’s realistic to expect Vick to last all 16 regular season games, but as long as he doesn’t miss an extended period of time the Eagles are talented enough offensively to keep things afloat.
TJP: Can this team finally live up to its expectations and make some real noise in the division?
ITI:Andy Reid has never missed the playoffs two seasons in a row. With the combination of veteran and rookie talent on this roster, I’d be shocked if they don’t make the postseason. Vegas loves the Eagles and many consider them to be the division favorites–even after a trainwreck 2011. Am I planning a Super Bowl parade? No. But I do think they’ll be one of the top two teams in the division which should be good for a playoff berth. From there–we’ll see how things go.
TJP: What are you looking for out of your team in the game?
ITI:For the most part, the major position battles have been decided. I’d like to see guys like Derek Landri and Daryl Tapp have solid showings because there’s a good chance they may not make the roster, so I’d be looking for them to increase their trade value. A quality performance from Jaiquawn Jarrett would be comforting as well. Other than that, I don’t think Reid has much concern with this one tonight, so the primary goal should be getting out healthy and ready to go for Cleveland in ten days.
TJP: What lesser known Eagles can we look for to make an impact tonight?
ITI: I think defensive end Vinny Curry is an ultra-talented pass rusher who has just been a little erratic in the early game. Extended snaps tonight should help him. With the Jets’ struggles at tackle, Curry could have a nice game. I’d really like to see Nick Foles play a solid first quarter and wrap up a terffic preseason. I also extent Trent Edwards, who will take the bulk of the snaps tonight, to lock down the third-string quarterback job.
We thank Bob for his time, and check out his website insidetheiggles.com