Aug 29, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets strong safetyAntonio Allen
(39) celebrates an interception return for a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles during the second half of a preseason game at Metlife Stadium. The Jets won 27-20. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Another season is here, so we return to our weekly column, “Know Thy Enemy”.
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For those of you that weren’t here last year, here is how the column works. Each week, we do five question Q and A with the Fansided site of our opponent. This week, as we go up against the Philadelphia Eagles, we talk to the editor of Inside the Iggles. Todd Duvall and his staff do a great job covering all things Eagles, and we sat down for a chat prior to tonight’s game:
THE JET PRESS: In my Q and A with you we talked about the Jets’ fan base feelings on Mark Sanchez. How is Philadelphia taking to their new backup quarterback?
INSIDE THE EAGLES: At first the reception was cool. The fans knew he had talent but it was hard for them to forget the numerous interceptions, (Averaging 17.25 in four years) and he had a propensity of coughing up the football. He had 9 fumbles in 2012 and that trend was going in the wrong direction. Plus, the butt-fumble is a hard pill to swallow. But since he’s been with the Eagles he’s been a sensational. So far in preseason he’s completed 81% of his passes for 281 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. And no fumbles. Great performances help people forget. He’s becoming one of the family now.
TJP: What did the fan base feel towards Michael Vick? Happy to see him go? Or wishing he would stay?
II: I think as a person, they were skeptical of him at first. But after years of him in the community and on the field the perception changed. The fans were excited to have him knowing how dynamic he was and in some ways reminded him of the Eagles’ recent glory years led by Donovan McNabb. When rumors of his possible departure surfaced it was met with a mixed bag of reaction. People like a pick yourself up by the bootstraps story Vick had done just that and more. But on the other hand, his performance was waning and the fans knew, whether they admitted it or not, it was a good move for both parties.
TJP: Talk about the Chip Kelly offense, and how the team is taking to it in Chip’s second year.
II: So far in preseason it appears Kelly wants to continue his fast-paced, rapid action offense. That means the offense has to be in exceptional shape. He’s one of the few coaches in the NFL that even goes so far as to monitor the eating and sleeping habits of his star players. But his offense isn’t just smash-mouth, blaze a path down the field. He’s a cerebral coach and is always trying to think a couple of steps ahead of the other team. I think the team loves it. Some players have been quoted saying they feel better now than when they were in their teens. I think they love the results of their bodies and the results of their play.
Aug 21, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly during the first quarter of a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
TJP: What are some of the biggest questions the Eagles have that need to be answered during the game?
II: Well, 22 players have to be cut by Saturday at 4. The biggest question is who wants to make the team the most? The offense seems pretty set but there are some positions on defense we would like to see improve. Namely pass rushing. Linebacker Marcus Smith has been a disappointment so far. Will he step up tonight? Is he progressing? And how will Matt Barkley do? He hasn’t been consistent so he needs a really good outing tonight. Can he be consistent? Those are the burning questions that need answers tonight.
TJP: Give my readers some new, young Eagles that they should watch for during the game.
II: He’s not entirely new but keep an eye on running back Matthew Tucker. He’s had a great preseason and he’s battling for a back up running back position. Another one to keep an eye on is Henry Josey. He’s considered a long shot at making the final roster but he leads the team in rushing with 12 carries for 104 yards and a touchdown reception.
Thanks to Todd Duvall for taking the time. Check out his site at the link in the beginning of the article, and you can check out his writing individually by clicking here. Check them out, as they do a terrific job covering the Eagles, and enjoy the game tonight.