Philadelphia Eagles: Preseason Standouts Who Will Carry Through to Season | Eagles Addict

As the Philadelphia Eagles wrap up their preseason schedule, it can only mean one thing: meaningful NFL games are dawning upon us.

Andy Reid’s team is currently 3-0 in exhibition play, thanks to the efforts of certain players.  These players have made themselves difficult to cut, and will probably find themselves in an important role.

Here is a list of those who will carry their momentum into the season.

 

Brandon Boykin

Brandon Boykin has been a breath of fresh air for the Eagles in more ways than one.

Along with being a defensive standout, the former Georgia Bulldog was a kickoff and punt return specialist.  He took over both roles in college to begin his junior year, and recorded touchdown returns going both ways.

Boykin’s first professional touch came on a kickoff return — one that he advanced 46 yards out of the end zone.  That single run-back restored the collective faith of those Philly fans that remember last year’s team long was 33.

Boykin will be a bright spot as a special teams member and should have breathtaking play up his sleeve.

 

Derek Landri

There were some serious concerns about Mike Patterson when  hewas deemed out for remainder of training camp, but Derek Landri has put those worries to rest.

Good thing he has because Patterson is now expected to miss the entirety of the 2012 season, and leaves the team with some questions about inside depth.

Landri figures to play frequently in Jim Washburn’s rotation, but really has shown the most production as a pass-rusher.  His preseason performance has all but guaranteed that he’ll be playing in obvious passing downs and be given a chance to really showcase what he can do.

The sixth-yeah pro is still upset over the lack of interest he received while testing the market as a free agent; so expect him to play his heart out for a new deal.

 

Mychal Kendricks

The player that has been the most impressive in all of the Eagles’ preseason games has got to be Mychal Kendricks.  Forget the fact that he’s a rookie who’s basically playing on athleticism and instinct, and just look at how fluid he is when in pursuit.

He’s still got some improvement to make in coverage, but has looked like a reliable defender against the run.  Once he gets a handle of the playbook, look for Juan Castillo to use him in ways that will allow him to take advantage of his natural speed.

Kendricks seems like a natural fit at WILL linebacker, and should only continue to improve in front of our own eyes.

 

Phillip Hunt

Phillip Hunt is one of those guys that started training camp on the bubble, but has played himself into the rotation and onto the roster.  His 3.5 preseason sacks are good enough for top honors during the exhibition stretch, and he’ll be teaming up with Brandon Graham throughout the year to lead the second team of pass rushers.

If Jason Babin struggles against the run like he did last season, Hunt’s playing time could receive a significant boost.

Hunt has proven that he’s more than a one-trick pony and is more than ready to tackle an expanded role during his second year in the NFL.

 

Damaris Johnson

The undrafted free agent is rewriting the script to a childhood favorite, and the finished version of “The Little Playmker that Could” is set to release at the end of the season.

At 5’8”, Damaris Johnson was overlooked when he left Tulsa, but has put together a strong preseason campaign.  He’ll probably stick with the Eagles as their fifth or sixth receiver and handle punt return duties.

Johnson has proven he can get open down the field and make tacklers miss when he has the ball in his hands.

Make no mistake about it: although he’s small in stature, he makes up for it with big-play ability.

 

Clay Harbor

With Damaris Johnson and Nick Foles stealing the offensive headlines, Clay Harbor has been quietly stringing together some impressive preseason performances as well.

Harbor remains undoubtedly entrenched behind Brent Celek as the backup; however, Andy Reid is looking to employ more two-tight-end sets in the offensive gameplan.  This makes him an under-the-radar end-zone target for Michael Vick, and should be the beneficiary of single coverage with so many other options receiving attention.

He and Foles have developed a nice rapport in their limited time together and can only help if the young signal-caller were thrust into the line of fire prematurely.


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One Response to Philadelphia Eagles: Preseason Standouts Who Will Carry Through to Season

  1. 3rdand1 says:

    I may be mistaken about the history of the Eagles, we may have the best 1-2 punch QB duo, ever. Let’s consider this, we know that last year, Vick was able to run the score up when he did. If that is any indication, he may do it again with the likelyhood he remains safe on the sideline, when 4th Qtr rolls in and Foles spells him. I’ve no doubt he could run the score up also, with both the ground and aerials in the last 15 minutes of the game. And when you think about it, it would be the logical choice to employ and have your starting QB healthy and ready for the next game and continue the 1-2 punch. This is where I can see, taking one game at a time, not getting ahead of themselves and seize the moment.

    We saw our OL remained healthy through all 16 games, with the absent of Jason Peters, we can only hope they do it again this year. They’ve gone through the preseason without a hitch, except a bit of sloppiness. A few teams have had some of their linemen go down, that is not what you want going into the season opener. Fortunately, we can start with our linemen healthy into the season. Which is great, but mistakes and sloppiness must drop to the minimum. It’s all about techniques, ability to anchor and move laterally, mirroring defensive moves, keeping them at the LOS, much as possible.

    Now, the real test is on the defense. The last 4 games of 2011, the defense tightened up and became the 8th best in the league. We’ve added and let go some good players, to put the screws in. The secondary will have to play a very tight game, than they’ve done in the preseason. They’ve been scrutinized, pressured, monitored and shift into various schemes to find where each players stand in their line of position(s). Preseason was to analyzed what works and what didn’t, within the schemes. Now, it’s time to make some scheme adjustments and follow up on positioning players to form a tight unit. We need to go lights out and keep offenses from making too many first downs, this is where the test becomes the epitome of what our defense is capable of.

    Here’s the cream of the crop, perhaps one of the best, if not the tops in the NFL. Who can or will boast that they have a 2 team of defensive linemen, also known as rotational starters…..that’s right, starters, along with Jason Babin and Trent Cole. Wash couldn’t be more happy with what he can do with this group of relentless attackers, with a nose drive for whomever has the ball in the back field. Of course there’s alot to be desired, but Wash has the personnel to positioning anyone inside and outside, in the lineup, aside from Babin and Cole. This group is probably any DL Coach’s dream into reality, the things you can do and make each snaps count…..sky’s the limits. Penalties becomes a problem, giving offenses leeway and chances of gaining free 1st downs. The line needs to be steady and calm, can’t get angry because of those mistakes. Mental errors happens (like driving in a car and arguing) when they’re not paying attention. We don’t want that, want want players focusing on the outcome of the next play, so on. This is a men’s game and it will drive players out of focusing on the game. We saw this evidence with Jenkins standing to confront AR. I don’t care how scrappy and rowdy they can be, but they’ve got to keep that focus in the game, play smart and sharp on every snaps. We’ll be fine, it’s a long shot, they’ll get it with the great leadership, that pushes the group in the right direction.


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