There is not much positive to report from Eagles-Ravens game. The O-line did not look cohesive, and seemed consistently confused by the Ravens 3-4 rush-scheme. Missed assignments galore made the running game, uh, well blah, at best....
One thing I don't care about: the final score (which is why I am writing this as the 3rd quarter progresses). Winning these games is not that important. Its more important to get a sense over the next few weeks about how these guys are coming together. It IS a little bit of wake-up call to see the team fumble about, but you know what....it seems that way every year...the Eagles are never really that impressive in the preseason.
So what DID I like?
- Brent Celek. The rookie TE made some plays and looked very solid and "un-rookielike". 4 catches for 59 yards in the 4th qtr.
- Sav Rocca. Holy crap. That man can knock the livin' shit out of the ball. Standing at the back of his own endzone, he launched one to the Ravens 30 (credited with 65 yards)....knocking two around at 56 and 65 yards??? 50 yard average??? Look out Dirk - Sav is making his bid to take your job. He also got blasted by a Ravens LB on that big punt....the best part of that: new color man Ike Reese went ballistic! He still feels a part of the team. I really enjoyed his enthusiasm and fervor for the Birds. Good choice to replace "the man" Ron Jaworski, who is working with the MNF crew now.
- Kevin Kolb. The rookie played well. He looked calm and collected, even if the dudes around him didn't play so well. Lots of pressure on him, some drops, but he handled himself well.
- Chris Gocong. Not much happened for the Birds defensively. But I was pleased from what I saw of Gocong.
What didn't I like?
- Ryan Moats getting injured. The young man was battling for a roster spot, and while I thought he'd have a tough time making the final 53, I never want to see that happen. Spuds reports a fractured ankle...dammit. I railed against Moats for being stupid last year, but I'd so much rather the man get a fair chance to redeem himself...doesn't look like that is going to happen until next year.
- Man the 3rd and 4th stringers couldn't hold onto the ball, so much for a potential comeback.
- First string D looked bad. McNair had plenty of time to pass and picked on Will James like a redheaded step-child. Even Jevon Kearse admitted as much in his sideline interview with Spuds. But again - it was the first preseason game. Its a cause for concern, but let's not go ringing alarm bells just yet.
- Akers missing an early 43-yard FG...yes it was a bad snap, but the holder did get it down and spun....He needs to hit those....plain and simple.
Overall, the game was bit of head-scratcher....its rather obvious that the Eagles didn't have any preparation packages for the Ravens scheme, because they looked befuddled by the Ravens defensive scheme. Its still WAY TOO EARLY to be ringing alarm bells. Give the team a chance to recoup, figure out what went wrong, and I'll see you Friday...