Eagles Wake-Up Call: What’s the No. 1 Concern?

Philadelphia Eagles offensive line coach Howard MuddBefore training camp started, my No. 1 concern for the Eagles was simple: Would the team’s plan at backup quarterback be good enough?

But the truth is, we won’t know the answer to that question unless (until?) Michael Vick gets injured and Mike Kafka (or perhaps Nick Foles) has to enter a regular-season game.

Now that camp’s over, though, a new concern has emerged: Will Demetress Bell be ready to go in Week 1 vs. the Browns?

On one of the first days of training camp, I asked Howard Mudd if he anticipated the Eagles having to give Bell blocking help in the form of a tight end or running back this season.

“I think that we’re not going to have to do that,” he said. “That’s the plan. That’s why we brought him here. We studied him, we liked him, we thought he had the characteristics that we could use with our techniques here, that he would really buy into those and embrace them, and it would help him.”

Three weeks later, and Bell is behind King Dunlap on the depth chart.

The guess here is that Mudd still wants Bell to win the job and is trying to light a fire under him. But it’s a situation to monitor closely going forward.

Meanwhile, on the defensive side of the ball, there are concerns all over the place. Can DeMeco Ryans be an effective, three-down player? Can the Eagles eliminate the confusion in the secondary that hurt them on pretty much a weekly basis last season? Can Juan Castillo game-plan against quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Eli Manning?

The rest of the preseason will offer hints that will help us answer those questions.

But the real answers won’t arrive until the regular season, which is more than three weeks away.

WHAT YOU MISSED

Tim took a look at the struggles of Jaiquawn Jarrett through the eyes of veteran Oshiomogho Atogwe.

The Eagles released their new depth chart for the Patriots game. Here are some notes.

Five numbers that matter, including a look at just how bad the Eagles’ tackling was last year.

Highlights from Andy Reid’s media session, including the coach’s plan for the Patriots game.

And finally, Vegas likes Vick. DeSean Jackson? Not so much.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Things are not getting any better for Kevin Kolb. John Skelton is emerging as the favorite to win the Cardinals’ starting job, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic takes a look at the QB situation:

So let’s examine the possible motivation for someone leaking that news to Schefter.

First, there might be no motivation; it might simply be the truth. Based on two preseason games, Skelton might have a slight edge.

Second, maybe the motivation is to motivate Kolb. He’s starting Friday against the Raiders, and perhaps someone in the organization wants to see how Kolb responds. Will this match ignite a flame, or just flame out?

The Eagles put in a waiver claim for defensive tackle Ronnie Cameron, according to Aaron Wilson of Scout.com. Cameron (6-2, 305) was cut by the Bears and awarded to the Browns. An undrafted free agent, he played his college ball at Old Dominion.

COMING UP

The Eagles are off today. They’ll return to the Novacare Complex for practice on Thursday. But don’t worry, we’ll have plenty of content on Birds 24/7, including training camp winners and losers and T-Mac’s latest 53-man roster projection.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.

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  • Andy

    Having Bell on the second team allows him to play a lot more of the pre-season games. Hopefully that will help him get ready for game 1 against the Browns.

    • Rackers

      Yeah or more time to get injured…

  • Ooftah

    Look for a Darryl Tapp for Kevin Kolb trade before the 53-main roster is set.