The third and most important preseason game is almost upon us. Saturday’s game in Jacksonville will be the final tune-up for the starting units before the season opener against the Redskins. It also represents some players’ last chance to impress the coaches before the roster gets trimmed to 75 on Tuesday. (The number goes all the way down to 53 by Aug. 31.)
Here are five Eagles that we’ll be paying close attention to:
The session begins today at 12:40, but in the meantime, here are three things we’ll be watching.
He rarely appeared in the locker room when the media was in there. If he did, he walked briskly to his stall — phone fixed to his ear — got what he needed, and then disappeared out of sight. The brief glimpses were of a man who didn’t seem to be enjoying himself whatsoever.
He wore a different look when he stopped to talk with reporters last week.
Eagles fans never forget.
Just last week, during ESPN’s 30 for 30, Elway To Marino, a reader Tweeted me, saying he threw his remote across the room when footage was shown of the Eagles selecting running back Michael Haddix with the No. 8 pick in 1983. A graphic scrolled across the screen during the film, explaining that Haddix had the lowest yards-per-carry average (3.0) in the history of the NFL.
To make matters worse, of the 20 players selected after Haddix in the first round that year, four went on to have Hall of Fame careers: Bruce Matthews, Jim Kelly, Dan Marino and Darrell Green.
So when the Eagles used the No. 4 pick last week on Lane Johnson, some fans couldn’t help but take a stroll down memory lane and ask: Did the Birds just take another Danny Watkins?
But next Thursday could affect the ninth-year pro. After moving to right tackle before the 2011 season, Herremans could be asked to slide back inside to guard, particularly if the Eagles use a first-round pick on someone like Texas A&M’s Luke Joeckel, Central Michigan’s Eric Fisher or Oklahoma’s Lane Johnson.
So surely Herremans will be tuning in this year, right?
“I’m sure I’ll see it on Twitter,” he said.
They don’t always hit, but they hit pretty often. And when they do, they hit big.
There have been 10 offensive tackles selected with a top-five pick since 2001. Six turned into Pro Bowlers. And combined, those six have been named to the Pro Bowl a total of 18 times.
Howie Roseman says there is a reason why the return rate is so high.
On the first day of the new league year, the Birds were linked to right tackle Jake Long. Eventually, Long ended up signing a four-year, $34 million deal with the Rams that includes up to $20 million in guaranteed money if he stays healthy.
The Eagles also expressed interested in right tackle Eric Winston once he was cut by the Chiefs. Les Bowen of the Daily News reports that the team has a number it’s willing to sign Winston at, and a deal is still possible, depending on what he gets offered elsewhere.
So what does all this mean for the current players on the roster?