Here we are with another edition of our Early Birds newsletter, and here we are about to head into another exciting Eagles preseason.
— Les Bowen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
If you’re like me, the precious preseason memories just come flooding back when you ponder Thursday night’s Eagles encounter with the Tennessee Titans, which leads off this year’s August action.
Who could forget quarterback Christian Hackenburg running for 66 yards on just five carries in last season’s Eagles-Jets preseason finale? Or running back Byron Marshall’s stirring fourth-quarter touchdown plunge that set the final score of the Eagles’ 20-16 victory over the Bills in Week 2 of the 2017 preseason? Or the preseason opener in 2015, when safety Ed Reynolds’ two interceptions keyed a 36-10 stomping of the visiting Colts?
Paul Turner! Henry Josey! Ifeyani Momah! Maybe the Eagles should start a preseason Hall of Fame, to give fans a chance to catch up with these legends and so many more — Lorenzo Booker! Dexter Wynn! Tell the truth, don’t you yearn to know what mid-2000s fan camp favorite Bill Sampy is up to these days? (The answer, according to LinkedIn, is that he is a “lead tubular specialist” for an oil and gas tool rental company back home in Lafayette, La.)
(Answers at the end of the newsletter.)
- Who led the Eagles in receiving last preseason?
- Of the four quarterbacks in the 2014 camp, which one compiled the highest preseason passer rating?
- Which 2009 training camp Eagle achieved the highest preseason punt return and kick return average?
- In 2012, when the Eagles went 4-12, their worst record of the current century, what was their preseason record?
- In the 2001 preseason, which former Notre Dame quarterback compiled a 49.4 passer rating for the Eagles?
I’m pretty sure they will, but maybe not until the Aug. 31 roster cutdown. Remember, there is just one big cut these days, so unless the Eagles want to trade something, they won’t have access to much of a field until the week before the season starts. As far as we know right now, Nigel Bradham (foot) will be ready for the regular season, and Kamu Grugier-Hill (MCL) might only miss the first month or so. Given that Jim Schwartz likes to play with two linebackers and sometimes even one linebacker, they probably aren’t going to trade anything better than a late-round pick for one right now. As we’ve discussed, new safety Johnathan Cyprien could end up in a gimmick-package quasi-linebacker role.
A lot might depend on how guys like Alex Singleton and L.J. Fort look in these preseason games. If Bradham is healthy, you go in maybe with him, Nate Gerry, Zach Brown, at least one of the Singleton/Fort duo, and somebody you pick up, with undrafted rookie T.J. Edwards on the practice squad. Of course, Edwards could have the greatest preseason in undrafted rookie history and make the team, but that’s how I see it right now. If Paul Worrilow’s knee miraculously stops swelling up after exercise, toss him in there someplace too.