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Getting The Scoop On The Eagles

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Getting The Scoop On The Eagles

As a preview for the Green Bay Packers season opening game at the Philadelphia Eagles, Cheesehead TV had the opportunity to interview Mike Burke of the Eagles blog BirdsFan.com.

Mike re-paid the favor by doing a Q&A with yours truly in an interview posted over on their site. Check out the Cheesehead TV interview over at BirdsFan.

Here's the scoop on the enemy...

CheeseheadTV: How did Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb perform in the preseason? Can he pick up where Donovan McNabb left off?

BirdsFan: Kevin Kolb was up and down this preseason.  On the first offensive snap of the preseason, Kolb hit DeSean Jackson on a slant route, putting the ball where only Jackson could lay hands on it.  The play went for 21 yards and there was a very high level of excitement.

His throws have been accurate as expected, but there were a few too many times that he made poor decisions with his throws.  He didn't turn the ball over, but he came damn close a few times.

It's hard to develop too much of an opinion on Kolb from what we saw in the preseaon for a few reasons.  First, the offensive line he was playing behind was not very good.  He was forced out of the pocket a lot, but actually showed us an element of his game we haven't really seen.  When flushed out of the pocket, he made some nice plays with his feet.  Come opening day, there will be a few changes (for the better) in the line, so I'm hoping he has more time to throw.

In terms of picking up where McNabb left off, he has kind of been set up for success.  With all the young play makers on the Eagles offense, Kolb will never have to be a great quarterback.  He'll just have to use his weapons efficiently, and they will make him look great.

CHTV: How is Brandon Graham progressing? Can he team up with Trent Cole to provide a formidable pass rush?

BF: Brandon Graham has probably been the best story of the preseason.  With the Eagles moving up so many picks to get him, he had a lot to prove.  He has proved to be worth the pick and then some.  I originally thought Graham would receive starting-type time in the opener but not actually be listed as the official starter.  I knew he'd take the starting spot, but I thought it may not come til the early weeks of the regular season.  I was wrong on this one as Graham jumped to the top of the depth chart about halfway through the preseason, and rightfully so.

Everyone knows what Trent Cole is capable of doing, so not imagine cloning him and lining him up on the other side.  This is basically what the Eagles have.  The duo of Cole and Graham should wreak havoc this year and I definitely see Graham as a front runner for defensive rookie of the year.

CHTV: The Packers special teams are a weakness. Is there any way they can contain DeSean Jackson and Ellis Hobbs or is that an exercise in futility?

BF: I'm glad to hear your special teams are weak because I haven't been thrilled with what I've seen out of the Eagles special teams units in the preseason.  They brought in special teams guru Bobby April but it seemed that he had his work cut out for him.  The unit has improved since the first game but I think they still have some room to go.

In terms of Jackson and Hobbs, we didn't see any action out of them in the preseason for obvious reasons but we all know what they're capable of.  If the Packers are smart, they'll kick away from Jackson because he can break one at any point.  It'll be more of a challenge to not let Hobbs get any returns, but we saw J.J. Arrington have a big return in the preseason finale so I hope to see similar results from Hobbs.

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Mike's picture

Thanks again to Brian for doing this with me.

If any readers have any questions for me, I'd be glad to answer them as well!

Satori's picture

Mike- thanks for the insight

What is the status of center J.Jackson for the opener ?

Who is the 3rd CB in Philly ?

Will Andy Reid call a trick play to open the season ?

Mike's picture

Hello Satori,

Jamaal Jackson will start on Sunday which is big for the Eagles. He originally wasn't projected to but has been way ahead of schedule the whole way in his recovery. However, he saw no action in the preseason so these will be his first live snaps. I'm hoping him coming back this early doesn't turn out to be the wrong decision because his body isn't ready for it.

I think we may see a mixture of Dimitri Patterson and Trevard Lindley in nickel packages. The Eagles started giving Patterson some snaps at safety this week but that is probably because they're only carrying 3 safeties. If Finley plays well early, I think we may see Lindley coming in and lining up against him because he's a more physical corner and the Eagles matched up Macho Harris with some of the higher profile tight ends last year.

I don't know if he'll run anything crazy on the first play. I think he will probably try to get Kolb to connect on some short passes first to build some confidence. However, I do expect to see some trickery out of the offense at some point in the game.

Thanks for your questions!

Packer_Pete's picture

Come on Brian, 30-27. I know you want to be respectful, but I thik we make a big statement and open up a can on the Eagles. 41-17. Go Pack Go

Brian Carriveau's picture

The Vegas spread is Packers -3. I don't think I'm out of line.

FITZCORE1252's picture

The vegas spread is not meant to predict how much a team will win or lose by, it's used to make the play attractive from both sides so it's not a one sided affair... You're better than that Brian. Ugh.

GBP 4 LIFE

Brian Carriveau's picture

Tell me a better predictor of a point spread then. There isn't one.

FITZCORE1252's picture

Homework.

PackJoe's picture

This may sound stupid but we recently have helped some rookie quarterbacks win against us.
2007 was Matt Ryan, last year it was josh freeman, will this year be Kevin Kolb??? :(

PackersRS's picture

Rookie. Kolb is in his 4th season...

FITZCORE1252's picture

"This may sound stupid"

Yes. Yes it does.

BayouTapestry's picture

Mike, you never gave us a prediction! Any guesses?

Brian Carriveau's picture

BayouTapestry, are you really from the Bayou? Where from?

BayouTapestry's picture

Baton Rouge originally, but I identify with New Orleans more, anyways - right now, I live on campus at Tulane.

Mike's picture

I wasn't asked to give a prediction but I'll go with 31-24 Eagles.

FITZCORE1252's picture

Homer! lol

GREEN BAY PACKERS - 426 (YEP REPERATIONS FOR 4TH & 26)

sheagles - 0

Tommyboy's picture

Great info - thanks for doing this, Mike and Brian!

And Mike...I'm actually pulling for Kevin Kolb this year as he is facing a similar situation A-Rod faced (except your ex-QB isn't a diva). Anyway, how long does Kolb have if he doesn't light it up? Will Reid at least give him the season, or would he jump on the Vick bandwagon?

Mike's picture

The only reason Kolb won't start all season would be due to an injury.

jerseypackfan's picture

I expect Vick to be out there on at least 2 plays. How can Reid not use him in the redzone?

Mike's picture

Vick will definitely see some action every game. You couldn't be more right about the red zone. That is where I want to see Vick the most.

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