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.