Yes, yes, we get to probe far greater into what 2015 holds, or at least what we hope it does as an off-tackle run on the third series that, while only netting 2 yards, will certainly show the cohesiveness of an offensive line that should protect Sam Bradford all the way … until the first time he takes a hit on his knee.
That is, if the guy ever takes a snap here.
Honestly, what does it matter if he plays tonight, or DeMarco Murray or Kiko Alonso? Any number of more famous and skilled Birds could rise from grave, put the pads on and produce just as meaningless efforts tonight.
Seriously … not for nothing, but the NFL preseason tells me nothing. Nor does it tell anyone a thing. I know Murray and Alonso can play – if healthy. I know Bradford can, too – if healthy. I just don’t happen to be all giddy with anticipation as to what heights he will carry this team, because I don’t think he’s all that good. I think he can play, if healthy, yeah, but I don’t think he plays to any special level.
Exhibition game 2 this summer isn’t going to do anything to change that. Nor would it do anything to change my belief that all three are medical risks whose seasons could implode with a single snap if they happen to take the field tonight, next week or even the following one and remain in one piece and of sound mind and body.
The all-important, symbiotic relationship that fans and media believe these guys have to have with their teammates in order the squad to have success … puh-leeze, you think a few plays tonight will guarantee the promotion of that? If these guys aren’t coming together in practice then they’re as unprofessional as Shady McCoy, post-trade.
Bradford, Murray, Alonso and any other football player on that field tonight, in uniform or street clothes, has given more than enough sample size to suffice that … we really have no idea how things will play out until the actual season – not the preseason – gets under way and the Eagles, particularly this squad with so many patched-together standouts, get a few games under their collective belts.
Then again, they always have Chip Kelly’s genius to fall back on …
Reality is, this “crucial” happening, event, contest, whatever, will be about as meaningful and insightful as a Josh Innes-Mike Missanelli battle, verbal or otherwise.
TRADE VALUE: The first tangible return from the Cole Hamels’ trade three weeks ago displayed itself Friday night in Miami, and, gotta say, the Phillies should be pretty pleased. Right-hander Jerad Eickhoff tossed six shutout innings and looked solid, if unspectacular, in doing so. Funny thing is, perceptions are so distorted when it comes to such matters.
Just last month, 2014 first-round pick Aaron Nola made his Phillies debut and it was met with rave reviews … and, I’m here to tell ya, not only was this kid’s first big-league start better, but he has better stuff. It’s just not mind-blowing, off-the-charts material. But it’s still better than Nola’s.
So, as of now, that trade is a winner – and, yes, I know it’s hard for most of you to move on from an era that died 4-5 years ago, but it had to be made.
COUNTDOWN BEGINS: While most football fans in the area gorge themselves on such things as tonight’s preseason game at the Linc, the reality is the biggest game that will be played there before the Birds’ regular-season home opener against Dallas (really?!! Nice scheduling there, NFL) in a month is Temple’s non-conference tilt with Penn State on Sept. 5. Yeah, really.
Both teams should be improved from last season when the Nittany Lions returned to the bowl scene and the Owls should have. Penn State has a legit, first-team All-America candidate in quarterback Christian Hackenburg. Temple has one in linebacker Tyler Matakevich.
Let’s get ready to rumble.
- Jack Kerwin | firstname.lastname@example.org