DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin were yelling their approval to the first team defense when they picked off a pass during the defensive drills. Asante Samuel was howling all afternoon and picking off passes. They think they’re ready, but you never know until you play the game.
There was a lot of hooting and hollering at practice. It was one of their loudest practices, which says something about their emotions.
Nate Allen is so excited he just stood for a moment at his locker and smiled. Brandon Graham is always smiling, so there’s no reason to mention it. Graham is the happiest young dude I know.
People will try to tell you that they know what’s going to happen on Sunday when the Eagles host the Packers, but the truth is nobody knows. The Eagles coaches who know they players inside out, really have no idea what it’s going to look like on Sunday. Most of them will get no sleep on Saturday night.
This team is excited to be playing but excitement doesn’t necessarily make you play well. You have to be mentally focused and emotionally hyped to play good football. It’s like a good recipe, you need a certain amount of one and a certain amount of another.
Sometimes teams get up too far emotionally, then go out and make mistake upon mistake. Young teams are prone to do that, so the Eagles don’t need to get too emotionally-charged.
The ball needs to bounce the Eagles way in that first quarter on Sunday. They need something good to happen. This young squad needs to get on top of the Packers. I don’t know what would happen if things started out badly.
I thought they practiced well this week. Kevin Kolb seems to be on top of his game and the game plan. The offensive line doesn’t need to turn anybody loose. I wouldn’t surprised if Green Bay defensive coordinator Dom Capers sends a corner blitz early to try and get a free shop on Kolb to try to disorient him.
Capers was the inventor of the zone blitz. He invented it when he was the Pittsburgh defensive coordinator. They would drop defensive line to one side to prevent the quick throw and send linebackers, defensive linemen and cornerbacks from the quarterbacks blindside. The sped up the retirement of a number of quarterbacks. I hope Andy Reid gave Kolb that history lesson this week.
Running it early would be the safe way to go for the Birds, then Capers will have shown most of his hand. Reid can’t let the kid get blindsided early in the game. If it happens I hold Reid responsible.
At the practices, the receivers were catching the football consistently and the mistakes seemed to be at a minimum. Still young teams are hard to read. If they have some success early, they gain confidence and start to blossom. If not they can go the other way.
I do feel confident about this young defense. I think they’re going to give up some points, but I also think they’re going to force some turnovers. A young defense doesn’t have to be concerned with timing and precision. All they want to do is seek and destroy.
I feel good about the thought of Trent Cole attacking Aaron Rodgers from his left side and Brandon Graham attacking him from his right. This was missing from all those Eagles prior playoff teams. Relying on the blitz is not the way to win a championship. The only way you beat good quarterbacks is getting after them with two outstanding pass rushers with seven guys deep in coverage.
The Eagles must tackle well when the Packers catch the football. Both Donald Driver and Greg Jennings are capable of catching a short pass, breaking tackles and taking the ball the distance for a touchdown. This must not happen.