Three things to watch for tonight vs. Packers
10 August 2017 Eagles News
Everything has been sunny in Philadelphia so far this training camp, but the true test starts tonight when the Eagles kick off their preseason campaign versus the Green Bay Packers.
The Eagles spent a lot of resources this offseason rebuilding both their offense and defense. With that being said, the Eagles will look to get the ball rolling tonight on both their offensive and defensive fronts.
Here are three things to watch for tonight.
1. How will the Eagles cornerbacks hold up?
Going into the season, the biggest question mark on this Eagles team is their cornerbacks. But, in a real game with other influences such as safety help, blitzes and a pass rush, how will this unit hold out?
Even though Aaron Rodgers will only get about one series, it will be interesting to see him play against this secondary. The guy is special and has the potential to torch any defense, not to mention the very established receiving corps he has to throw to. Starting for the Eagles, I expect Jalen Mills, Patrick Robinson, and Ron Brooks. How will they handle the Packers first team offense? They are not expected to play much, but in their limited snaps, you can get a big feel for how they will do this season.
But, other than them, who will be the corners to step up? CJ Smith is the name to look out for. He has had a great camp and seems destined to take advantage of this opportunity.
2. The Wide Receivers
Alshon Jeffery will not likely see any action tonight and the rest of the starters will be limited as well. But, with that being said, it will be important to watch the other guys on the roster.
Pay close attention to Marcus Johnson, Mack Hollins, Greg Ward Jr., and even Donell Pumphrey. Johnson and Hollins are very exciting prospects and they both have had great camps. It is going to be very fun seeing them go against other competition, rather than just the Eagles in practice.
Ward Jr. is another intriguing name. The quarterback who converted to wide receiver has enjoyed a smooth transition to the position and is fighting for a spot on the roster. In his first game with the team, it will be interesting to see how his transition translates in a game.
Lastly, I know Pumphrey is not a receiver by position, but it has been rumored that he will get a lot of looks in the slot this year. The Eagles are going to use him as many ways as possible. We will get a nice sample of that tonight.
3. Derek Barnett, the chosen one, the one who will bring the sacks back to Philly.
Every year the one player you should look forward to seeing play the most is your first round pick.
Look to see how Barnett has been able to adapt to life in the NFL. So far in training camp, he has had his hands full with Jason Peters, but iron sharpens iron and hopefully, Barnett has taken everything he has learned and puts it to play today.
Hopefully, Barnett is the Eagles defensive end for years to come and today his journey with the team officially kicks off.
Photo Credit: Lori M. Nichols | NJ.com