With the New England Patriots in the midst of joint practices this week with the Philadelphia Eagles (and with the two teams squaring up for a preseason match-up on Friday night), I asked Jimmy Kempski of Bleeding Green Nation a few Eagles related questions:
1. Who is an under-the-radar player on offense that Patriots fans might now by the end of the week?
Damaris Johnson. He got some punt return duty and caught 19 passes last year, but he figures to play a more prominent role in 2013. He's very small (listed at 5'8, 175), but is extremely quick. He has had a tremendous camp.
2. Who is an under-the-radar player on defense that Patriots fans might know by the end of the week?
Brandon Boykin. Boykin isn't THAT off the radar, seeing as he went to Georgia and was thought of by some as a potential 2nd round pick, but he too has been outstanding in camp so far, and is making a legitimate push for a starting CB spot despite his small size, at 5'10.
3. What are your early initial impressions of Chip Kelly's offense? The rumors of the Belichick-Kelly idea-swapping has long persisted. I'm not sure how much Patriots football you get to see, but any similarities there?
Definitely some similarities. I watched some tape of the Pats, and it was interesting to see them get right into that hyper-fast hurry up on the 2nd/3rd plays of the season. I clocked them at 10.2 seconds from whistle to being lined up legally on the next play, and then the snap came just 2 seconds later. That is extremely impressive for the first drive of a season. The Eagles aren't quite there yet, as I've clocked them at about 12-13 seconds from whistle to legal formation, on average. But clearly, the Eagles are trying to adopt that.
4. Who do Eagles fans want to see win the quarterback competition and who do you think will ultimately win that competition?
In terms of the fans' preference, I think it's mixed. Ultimately, I think Nick Foles will win the job. The Eagles aren't going to be realistic SB contenders this year. Meanwhile, Michael Vick is a free agent next year and in decline. He's not a long term answer. Unless Vick blows the doors off of Foles, I believe the most logical move is to see what the young guy has, so a better determination can be made heading into next offseason of whether the QB position needs to be addressed.
5. Are there any position match-ups in particular that you're interested in seeing the next few days?
Yes. I want to see how the defense handles the fast-paced offense of the Pats. They've seen a version of it in camp, but with the Pats, it's like facing the best of the best in that regard.
I also answered some questions for Jimmy over at Bleeding Green Nation. Feel free to check them out here!