If you read AA on...","articleSection":"Kansas City Chiefs News","author":{"@type":"Person","name":"Patrick Allen","url":"https://arrowheadaddict.com/author/patrickallen/"}}

Chiefs Vs. Eagles Preview


If you read AA on a daily basis you know pretty much all there is to know about the Kansas City Chiefs. Chances are, however, you don’t know nearly as much about their opponents.

In an effort to change all that we will be bringing you content from the enemy camp. I spoke to Ryan Messick from over at Inside The Iggles, Fansided’s Philadelphia Eagles blog. ITI is one of Fansided’s best NFL blogs and Ryan does a fantastic job over there. If you ever want to check in on what is going on with the Eagles, whether it be for fantasy football reasons or simply to check out how high Andy Reid’s blood pressure is, ITI is the place to go.

Ryan was kind enough to answer a few of my questions about the Eagles. There will be a companion post to this over at ITI later today where I field a couple of questions from Ryan so keep an eye out for that.

Patrick: I have to start by asking you about Donovan McNabb. Are you happy he is gone and do you think Kevin Kolb is the answer? Do you expect the team to take a small step back with the integration of the new QB? Sort of the way the Packers did in their first Farveless season?

Ryan: It’s hard to inject my personal feelings into it at this point, given that it’s been so long. But, from that standpoing, I’ll say this: I’ve been a lifelong Eagles fan who wanted McNabb over Ricky Williams in the draft and I’ve always been a McNabb supporter in that debate. So it was losing my second favorite player of all-time (I’m only 24), which was disappointing.

That said, I understand the move completely. The players seem to get along better with Kolb, and its a younger team. McNabb’s window is 3-5 years, and that’s probably a bit generous. His contract was in its last year, and they had to move on at some point. You don’t want to wait until Kolb is pushing 30 himself, so its hard to extend McNabb.

I don’t expect a step back, as I think this team is as good as last year’s. The Birds over-acheived a bit, so 8-8 or 9-7 wouldn’t be a step back in talent in my opinion. It’s not all Kolb though – the offensive line is a weakness, there are lots of new guys who have to gell on defense, and it’s a very young team.

Patrick: I see on Inside The Iggles that your offensive line has had sort of a rough offseason with an injury to Todd Herremans and some struggles on the interior. Is this something that you think will work itself out before your Week 1 game against the Packers or are you concerned it could be a weakness throughout the season?

Ryan: It’s definitely a concern for the Eagles. Todd Herremans is good when healthy, but has battled foot problems. Everyone says this has been precautionary in camp, but it still makes people nervous. If he’s truly 100% ready with low risk of re-injury, why is he being held out? If he can’t sustain the pounding in camp, what about in Week 17? Jamaal Jackson is coming off ACL surgery at center, and Nick Cole and Mike McGlynn haven’t looked too good there. Neither has Stacy Andrews at right guard, so you have to wonder if the team can sort out three different positions successfully.

Patrick: Last year, backup QB Mike Vick made his debut in the game against the Chiefs. While he didn’t make a big impact last season, with McNabb out of the picture, he could be very valuable if something where to happen to Kolb. What have you seen from Vick this preseason and how do you think he will perform if he is called to step in to the starting role?

Ryan:I’ve seen turnovers, lots of turnovers. Vick is closer to his old self, but even in his prime he was turnover-prone. He’ll see 5-10 snaps a game in a Wildcat or other creative formations, but he isn’t pushing Kolb for the starting job at all in my view. If Kolb gets hurt, he’s a good backup, but what does that really mean in the NFL? Aside from the occasional storybook ending with guys like Kurt Warner or Tom Brady, how many backups truly lead their team to great things when a starting quarterback goes down?

Patrick: What players will you be keeping your eye on this week? With the extended look that often comes with the 3rd preseason game, which players or areas are you hoping to see improvement in?

Ryan:First and foremost, the red zone offense. The starters have yet to score a touchdown, despite moving the ball well between the 20’s. That needs to change, so that’s the biggest thing to watch for the Eagles in this game. The offensive line, as mentioned, has been a weakness. Kevin Kolb’s decision making has been a factor inside the 20, as he’s forced a couple of passes when he could have waited an extra half second. On the defensive side, Brandon Graham is expected to start for the first time, so he’ll draw a lot of attention. So will rookie free safety Nate Allen, as he continues to develop.

Patrick:A few years ago, the Chiefs yanked Andy Studebaker off the Eagles practice squad. I remember hearing the Eagles were very upset over losing Studebaker and he is now becoming a big part of KC’s defense. Does Philly have any under the radar players that we should be keeping our eye on Friday night?

Ryan: Check out the depth at wide receiver. Riley Cooper, Hank Baskett, Kelly Washington, Chad Hall and Jordan Norwood are the 4th through 8th. So obviously 2-3 of them will be available, and they’ve all shown some good things. As far as guys who might end up going through waivers on the way to the practice squad, maybe Ricky Sapp at defensive end. The rookie has never really gotten up to speed, but they like his future potential. Keep an eye on whoever loses out at defensive tackle as well. Bunkley and Patterson are the locks, but Trevor Laws and Antonio Dixon have been good. Defensive end Daniel Te’o-Nesheim is taking some reps at tackle in the Nickel, so Jeff Owens is probably the odd man out. You might also keep an eye on a guy like Martell Mallet. The Eagles waived him on July 31st, and he hopped a plan to head home to Arkansas. Then they had a roster spot come open and called him back the next day. He essentially never left an airport and turned around and went back. He’s played well in preseason games, but there’s not going to be room on the roster. That said, I’ve seen so many fourth string running backs look great late in preseason games and amount to very little.

Again, thanks to Ryan for giving some inside perspective on tonight’s opponent.