Preseason football got underway on Sunday night with a pair of 2012 Birds foes squaring off in the Hall of Fame Game at Canton, Ohio -- and a pair of former Eagles making contrasting statements.
The New Orleans Saints handled the Arizona Cardinals by a final of 17-10 (yes, that is considered handling the opponent when Drew Brees only plays one series), but the final outcome is of little consequence. Locked in a competition for his job, Kevin Kolb started the game under center for the Cards, but looked ineffective and then got hurt... again. Meanwhile, after being relegated to a backup role a season ago, Stewart Bradley actually looked like a decent linebacker, even got himself a little face time on camera.
Though he may regret this little dance number. [Video below.]
First, Kolb. Twitter was quick to call the demise of the one-time heir apparent to Donovan McNabb after a sketchy opening. Kolb's first pass of the game was intercepted on a short out pattern -- Mike Mayock commented on the QB's arm strength, but it seemed Kolb was either late getting the ball out, or the target was simply never open to begin with. He then spent the next couple series running for his life behind some shaky O-line play before it finally got him hurt.
Kolb suffered some bruised ribs, which probably shouldn't keep him down for too long, but were enough to knock him out of a meaningless game. His competition, John Skelton, proceeded to enter the contest and performed quite well, even leading a touchdown drive. To be fair, much of that 14-play, 90-yard march was accomplished on the ground, but the backup looked sharp nonetheless.
After missing seven games with a couple of injuries in 2011, Kolb was 1/4 for four yards and the INT, while Skelton went 4/6 with 32 yards. Still no need to rush to judgments there. With everything the franchise invested in him, there is a lot riding on Kolb becoming the man, so it remains to be seen who will be breaking the huddle when Arizona hosts Philly in Week 3.
We did mention Stew Bradley at the top, who saw plenty of action and looked as good as we can remember since prior to tearing his ACL at Flight Night in the summer of '09. The big linebacker led the Cards in tackles with six, recorded a sack, and even showed off some agility in pass coverage, batting a pass away from a receiver. After leaving for Zona via free agency a season ago, only one Cardinal LB had fewer snaps than Bradley last year, so these types of performances are important for him.
However, it is only August, so he'll be remembered most for this goofy dance after that sack. Not pictured, Bradley flexing immediately after.
As for the Saints, all those bounty suspensions and BS aside, it's safe to say they will remain a formidable opponent in the season ahead -- and the Eagles have a trip to New Orleans on the slate for November. Even if something were to happen to that well-paid Brees fella, they might have something with this Chase Daniel kid. The understudy was 15/20 for 203 yards, a pick and a score.