Brandon Graham has struggled in coverage, but excelled in rushing the passer as a linebacker in the 3-4. (USA Today Images)
The third preseason game is among us. That means it’s time for Chip Kelly to make the long-awaited quarterback decision. What’s that? Mike Vick did what? Oh, OK. Nevermind.
Even though the quarterback suspense is over, tonight’s game against the Jaguars still carries the clout typically associated with third exhibition matchups when coaches play their starters deeper into the game (then cry about the season-ending injuries afterward).
Defensive coordinator Billy Davis has evaluations to make, several of which will be based on performances from this game. Lucky for him, that star-studded Jacksonville offense should provide with him plenty of good film to break down.
Without further adieu, here are the storylines heading into preseason Game 3:
Cracking the Graham code
We’ve see the best and worst from Brandon Graham this preseason.
The good: He’s provided a steady pass rush from the outside linebacker position, an important role in the 3-4 defense. Graham seems to have transitioned that part of his game smoothly into his new position.
The bad: He hasn’t exactly shined when dropping back and he might be haunted for the rest of his life by that 62-yard touchdown run by Barry San… LeGarrette Blount.
This game might be Graham’s last chance to prove he belongs here. If not, start thinking about Detroit and Denver as potential trade partners.
Phillips or Allen?
This isn’t a discussion about a screwdriver and wrench, although either would probably serve a more efficient role in the Eagles’ secondary than any of Davis’ other options alongside Patrick Chung.
Kenny Phillips said he likes his chances of playing against the Jaguars. He should. They’re probably better than his odds of making the roster.
At this point, if Allen can correctly navigate from his hotel room to the team bus, he’ll probably wrap up the starting job opposite Chung. But, hey, on any given Saturday …
The Peters principle
Here’s a theory on why Jason Peters said he’d like to play three quarters in his preseason debut: It is assuredly not because he hearts preseason games.
Peters just can’t pass up the opportunity to kick around Jason Babin for as long as he possibly can before calling it a night. Who knows if Peters and Babin ever spoke three words to each other in their short time together in Philly, but Peters has a gift-wrapped opportunity to channel his inner Ryan Dempster and exact retribution on behalf of the franchise.
He’d also qualify instantly for the “Good Guy” award given annually by local reporters to Philly athletes who pretend to like us.
Who could pass on that?