Eagles storylines: Last chance to impress

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Eagles storylines: Last chance to impress
August 29, 2013, 7:00 am
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We know. We know. It’s the fourth preseason game. There can’t possibly be any “storylines” for a meaningless game that doesn’t have first-stringers, guys competing for starting jobs or fans in the seats.

One way or another, the NFL will eliminate this game sometime in the near future. But until it’s extinct, we can still pry away some juicy themes and topics.

So here goes:

Final-round knockout?
Last chance -- allegedly -- for rookie Earl Wolff to unseat Nate Allen for the free safety position opposite Patrick Chung. Allegedly? The hunch here is that Allen has already won the job and is merely holding the fort down until Wolff gets a little more seasoning. (The hunch here was once that Nick Foles would be the starting QB, so take said hunches with a grain of salt.) But both will play against the Jets, so there’s always the chance that minds could be changed before the final cutdown date.

Up for grabs
Look for receivers Greg Salas, Russell Shepard, Ifeanyi Momah and Jeff Maehl to get plenty of reps as the battle for the fifth -- and perhaps sixth -- receiver spot carries into the final preseason game. Salas and Shepard would logically seem like the top candidates, although Maehl’s ties to Kelly from their Oregon days will be hard to ignore, especially if he can make some plays against the Jets.

Here today, gone tomorrow?
The release of veteran inside linebacker Jamar Chaney might have served notice that Casey Matthews is next on the chopping block. Chaney’s release was largely made possible by good showings this preseason from undrafted rookie linebacker Jake Knott and newcomer Emmanuel Acho, who last year played for coordinator Billy Davis in Cleveland when Davis coached linebackers. Teams typically go two deep at both inside linebacker spots, so it’s logical to assume that Matthews, Acho and Knott are vying for two spots. Matthews may have ties to Kelly going back to Oregon but he has not performed to the level of a fourth-round pick so far in his career.

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