Five up/five down: Eagles-Patriots

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Five up/five down: Eagles-Patriots
August 11, 2013, 9:30 am
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Bryce Brown caught two passes and had an eight-yard rushing TD in Friday's loss to the Patriots. (USA Today Images)

As always, there were some positives and negatives in the Eagles' 31-22 loss to the Patriots in Friday's preseason opener. Here's a look at 10 standouts -- five good and five bad -- from the game:

Five Up
 
1. Bryce Brown
Whether or not he felt slighted by not starting is unknown, but Brown responded with an impressive arrays of runs, including an eight-yard touchdown burst. He also caught two passes, which is even more impressive given his case of the drops throughout camp.
 
2. Damion Square
At this point, the rookie free agent from Alabama would have to fall on his face to avoid making the team. He and third-round lineman Bennie Logan were havoc for the New England offensive line and made disruptive plays at scrimmage. Square is one of several young, promising defensive linemen showcasing their potential this preseason.  
 
3. Greg Salas
If the Eagles keep six receivers, Salas has a great chance to make the team (see story). He’s stepped up at camp and carried that over with three catches for a team-best 54 yards against the Patriots, including a 12-yard TD catch from Matt Barkley and a circus, one-handed snag in the game's final seconds from G.J. Kinne.

4. Jake Knott
Another potential find as a rookie free agent, Knott showed good instincts and teamed with Vinny Curry on a sack. Knott should make an impact on special teams and vie for a backup inside linebacker job. Another good showing against Carolina could vault him from third to second string.

5. Michael Bamiro
The project rookie offensive tackle, who somehow dodged the main and supplemental drafts, entered late in the game and looked confident and in control despite his raw resume. Bamiro seemed to have a good handle on his assignments, although it’s clear he’s still working on technique and learning tricks of the trade.
 
Five Down

1. Isaac Sopoaga
Acquired to anchor the run defense and help the team’s transition to a 3-4 front, the veteran nose tackle didn’t have his group ready to stop the Patriots’ ground game. Not only did New England get a 62-yard run on the first snap but the Patriots also marched 80 yards downfield for a touchdown on just six plays -- all runs.  
 
2. Todd Herremans
The veteran lineman, now at right guard after two years at right tackle and several other at left guard, got beat to the inside by defensive Tommy Kelly, who put the initial hit on Nick Foles that caused the quarterback’s fumble. The line looked better on Foles’ second series, so don’t knock Herremans too much.
 
3. Chris Polk
Albeit, the second-year halfback’s blitz pickup on the second play helped give Mike Vick time to find DeSean Jackson for 47 yards and a touchdown. But given the chance to start and continue his great camp, Polk managed just seven yards on four carries. He’ll get more chances to improve against the Panthers.

4. DeMeco Ryans
The good news is that Ryans had a very average -- actually, below average -- preseason last year and still had the best year of any Eagles middle linebacker since the Jeremiah Trotter days. Ryans was part of a disappointing first-team defense that got steamrolled on the first series. Wouldn’t worry too much about it.
 
5. Bradley Fletcher
The veteran corner, acquired in free agency, was on the wrong end of some nifty Tom Brady completions, especially on the Pats’ second drive. Yeah, Brady’s a special quarterback, but it’s not as if rookie wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins is earmarked for Canton.

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