Some random thoughts and observations as the Eagles prepare for their final preseason game, this Thursday night at 7:00 against the New York Jets at Lincoln Financial Field.
It's safe to write this now, knowing the bulk of the Birds starters won't play in this final preseason game. The hard-nose fan will get a dash of Lane Johnson and a splash Mychal Kendricks, and oh yes, a generous portion of Chase Daniel. But beyond that, keep a scorecard handy.
On offense, we learned that a healthy Sam Bradford can be an effective Sam Bradford. Players coming off an ACL injury generally take a full year to recover. Sam's best ball in 2015 (after ACL surgery in 2014) came at the end of the season, when he was almost a year out. He has a chip on his shoulder...from shots by Josh Norman and the most-likely showcase for a new team in 2017. But we learned he can be effective in Doug Pederson's plan.
We learned Lane Johnson may be an appeal from missing 10 games...and it would be a huge crush to the Eagles offensive line.
We learned the Eagles tight ends can be solid...and it was fun to watch 10-year veteran Brent Celek play like a rookie and lead like a wise professor. He's hard-nosed and blue-collared...he's Philadelphia.
We also learned this defense can be special. Bennie Logan likes to use that word. It may be too early to float that word out, but we can dare to dream. The back end of the defense is solid, and Fletcher Cox looks like a $100 million natural in Jim Schwartz's new scheme.
Schools are starting in the Philadelphia area...so we're all still learning a little bit.
We didn't learn the opener is September 11 against Cleveland. We already knew that. We just can't wait.