Eagles Droppings 9/16: Vick Starting Vs. Lions, Eagles Bring In RB Jennings and WR Jackson On Getting Open
By Lance Epstein
Vick To Start Sunday:
As expected, backup quarterback Michael Vick will start in Detroit on Sunday. A team source confirmed the information to Philadelphia Inquirer's Jeff McLane on Thursday.
The good news for Eagles fans is that middle linebacker Stewart Bradley and quarterback Kevin Kolb did sit through the team meetings on Thursday morning. Additionally, Bradley was seen doing a light workout at the NovaCare complex.
Unfortunately, neither practiced today and it is unlikely that either players will suit up on Sunday due to their concussion symptoms. Moreover, an independent doctor must clear both of them to play and there is no timetable for that meeting to occur (was supposed to be Friday, but Bradley and Kolb failed the second phase of the concussion exam).
Certainly the Eagles can win this game without Bradley and Kolb. Linebacker Omar Gaither (Bradley's replacement) made a few mistakes against Green Bay, but for the most part made the tackles that were required of him. Furthermore, as the game wore on, he got more comfortable and the defense got stronger.
As for Vick, he might give the Eagles a better chance to win than Kolb right now. Kolb has been struggling since the second preseason game. He is routinely making mistakes and telegraphing his throws. The time off might be beneficial for Kolb in the long run.
Eagles Work Out RB Jennings:
Maybe the Eagles are getting tired of seeing running back Mike Bell out with an injury. Or it could be that RB Eldra Buckley lost his roster spot with his costly fumble against the Green Bay Packers.
Either way, Adam Caplan of Foxsports.com reported that the Eagles worked out running back Chris Jennings. The former Brown is ineligible for the practice squad so if he signed, he would make the 53-man roster.
Last year, Jennings (5-10, 220) signed with the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted free agent rookie out of the University of Arizona. In nine games with the Browns, Jennings had 63 carries for 220 yards and a touchdown. He also recorded nine receptions for 56 yards.
This makes some sense for the Eagles considering Bell has been perpetually injured since the start of OTAs. The frustration might be wearing on coach Reid and the Eagles cannot count on Buckley to be the main backup.
While Bell is a better player than Jennings when healthy, Jennings is willing to play through nagging injuries. Bell's stay in Philadelphia might be a short one.
WR DeSean Jackson on Struggles Against Elite Corners:
Many consider WR DeSean Jackson to be one of the elite receivers in the game. However, against the elite cornerbacks in the NFL, Jackson has come up pretty small.
Over the last four games (going back all the way to the Denver Broncos game), Jackson has squared off against some of the best the NFL has to offer in Charles Woodson, Champ Bailey and Michael Jenkins (twice). In those four games, Jackson has done his best disappearing act as he pulled in just 14 receptions for merely 124 yards and two touchdowns (one came as Dallas went to a prevent up 20+ points).
One of the reasons that Jackson believes he has seen a drop off in his production is due his big play ability capturing the attention of opposing defensive coordinators.
"I think it comes with making all the big plays and scoring all these touchdowns. It brings a lot of attention on yourself. I kind of brought that upon myself," Jackson said.
While Jackson knows he must improve on those numbers, he also understands not to get frustrated because his former workout buddy and Hall of Fame WR Jerry Rice told him to expect this much.
"He (Rice) said, 'You can be so good, but then there's another part to being good. It's the great part when you go out there and everybody knows who you are and they start game-planning on you and they put two or three people on you,'" Jackson stated.
Jackson believes a way that head coach Andy Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg can counteract the attention that he is receiving from defenses is by throwing him quick ten yard routes.
"That's the biggest thing, I just have to try and do something within ten yards. Once I'm going down the field it's like everybody's just focused on me. I'm confident that Marty and Coach Reid will do things to get the ball in my hands real quick," Jackson said. "There's not always bright lights. Sometimes you have to go through dark tunnels to be able to get to the success."
Even though Jackson thinks the ten-yard routes will do the trick, it is not that simple. Against inferior defenders it will certainly work for Jackson, but against the league's best it is never that easy. They are the best at their craft for a reason and it’s due to studying their opponents along with shutting down the best wide receivers in the game.
Of course Jackson is a special player, no one is question his game-changing ability. Although elite wide receivers find ways to get it done against the very best. So far Jackson wants the money that comes with accomplishing that feat, but he hasn't performed well against the cream of the crop corners to deserve a Miles Austin type deal.