The Bye Week is over and it’s time to get ready for Tampa Bay. It was nice having a week off but I’m ready for Eagles football again. There are a lot of questions that will need to be answered this week regarding Sunday’s match up with the Bucs, so lets take a look at some of them.
Last week I debated on whether Donovan McNabb or Kevin Kolb should start this week. We haven’t heard a whole lot on McNabb’s ribs this past week and it’s probably because most people are expecting him to start on Sunday. The thing I’m worried about is McNabb taking a shot and hurting himself more because the ribs aren’t fully healed. I know they want to get him back out on the field and get him back in the groove but is Sunday the right time to do it? The Eagles take on a terrible team, at home, and have a backup in Kolb who has shown he can play. I don’t know if the Eagles are considering resting McNabb, but I wish they would think about it.
If McNabb is going to start, how much wildcat do you think the team will run? This would be the first regular season game McNabb and Michael Vick would both be active. You know Andy Reid wants to get Vick more snaps so he can really contribute to this offense, but at the same time you know he doesn’t want to disrupt anything McNabb has going. It should be interesting to see Vick’s use when McNabb is back in the starting lineup.
Brian Westbrook is not the same player. We all wanted him to come back from his offseason surgeries and show us that he isn’t missing a step, but it’s pretty clear that he is. He’s already missed a game and hasn’t looked very sharp in the two games he played in. The good news is that LeSean McCoy looks great. Although the plan wasn’t to have him in a starting role by Week Three of the season, McCoy filled in very nicely against the Chiefs and showed the coaching staff he’s ready. Since he performed so well, I could see him taking an even larger workload off Westbrook then originally intended. Also, if Westbrook is iffy this week, they could easily sit him and rely on McCoy. We will watch this closer as the week goes on.
The axe man, Jeremiah Trotter, is back in town. A big question surrounding him is how much playtime is he going to see. Will he be playing first and second downs like he said he would? What about short yardage third downs and goal line situations? I’m sure a lot of teams will look to try and throw the ball while he’s in there to take advantage of his torn up knees. The Eagles need to be careful with how they use him so he doesn’t get burned for a big play. However, it is nice to have a veteran leader on the defense who brings a lot of energy.
Another guy with a nagging injury is Kevin Curtis. He was forced to sit last week’s game and probably should have been sitting before that. In his absence, Jeremy Maclin filled in quite nicely. I don’t think Curtis should be playing if he’s not 100%, and it seems he hasn’t been for a while. Curtis’ success comes from his speed and cuts, but he hasn’t been able to move like in the past due to injury. Maclin is healthy and ready to contribute.