10 amazing Eagles preseason performances
10 amazing Eagles preseason performances
If only preseason stats counted. Then Kevin Monangai, Mardy Gililard, Jeff Meal and Bryce Treggs would be superstars. Alas. It's only the preseason, and even the gaudiest stats mean nothing. But it is fun to look back at some of the most impressive preseason performances in recent Eagles history. Just to see how little they related in most cases to what that player did when it mattered.
So here are 10 remarkable preseason performances over the last 20 years that you may have forgotten about! (AP Images)
It was the greatest day of Sam Bradford’s career, and of course it didn’t count. In the third preseason game of 2015, Bradford went 10 for 10 for 121 yards with first-quarter TD passes to Darren Sproles, Trey Burton and Brent Celek — all in the span of 10½ minutes.
Bradford’s passer rating of 156.7 was a tad below perfect, but for one preseason quarter at Lambeau Field, he was unstoppable. Bradford gave the Eagles a 25-0 lead before the end of the first quarter. (The Eagles also scored on Walter Thurmond’s 28-yard interception return off Brett Hundley — a pass intended for current Eagle Richard Rodgers.)
It took Bradford 10 passes to throw three TDs that day. During the regular season, it took him three games. (AP Images)
Andy Reid loved Chad Hall. He joined the Eagles in the summer of 2010 after serving two years repairing fighter jets, and he quickly became a Reid favorite. In the preseason in the summer of 2011, he caught five passes for 82 yards against the Ravens, including a 32-yarder from Vince Young and a 22-yarder from Mike Kafka.
He was so impressive in the preseason, he made the roster and even at 5-8, 180 pounds, spent four years in the NFL with the Eagles, the 49ers and then with Reid his first year with the Chiefs.
Hall is currently the Bills’ wide receivers coach, working under former Reid assistant Sean McDermott. (AP Images)
Mike Kafka was a rookie fourth-round pick out of Northwestern playing in his second career preseason game in the summer of 2011 when the Eagles traveled to Heinz Field to face the Steelers. Michael Vick started for the Eagles and Vince Young played next, but Kafka made quite an impression despite playing only the fourth quarter. He went 14 for 19 for 160 yards with two touchdowns to undrafted rookie wide receiver Gerald Jones, along with a 40-yarder to Dion Lewis and an 18-yarder to Rod Harper. He also had a 17-yard scramble.
Kafka played in four games in his brief NFL career, and he’s now Andy Reid’s quarterbacks coach with the Chiefs. (AP Images)
Damaris Johnson, an undrafted receiver out of Tulsa, had quite a rookie training camp in the summer of 2012. In four preseason games, he caught 12 passes for 195 yards, but in the opener against the Steelers at the Linc, he was 4 for 85, including a 70-yard touchdown pass from a rookie QB playing in his first career NFL game — Nick Foles.
Johnson went on to play 44 games in four years with the Eagles, Texans and Patriots, with the highlight coming in 2012 against the Cowboys in Dallas, when he set a franchise record (that still stands) with a 98-yard punt return TD — fourth longest in NFL history. (AP Images)
We thought Tim Tebow was playing for a roster spot, so when he went 11 for 17 for 189 yards with touchdown passes to Rasheed Bailey and Freddie Martino in the Eagles’ 2015 preseason finale against the Jets at MetLife Stadium, it seemed like a pretty encouraging sign for Tebow’s football career. That wound up being the final game he ever played.
Chip Kelly released Tebow, and he retired from football, signed with the Mets the following year and remains in the Mets’ organization. The 32-year-old Tebow hit .240 with an OPS of .495 this year for Triple A Syracuse. (AP Images)
Billy McMullen, a third-round pick in 2003, caught only two passes for 12 yards in the Eagles’ first three preseason games in 2004. But in the finale against the Jets at the Meadowlands, he caught four passes for 87 yards, including a 56-yarder from Jeff Blake.
McMullen caught only 22 passes in three years with the Eagles before being traded to the Vikings in exchange for Hank Baskett, who wound up having a better career as an undrafted free agent than McMullen did as a third-round pick. (AP Images)
As an undrafted free agent in the summer of 2003, Greg Lewis faced long odds to make the Eagles’ roster. But he had a good training camp and in the preseason finale against the Jets at the Linc, caught six passes for 113 yards, including a 39-yarder from A.J. Feeley and receptions of 21, 18 and 17 yards from Tim Hasselbeck.
Not only did Lewis make the team, he stuck around the NFL for eight years, catching 152 passes (although he never had 113 yards in a game). He also had a TD catch in the 2004 Super Bowl and won an ESPY along with Brett Favre for his miracle game-winning TD catch in the Vikings’ win over the 49ers in 2009 — his first catch as a Viking.
Lewis is currently the Chiefs’ wide receivers coach. (AP Images)
Henry Josey was an undrafted rookie out of Missouri in 2014 training camp and put up huge numbers in the preseason, leading all NFL ball carriers with 225 yards and a 6.6 average. In the preseason finale against the Jets at the Linc, he ran 22 times for 121 yards — the most rushing yards in at least the last 20 years by an Eagle running back in the preseason.
But the Eagles released Josey and despite bouncing around to four teams, he never played in an NFL game. He did spend two years in the CFL, rushing for a total of 30 yards. (AP Images)
Nick Foles didn’t play much in the second preseason game last summer, so Nate Sudfeld got a ton of playing time and wound up throwing 39 passes — unprecedented for a preseason game. Playing the Patriots in Foxboro, Sudfeld went 22 for 39 for 312 yards and three touchdowns — to Shelton Gibson, Richard Rodgers and Rashard Davis. He had a 57-yard completion to Gibson, a 31-yarder to Davis, a 28-yarder to Dallas Goedert and completions of 22 and 24 yards to DeAndre Carter. (USA Today Images)
Tony Hunt had rushed for only 16 yards with a 1.6 average as a rookie third-round pick out of Penn State in 2007, so he was being closely watched his second year to see how much he had improved. And in the second preseason game, against the Panthers at the Linc, Hunt exploded for 79 yards on just five carries, including a 51-yard touchdown, and he also had a nine-yard catch.
But his production actually went down his second year, from 16 to nine yards, and the Eagles cut their losses in the middle of the season, releasing him after just 14 career carries. He never played again. (AP Images)