Eagles stock up, stock down from 1st preseason game

Eagles stock up, stock down from 1st preseason game

After a few grueling weeks of training camp, the Eagles finally got to play another team when they hosted the Steelers to kick off the preseason Thursday night. 

Some players did very well in the first game action of the summer. Some … not so much. 

Here are three “stock up” players and three “stock down” from the first preseason game: 

Stock up

Kamu Grugier-Hill
Nate Gerry got the start at WILL, but Grugier-Hill is making a serious push right now. He has been making plays all training camp and kept it going during the first preseason game. He ended up with six solo tackles on defense, to lead both teams. And he showed off his athleticism and speed. 

Dallas Goedert 
Zach Ertz sat out last night, so Goedert started. He was very impressive. Doug Pederson made an effort to get him involved early and that paid off. While there were a couple of mistakes — including a bad drop — Goedert more than made up for it. He had four catches for 66 yards and a touchdown in the first half before getting pulled. 

I love how he realized when this play was off script and gave the QB a target.  

Josh Adams 
I want to see more of Adams. The undrafted rookie from Notre Dame got six carries for 30 yards and showed some explosiveness. He also caught two balls for 11 yards. Wendell Smallwood got in the game before Adams, but I want that flipped next week. I want to see Adams at least go up against second-team players. I wouldn’t rule him out of a roster spot just yet. 

Stock down

Donnel Pumphrey 
I was really looking forward to seeing Pumphrey last night, but he apparently got hurt earlier in the week during practice and was held out of the game. That’s a shame. Because after how terrible he was last summer, he’s looked much better in this training camp. These preseason games are a chance for him to earn a roster spot and not playing in the first one is rough. 

Elijah Qualls
I bet Qualls made sure to stay clear of defensive line coach Chris Wilson last night in the locker room. While Qualls showed a little bit of pass-rush ability last night, he also got called for three penalties, which is just a killer. His defensive offside was declined when the Steelers got a 71-yard touchdown pass on the play, but his two defensive holds counted. 

Kamar Aiken 
We were going to go with Isaac Seumalo here, but you already know his stock is down. I’m going with Aiken because he started the game in place of Mike Wallace, got 18 snaps and wasn’t targeted once. Mack Hollins was actually worse, no catches on 21 snaps, but Hollins already has a roster spot locked up. Aiken is fighting for one of those last positions and didn’t get any action. Now, maybe Nate Sudfeld just didn’t look his way, but Aiken hasn’t been standing out at training camp either.

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Nick Foles vs. Tom Brady matchup headlines Eagles' 2nd preseason game

Nick Foles vs. Tom Brady matchup headlines Eagles' 2nd preseason game

Will it actually finally happen? Will Tom Brady actually shake Nick Foles’ hand?

That might be the biggest drama going into the Eagles’ second preseason game, Thursday night against the Patriots at Gilette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass.

Brady famously blew off Foles after the Eagles beat the Patriots in Super Bowl LII Feb. 6 in Minneapolis.

Instead of meeting his counterpart at midfield for the customary postgame handshake, Brady slunk back to the Patriots’ locker room, never to be seen again.

Foles has downplayed the lack of a postgame handshake, but it was definitely perceived by many as a lack of class by the four-time Super Bowl MVP toward the 2017 Super Bowl MVP.

“It’ll happen when it happens,” Foles said after practice Tuesday. “We practiced with the Patriots (in 2014) and I got to stand there and talk to Tom quite a bit he’s a great guy. I have all the respect in the world for him.

“I think everyone’s making a big deal about this and it’s not a big deal at all. I’ve already talked to him before, he’s a guy I’ve always looked up to. You’ve got to admire someone who’s probably the greatest ever and still going strong at even at his age.

“He seems to get better and better. I already had a conversation with him before when we practiced. If we have one in the future, we have one and it’ll be cool.”

Foles didn’t play in the preseason opener against the Steelers because of neck spasms, but he’s practiced this week and will start Thursday night in Foxboro.

Head coach Doug Pederson wouldn’t say how long Foles will play or which of the other quarterbacks would play.

“I do expect him to get in the game,” Pederson said. “For how long I don't know, but I do expect him to get a few plays in this game.”

Obviously, Carson Wentz won’t play and presumably Christian Hackenberg isn’t ready, so Pederson will have Foles, Nate Sudfeld and Joe Callahan available.

And even though Foles won’t say it, there is a certain irony that he’s making his 2018 debut against the team he beat six months ago in one of the most exciting and dramatic Super Bowls in history.

“Pretty familiar with the opponent,” Foles deadpanned.

But as far as seeing deep meaning in a Super Bowl rematch? Foles isn’t having any of it.

“We’re in training camp right now, we’re grinding through it, we’re growing as a team, we have new players, guys rotating in and out, so you stay pretty busy throughout the day.

“Now that we’re getting closer to gametime, we’ll be honing in on who they are and what they do, what coverages they like, what they like to do on defense, but not any reminiscing.

“This is a new season, new people, new players. Obviously we wear the same logos as last year but we both have a new identity. This is the time of year we grow together as a team and that’s really all I’m focusing on.”

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Roob Knows: Jason Kelce trivia with … Jason Kelce

Roob Knows: Jason Kelce trivia with … Jason Kelce

On the latest edition of Roob Knows, Reuben Frank explains why this is the deepest roster Doug Pederson has had in Philadelphia. The Eagles are loaded at wide receiver. Why there is absolutely no downside signing Christian Hackenberg. Also, Roob tests Jason Kelce with trivia questions about Jason Kelce.

1:00 - Deepest team Doug Pederson has had.
5:00 - Injury updates.
8:30 - Eagles stacked at WR.
12:00 - Looking forward to preseason game 2.
14:30 - Why did the Eagles sign Christian Hackenberg?
18:30 - Jason Kelce answers trivia questions about Jason Kelce.

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