What you need to know as Eagles face Steelers in preseason


The Eagles will kick off their 2021 preseason tonight against the Steelers.

This will be the first preseason game for Nick Sirianni and his new coaching staff and it will be the Eagles’ first preseason game since before the 2019 season. Last year’s preseason was wiped out by COVID-19.

Of course, there are still COVID-19 restrictions in place. There will be fans in the stands and the Eagles updated their mask policy for tonight’s game:

Here’s everything you need to know:

6 p.m.: Eagles Pregame Live on NBC Sports Philadelphia

7:30 p.m.: Eagles vs. Steelers on NBC10 and in Spanish on TeleXitos

10:30 p.m.: Eagles Postgame Live on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The television broadcasters will be Scott Graham (play-by-play), Ross Tucker (analyst) and Dave Spadaro (sideline).

Merrill Reese, Mike Quick and Howard Eskin will also have the call on 94WIP.

First time out

This will be the first game at the helm for Sirianni and it’ll also be the first game action for his new and very young staff, including new coordinator Jonathan Gannon (defense) and Michael Clay (special teams).

During the 11 training camp practices we’ve seen, there have been hints about what kind of offensive and defensive schemes the Eagles will run this season. I wouldn’t bet on the Eagles’ showing everything in this game but there might be some more hints coming.

Sirianni, by the way, is the Eagles’ play caller on offense, which means he’ll have a lot on his plate.


All eyes on Hurts

Sure, Jalen Hurts started four games in his rookie season but he was a replacement player for those games after Carson Wentz was benched. Although Sirianni hasn’t named Hurts his Week 1 starter, it’s obvious that this 2021 team belongs to Hurts, who will start tonight.

How much will Hurts play? Well, Sirianni agreed that situation will be fluid. There isn’t a set amount of time in place. But after what has been an up-and-down training camp for the second-year quarterback, it would be nice to see Hurts get into a rhythm and show more consistency than we’ve seen on the practice field. It will also be nice to see how he fits in this new offense and how much his legs will be utilized by Sirianni.

Aside from Hurts, here are 10 other players to watch.

Are they ready?

The Eagles have practiced for 11 days but these practices have been much shorter than the ones we saw under Doug Pederson. Most practices these days at the NovaCare Complex have been lasting around an hour and 15 minutes to an hour and a half. So it’s easy to question whether or not the Eagles are getting in enough work and will be prepared for this preseason opener. Sirianni would argue that the Eagles are being very efficient with these practices, cramming a lot of work into small windows; and that’s true based on what we’ve seen.

But are they ready? We’ll find out soon.

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