|Eagles have room for improvement following lopsided loss|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 14 August 2007 14:29|
The defending NFC East champions struggled in almost every facet during a 29-3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in their preseason opener Monday night. Nearly everyone played poorly, from the starters to backups to long shots competing for roster spots.
``All in all, it was not a very good performance all the way around, from the first unit down to the last unit,'' coach Andy Reid said. ``The only positive was that we got to see some young guys play, and we'll be able to evaluate them and see how they did. I saw a couple performances I thought were decent with some of the young players. I'll watch the film and make sure I was seeing the right things.''
The Eagles have plenty to work on when they hit the field at their practice facility in South Philly on Wednesday. They'll have only two days of work before hosting Carolina on Friday night.
Donovan McNabb is expected to make his debut against the Panthers. The five-time Pro Bowl quarterback sat out the opener, but should see his first action since tearing a knee ligament in Week 11 last season.
With McNabb under center, perhaps the first-team offense can manage more than the three first downs and zero points it got in two possessions behind A.J. Feeley against the Ravens.
``You've got to move the chains and get more first downs and put points on the board,'' Feeley said. ``You'd like to come out there with that first group and score right away. That's why we've got to get better. We've got to come back (Wednesday) and go back to work.''
The revamped defense looked similar to the one that couldn't stop the Saints in a second-round playoff loss in New Orleans seven months ago. Steve McNair drove the Ravens 93 yards into the end zone on Baltimore's first possession, converting three third-down situations in the process.
Kyle Boller replaced McNair on the second drive, and Philly's first unit held the Ravens to a three-and-out series.
``We did OK, especially for the first game. We got them into situations where we wanted to get them in third-and-long,'' middle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter said. ``We just need to get off the field on third down.''
On special teams, Jeremy Bloom did well in his bid to secure a job as the returner. A former U.S. Olympic skier who spent last season on injured reserve with a hamstring injury, Bloom averaged 21.8 yards on five kick returns and returned two punts for 29 yards, with three fair catches.
Rookie quarterback Kevin Kolb's debut wasn't quite as impressive, though the second-round pick certainly showed he can handle a hard hit. Kolb was sacked twice and endured a few other shots while playing the entire second half. He finished 11-of-20 for 77 yards.
``They gave me a chance to make some quick throws,'' Kolb said. ``I did some stuff all right. I need to slow things down at the line and take a better look at the defense. It's my responsibility to get the ball out quicker.''