Vick, starters expected to play first quarter vs. Ravens
By Associated Press
BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Michael Vick and the rest of the starters are expected to play one quarter when the Philadelphia Eagles open the preseason against against the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night (watch on NFL Network Thursday at 11 p.m. ET Thursday).
Eagles coach Andy Reid has a simple rotation. He’s going to play the first unit in the first quarter, the backups in the second and the third-string in the third with the rest of the players fighting for roster spots finishing up in the fourth.
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Vick won’t have starting wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. Jackson just reported to camp on Monday after holding out. Maclin still remains sidelined by an undisclosed illness. Several others won’t play, including defensive tackles Mike Patterson and Trevor Laws. Patterson had a seizure during practice last Wednesday, and was later diagnosed with a brain condition.
Veteran Jason Avant and second-year pro Riley Cooper will start at wide receiver in place of Jackson and Maclin.
“I’m comfortable with those guys and we’re going to go out and try to put on a good performance,” Vick said.
The game marks the debut of several newcomers, including Pro Bowl cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, quarterback Vince Young and running back Ronnie Brown. Young will play the second quarter.
Considering the lengthy NFL lockout and the new rules for practice, this won’t be a typical preseason opener. Players have been at training camp less than two weeks and free agents only started practicing last week.
“I think for the short period of time that they’re in, they’re going hard,” Eagles coach Andy Reid said. “They know they don’t have a lot of plays. They’re going to get in and try to show, and I think for those younger players, or the veteran players trying to make the team, or a team, you get an A-effort for wherever they’re at right now condition-wise and knowledge of the offense or defense-wise. Everybody is going to play in this game, so that gives them an opportunity, if they don’t make this team, then at least they have some tape out there and some work they’ve shown on tape that they might be able to get picked up by another football team. So it’s important that they give it their best shot.”
Eagles defensive coordinator Juan Castillo will coach his first game since switching from the offensive side, where he coached the linemen for more than a decade.
“I don’t think anybody really game plans a game,” Castillo said. “It’s more of we’ll go in and do the things that we’ve been practicing and then try to match up their stuff. Really, they have not watched any tape; we really don’t game plan. All we want to do is really what it allows us to do is kind of refresh and go through all the coverages and blitzes we’ve been practicing. Kind of like little review, really.”
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press