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Philadelphia Eagles Against Pittsburgh Steelers Third Preseason Game: Players to Watch

August 21st, 2014 at 12:13 PM
By Nick Gill

With the third preseason game considered the dress rehearsal for the regular season, the Philadelphia Eagles will host the Pittsburgh Steelers tonight. It will be important for the first team offense and defense to get extended reps as well as the players vying for a roster spot to make an impression. Here are the players to watch for the Eagles.

Running Backs

The recent trade the Eagles made to acquire running back Kenjon Barner has added competition at the position. He should get his first action with the team and will be given his first opportunity to impress the coaching staff. He is battling for the third running back spot with Chris Polk, Matthew Tucker, and Henry Josey. Much will be determined tonight to see who gets the carries and playing time behind LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles, who are expected to see more action.

Wide Receivers

This is another position where the Eagles have plenty of competition. Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin are expected to play tonight which will give them the chance to develop timing with quarterback Nick Foles. It will also be interesting to see Cooper, Maclin and Jordan Matthews playing together. Matthews is looking to build off a nine catch, 104 yard performance against New England. The rest of this group is fighting for roster positions. Ifeanyi Momah, Arrelious Benn, and Jeff Maehl are all players to key an eye on to see how they perform. Benn is coming off a strong performance with a blocked punt and touchdown catch last week.

Defensive Line

Vinny Curry has played extremely well in the preseason and is making a case to be a significant part of the defensive line rotation. Another strong performance, especially against the Steelers first team offense, will be a huge boost for Curry. The second team defensive line including Damion Square, Beau Allen, Brandon Bair have all had bright spots in the preseason. They are all competing to make the final roster.

Secondary

The Eagles should get Nolan Carroll back in action against the Steelers. He has missed the previous two preseason game with a groin injury. Head coach Chip Kelly is anxious to see what he can do in a live action game, especially because he was having a great training camp before the injury. He has a chance to be a major part of the Eagles cornerback position during the regular season. Curtis Marsh is another corner to watch for. He struggled against the Patriots getting beat on two touchdown where he did not locate the football in coverage. He needs to bounce back in a big way.

Kickers

Kickers are never the most interesting players to talk about, but the Eagles are going to have to make a decision about the position. Alex Henery was 23-28 last season for Philly. The team has brought in steady competition to push him including trading for Cody Parkey yesterday. Henery has not been as consistent as the Eagles had hoped and missed a 47 yard field goal last week. The Eagles are sending a clear message by acquiring kicking options that Henery has to step up.

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Tags: Alex Henery, Arrelious Benn, Football, Jeremy Maclin, Kenjon Barner, NFL, Nick Foles, Nolan Carroll, Philadelphia, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, preseason, Riley Cooper

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