PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — After going against teammates the past two weeks, the Eagles are ready to face a different opponent.
The Eagles will get their chance on Friday night when they battle the Bears in Chicago. It will be the preseason opener for Chip Kelly’s squad and players such as Quarterback Mark Sanchez are eager to see how they will perform in live game action.
“It’ll be nice just to see a different colored uniform,” said Sanchez. “To see just different color helmets should clean things up. There are no coaches standing on the field. Just the referees and the other team.”
Expectations are high for the Eagles this season and fans are hoping to get a sampling of success during the team’s four preseason games. However, Cornerback Malcolm Jenkins says there is more to the preseason contests than wins and losses.
“The one good thing about the preseason is that is doesn’t count,” Jenkins said. “Whether you have a good preseason or a terrible preseason, it doesn’t count. It gives you an opportunity to see what works and what doesn’t, who can play what positions and who can’t. It’s all a big evaluation.”
Chip Kelly expects his top unit to play about 10-15 snaps on Friday night. It will also be a big night for the Eagles’ rookies, but Kelly says all of his newcomers are going into the first game with a clean slate.
“I hope they rise to the occasion and go out there and rip it up,” said Kelly. “It doesn’t matter if you were the first pick or if you were an undrafted free agent. We don’t have any different expectations for Marcus (Smith) than we do for Beau Allen. It’s really a chance to get to see guys in live action with officials in different settings.”
The Eagles will also get their first taste of tackling to the ground when they take on the Bears. After going through two weeks of practices with minimal contact, players like Tight End Zach Ertz are ready to be tested on Friday.
“I want to get hit,” Ertz said. “I’m looking forward to that first hit. Hopefully, I’m delivering that hit and not getting my clock cleaned, but it’s going to be fun.”
Kelly said Jeremy Maclin may play on Friday, but Riley Cooper and Nolan Carroll are expected to miss the game as they recover from injuries.
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