PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s only the preseason, but the Eagles are hoping to get closer to their regular season mode on Thursday night.
The Eagles will host Pittsburgh in their third preseason game of the summer. The Eagles lost their first two preseason games in Chicago and New England, but poor execution is troubling the players more than the final score of two meaningless games. Linebacker Trent Cole says Thursday’s game is an opportunity for everyone to get in sync for the regular season.
“Every unit has to be clicking to work,” said Cole. “These preseason games are going to help us out in getting all of the things in order and to get everybody on the right track.”
Just like the rest of the NFL, the Eagles use a limited playbook in the preseason. However, Tight End Zach Ertz says a smaller amount of plays isn’t an excuse for the penalties and the turnovers that have plagued his unit through the first two games.
“It is hiding a lot of stuff,” Ertz said. “It’s a pretty vanilla game plan. We’re not really game planning for an opponent, but we think that we’re better than a lot of teams in the NFL. In the first two games, we haven’t shown it. We’ve made too many mistakes on the offensive side and that’s unacceptable in our eyes.”
Chip Kelly knows his team can play better on Thursday than it did in its previous two games. However, Kelly wants his players to focus on the simple parts of the game when they take the field against the Steelers.
“I just want to see guys play,” said Kelly. “I don’t think we have any preconceived notions that it has to be this, this, this or this. It’s just to go out and play and get valuable reps. You’d like to get in situations, but sometimes you can and sometimes you can’t.”
Thursday will also be the chance for several players to move up on the depth chart. Earl Wolff and Nate Allen have been locked in a battle for one of the starting safety spots. Wolff knows the job could be won or lost by either one of them against the Steelers, but he is trying to keep his focus on the field.
“It’s always my goal,” Wolff said. “I’m not exactly sure what they’re thinking. All I know is I’m going to go out there and do all that I can do, play my game, and basically just move on from there. I can only control what I can control.”
Kelly would not reveal his rotation for Thursday’s game, but said he will have is set up on Wednesday after talking with his coaches. Kelly said Running Back LeSean McCoy is fine after dealing with a slight toe injury.
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