Eagles observations: Preseason mercifully ends with embarrassing loss to Dolphins

Let’s cut to the chase: Thank God the preseason is over.

Imagine if they played four more games, and we had to sit through three more hours of Reid Sinnett throwing 2-yard passes to Jason Huntley and Davion Taylor missing tackles?

Hey, until the late 1970s, NFL teams played six preseason games. Imagine three more games from this?

Anyway, last we checked it was Dolphins 48, Eagles 10. Opening Day is two weeks away. It can’t get here soon enough.

Here are our 10 immediate takeaways from the Eagles’ preseason finale:

1. I don’t want to get too carried away by an assortment of second- and third-team backs getting burned by the Dolphins’ starting offense — I mean, K’Von Wallace on Tyreek Hill? Really? — but you’d like to see defensive guys competing for jobs and even playing time compete at a higher level than we’ve seen the last two weeks in Cleveland and Miami. That means wrapping up when being tackled, keeping your hands off the receiver when in good coverage, being sound on assignment … all the basics. I don’t care who you are or how far you are on the depth chart. You would think after a month of training camp, this group would be beyond what we saw. Really disappointing. Now, look, my expectations for the defense are not changing. I still expect this to be a top-10 unit and dramatically improved over last year. None of the starters played and a handful of reserves did not play. But some of the guys that played will have situational roles on this defense and other guys will probably have to play at some point due to injuries. And those who survive the final cuts will have to play much better than they did tonight in Miami.

2. The Eagles have a safety problem, and if that wasn’t obvious before the game, it certainly is now. K’Von Wallace looks lost out there, Jaquaski Tartt looks lost out there, and Andre Chachere has come back down to Earth after a fast start to camp, and let’s face it, he really is best suited to be a special teamer and emergency security. Marcus Epps has been very good and Anthony Harris has been adequate, but converted corner Josiah Scott (who didn’t play Saturday night) and undrafted rookie Reed Blankenship might be the best safeties on the roster. Honestly, I don’t think Wallace, Tartt or Chachere deserve to be in the 53, though maybe Chachere’s special teams ability makes him worth keeping. Maybe I’m crazy, but I’d take Epps, Harris, Scott and Blankenship. But I’d keep my eye on the waiver wire because this group just isn’t good enough.

3. I really like Blankenship, and there’s no question he’s earned a spot on the roster. He is quite smart, physical and athletic. Plays the game the right way. If Wallace or Tartt makes 53 over Blankenship, why even bother playing the preseason? Blankenship has consistently outperformed both.

4. Maybe I’m crazy, but I thought Davion Taylor played well last year in his six starts. He was active, around the ball, generally in the right place, confident player. But, yeah, he was terrible Saturday night, and he’s been terrible most of the last few weeks. He was a third-round pick two years ago, and I thought he made the team, but the way he’s been playing (and practicing)? I’m starting to have my doubts. Of course, the Eagles have theirs, too, because Taylor was out there late in the fourth quarter, still getting reps. If it’s my call? He has run away. But this is not my calling. And I think he’s on the team.

5. Man, I just don’t get the Reid Sinnett thing. at all. Yeah, he’s got a big arm, but there’s no way this guy is ever going to help the Eagles win football games, so can we just move on? He can’t play. If it were up to me, Carson Strong would have played half the game in Cleveland and the whole game in Miami because you paid this man $320,000 to sign here so you don’t want to watch it long? Maybe strong smell, but you do not want to find out? Strong finally entered the game Saturday night with 11 minutes left and threw three touchdown passes. He threw four all preseason. What the hell?

6. I really like the way Grant Calcaterra runs routes and catches the football. Considering he missed three weeks of training with a hamstring, he looked pretty good. I think concussions are the reason he fell to the 6th round, but his last concussion was almost three years ago and both the Eagles and Calcaterra and their doctors are confident he is not in any additional danger. I still think Jack Stoll will get the bulk of the reps when the Eagles play 12-man, but Calcaterra is such a polished receiver — and ran 4.62 at 6-4, 245 pounds — I think there will be a role for him. If I’m Howie Roseman, I’ll keep Calcaterra at 53.

7. I like everything I’ve seen from Jordan Davis in practice the last month. You can’t help but notice his power, speed, athleticism and effort every day in practice, but so far the production hasn’t transferred to games. And I think that shouldn’t be too much of a concern at this point, but it’s something to keep an eye on because the Eagles need Davis to be a part of that d-line rotation, especially if Javon Hargrave isn’t ready for the day. opening. I don’t project Fletcher Cox more than 50 to 60 percent of the snaps, and Davis will have to play 25 to 30 snaps a game at a high level. The skill is there, he just needs to put it all together when it counts.

8. That 67-yard run was nice, but let’s be honest: How much will Jason Huntley help this team? He hasn’t caught the ball well this summer, he’s a tough runner but doesn’t find the hole particularly well and isn’t very quick. He’s an okay throwback, but not special. Huntley was in the 53 all last year, but I think the Eagles can do better if they choose to carry four backs. Along with safety, running back is another position I’d keep an eye on on Tuesday.

9. What about Devon Allen on special teams? Last week we saw his speed on that 55-yard heave, and Saturday night he really lit up coming down the field on coverage teams. It would take some time for Allen to get comfortable after not playing football for six years, but he looked noticeably better each week. The amazing thing about Allen is that he’s actually a physical player. He has no problem mixing it up whether he’s running pass patterns or running downfield on special teams. Is it too late for him to make the list? I am not sure. There’s no question he makes special teams a better unit. And if he’s at this point just a few weeks into a six-year layoff, it seems to me he has a chance to be an elite special teams — and route specialist — pretty soon. He’s still a luxury on the roster, but I do know one thing: Allen would help this team more than Jalen Reagor.

10. Stupid observation only I would notice: both Eagles no. 66 had clumsy recovery. Matt Leo, No. 66 on defense, recovered Lynn Bowden’s fumble in the second quarter, and center Cameron Tom, No. 66 on offense, recovered Reid Sinnett’s fumble when he was sacked by Channing Tindall in the fourth quarter.

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