What I'll be watching: Jets-Eagles

August, 30, 2012
8/30/12
3:00
PM ET
The Philadelphia Eagles will kick off their final preseason game of 2012 at 6:35 pm ET on Thursday night against the New York Jets. Here's what I'll be watching...

Most closely: The running backs, I think. There aren't too many position battles on the Eagles' roster, but the one for third-string running back has been interesting between seventh-round pick Bryce Brown and undrafted Chris Polk. It looks to me like Brown has the edge as the better runner, but they like Polk as a blocker, and it's kept his chances alive. Can't imagine either of them would go unclaimed if released, so they're not going to be able to stash one on the practice squad and they'll need to decide which they like better.

On the other side of the ball: The safeties. Their starters are set with Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman, but backups O.J. Atowge and Jaiquawn Jarrett have shown little, and it's possible only one of them will be kept. Atogwe is the veteran who had trouble staying healthy last year in Washington. Jarrett is the second-round pick from 2011 who's been a disappointment so far. If one or both of them were to make an impression in tonight's game, it would help the Eagles feel better about their safety depth. If not, they could be in the market for a safety once other teams make their cuts Friday night.

If I think of it: Interested to watch quarterback Trent Edwards, who's scheduled to play the final three quarters in relief of Nick Foles. Can Edwards beat out the injured Mike Kafka for a roster spot? Has he already?... Who will get the defensive line snaps as the Eagles look to make decisions about how many linemen to keep?... Will Stanley Havili show enough to justify the Eagles keeping a fullback when they very rarely use one?

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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