Here are our Metro Gold Stars from Thursday's game. Basically, these are the guys we thought played well and deserved game balls:
Jamar Chaney. The second-year linebacker answered the bell after everyone was slamming the linebackers. Chaney didn’t fill up the stat sheet – 1 tackle – but he was blanketing receivers all night, and even broke up a would-be TD toss.
Jarrad Page. The veteran hasn’t done anything spectacular, but he’s done everything right. Page, filling in at free safety with injured starter Nate Allen out, was solid both in coverage and helping out filling in running lanes. He should earn a roster spot, maybe as the starter.
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LeSean McCoy. You could make the argument that McCoy is the most valuable weapon on the team. He can run it up the gut or bounce it outside. And he’s even more dangerous when he catches the ball out of the backfield, a vital part of the West Coast offense.
Mike Patterson. The mere fact that the California stud came back and saw 13-14 snaps just three weeks removed from a seizure should be enough. The fact that he recorded a sack on the team’s first defensive series cemented it. “I was a little nervous at first,” he said. “But, it felt pretty good and I felt pretty happy to get a hit on him.”
Here are the guys that might get called into the coach's office:
Jason Kelce. Give some credit. After a shaky start, the rookie center stepped it up in the second quarter. And, yes, he was effective in run blocking. However, he just didn’t seem to have an overall command of the huddle. This job belongs to Jamaal Jackson and his veteran leadership.
DeSean Jackson. The pint-sized playmaker was targeted four times and held catchless by both Joe Haden and Sheldon Brown. He also seemed a bit tentative on an intended pass over the middle. Look, it’s only preseason … but it’s still interesting to note that he was a non-factor against a bad team.
Johnnie Lee Higgins. He was brought in to be a speedy, reliable alternative to DeSean Jackson on punt returns. Higgins has done little to warrant that role (one return for three yards Thursday) and the receivers already have a full house.
Andy Reid. We all know about the coach’s misuse of challenges. He already botched one in the first preseason game. Against Cleveland, he threw the red flag on a play that couldn’t be challenged and was penalized 15 yards. “I blew that one,” Reid said.