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August 19, 2016

Eagles Links: The offense is downright offensive

After last August’s glorious Eagles performance in Green Bay, we know that preseason isn’t always a great indicator of regular-season success. That said, there isn’t too much wrong with a 17-0 win in Pittsburgh, even with the Steelers missing Big Ben and most of his top weapons.

That first-team offense, though… (via CBS Sports’ Will Brinson)

After piling up 188 yards in Week 1 against the Buccaneers, the Eagles picked up right where they left off on Thursday, generating 45 total yards through the first three drives of the night. Bradford was under pressure early. Ryan Mathews wasn't finding any room to run. The Eagles offensive line wasn't able to hold off the Steelers pass rushers. The first-team wide receivers were missing in action.

The first play of the fourth drive was the most explosive of the game ... and it was called back because of offensive pass interference. On the next play, with Philly running the two-minute offense, Nelson Agholor hauled in a nice leaping grab on a potentially interceptable ball from Bradford. He followed it up by immediately dropping a easy opportunity on a crossing route.

Jim Schwartz’s defense will not be playing Landry Jones every week (if so, we might have a dynasty on our hands), and they will not be getting four interceptions every week. In the regular season, the offense is going to have to show some life.

Penalties and drops were a “drive killers” last night in Pittsburgh, writes Bleeding Green Nation’s Brandon Gowton:

67 total offensive plays for only 298 yards and one touchdown. Not so great. Now, it's certainly true the Eagles were going vanilla on offense. They play the Steelers in Week 3 and they don't want to tip their hand too much in a meaningless game. Still, there were execution errors. Nelson Agholor and Josh Huff had drops. Zach Ertz had a bad penalty that wiped out a big gain from Rueben Randle. Sam Bradford continues to check down the heck out of the ball without ever really looking to go deep. As expected, it's not an overly inspiring unit.

In case you missed it at PhillyVoice:

1.    10 awards: Did Cody Parkey order Donnie Jones’ hit on Caleb Sturgis?

2.    Good D, Bad O: That first-team offense only has one more chance to figure things out before the games start to matter.

3.    Observations: Nolan Carroll and Paul Turner had big nights.

4.    Over-unders: Not sure how many close-up shots there were of Carson Wentz, but Nelson Agholor hit the over on catches.

Other Eagles news, notes and analysis from around the web:

NFL free-agent market reset: John Clayton, ESPN Insider

Clayton has the Eagles as the best fit (or tied for the best fit) for four of the top-15 FAs: G Louis Vasquez, WR Brian Hartline, LB Stephen Tulloch, T William Beatty. Here’s what he says about Beatty:

Beatty has been on the workout circuit. Versatility and experience work on his behalf. He can play right or left tackle. The potential Lane Johnson suspension has the Eagles studying him.

NFL Training Camp Snaps: Observations from the road as the regular season nears: Don Banks, Sports Illustrated

Banks saw the writing on the wall:

Just want to say good luck to veteran Eagles radio announcers Merrill Reese and Mike Quick when it comes time to drop the name of Philly rookie defensive tackle Aziz Shittu into their game call. I would advise rolling that one out slowly, very slowly, at least until it gets a little bit more comfortable tripping off the tongue.

He discovered MVP Joe Flacco, now works for the Eagles: Zach Berman, Inquirer

A good look at the career path of Joe Douglas, who now heads the Eagles scouting department:

The life wasn't glamorous. He described arriving at one school at 7 a.m., staying until 4 p.m., driving to another school 4 to 6 hours away, and then getting back to the hotel to type his report for 2 or 3 hours. And it was the same the next day. He used his keen focus on the principles he learned in his 20s about what to look for in a player and understanding how that player fits within a system. If he found the right player, it wouldn't be known until years later.

"As a college scout, there's very little you do to affect the Sunday you're playing," Douglas said. "You're affecting future Sundays."

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann