Eagles-Bengals: Five Players to Watch Friday Night

Written By Bob Cunningham On Friday, August 20, 2010

Mallett is about three good games from a roster spot.

For all the talk about getting rid of some of the preseason and how much fans hate it, I enjoy the preseason almost as much as I enjoy regular season games. Not as much, of course, but there's just something about being able to see exactly what the coaches are seeing in their evaluations of a guy that just makes me giddy as a schoolgirl.

Every year there are a few guys that everyone is watching during these exhibition games, but this season all eyes seem to be squarely on Kevin Kolb and what he's doing. That's all well and good, but for me, it's the bubble guys who are truly interesting to watch.

These are the guys with their backs against the wall who are facing the realization that unless they show something on the field, they're going to get shown the door and, come September, could help cause a spike in the country's unemployment rate.

So, with that in mind, let's take a look at five guys to be mindful of in Act II of the Eagles' 2010 preseason, in no particular order.

1. Mike McGlynn

I've said repeatedly I believe McGlynn should be the guy at center and with Nick Cole's absence it could become a reality. Cole is falling behind every day he has to miss, and McGlynn seems to be taking full advantage.

McGlynn had a very good opening preseason game and, if he can build on that performance, he could put an end to the battle at center pretty quickly.

2. Martell Mallett

Like McGlynn, Mallett is trying to capitalize off an impressive first game and parlay that into a job. McGlynn is in no real danger of getting cut, but Mallett has certainly not been afforded that type of job security. With guys like Charles Scott, Eldra Buckley, and J.J. Arrington all fighting for the same job, Mallett is going to have to be special to earn a spot on the final roster.

3. Chad Hall

A lot has been said about Hall here and anywhere else discussing the goings-on around the Eagles, and for good reason. Hall is a guy who has shown some flashes in camp and the Eagles seem ready to take DeSean Jackson off the punt return unit if they can find a suitable replacement.

Hall will be afforded every opportunity to be that guy, but he's got to be better than he was last week if he wants a chance to do what so many think is impossible and wind up on the final roster.

4. Austin Howard

I would be lying if I said I knew much about this kid coming into camp. All I remember is being at Lehigh University early on and checking the little card they gave you with everyone's name and number wondering who in the world this big, nasty guy was.

Howard's got a classic mean to him that would quickly endear him with this city and just enough raw talent to perhaps warrant a roster spot as Jason Peters' backup. He'll have to continue to knock some people around, but all signs point to a roster spot for this kid.

5. Clay Harbor

When talking about pleasant surprises, it takes a blind man not to mention Harbor. He caught everything that came his way during Training Camp and seems to have picked up the offense very quickly. He was the Birds only non-BCS draft pick, so learning an NFL offense was definitely a concern everyone had with Harbor entering camp.

He and Cornelius Ingram (another guy to watch) will be battling it out to see who will be Brent Celek's backup, but it's likely that both guys will see time in certain packages in certain areas of the field. Harbor, however, could be a surprise difference-maker this season and, if you're blessed with DVR or TiVo, make sure you rewind and watch this kid when possible.

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