Eagles’ most important preseason battles become apparent during Thursday’s practice

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ATLANTA, GA – NOVEMBER 06: Atlanta Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota (1) watches the game clock run out from the sidelines during the 2nd half of Sunday afternoon NFL game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Los Angeles Chargers on November 6, 2022 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire)

The Philadelphia Eagles are now just two days away from their preseason clash against the Baltimore Ravens. Practice was naturally a little tamer than usual today with the team preparing to travel to Baltimore this weekend, but that did provide a lot of role players with an opportunity to gain snaps with the first team.

The Atlanta to Philly connection

One of the big beneficiaries from today’s practice was Marcus Mariota. The former Falcons QB has had a topsy-turvy Summer up to this point, but looked good on Thursday, specifically when targeting Olamide Zaccheaus.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, however. The two played last season together in Atlanta where Zaccheaus garnered the attention of Howie Roseman. He was one of Mariota’s most trusted targets, so it was only a matter of time before the two started to click in Philadelphia. This should bode well for their preseason hopes.

Zaccheaus needs a strong preseason a little more than Mariota, who should already be entrenched as the Eagles’ QB2. The former Falcons wideout is in competition with Quez Watkins for the WR3 spot and if he can ball out over the next month or so, Nick Sirianni may have no other choice than to ride the hot hand.

Eagles Secondary standouts

Elsewhere, Josh Jobe stood out in the secondary. The Eagles are absolutely stacked at corner and preseason will be vital in working out who the top backups will be behind Slay and Bradberry. Josh Jobe figures to be an early leader, but rookie Kelee Ringo has also had a strong Summer and will be in contention for some rotational snaps too.

Linebacker flux

Nakobe Dean was back at practice today which is good news. Now, the fun begins. Nicholas Morrow and Christian Elliss now have more than just each other to worry about following Howie Roseman’s aggressive move to bring in both Zach Cunningham and Myles Jack. Morrow and Elliss retained some first-team exposure today and are bound to see plenty of snaps against the Ravens.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 02: Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Nakobe Dean (17) enters the field during training camp on August 2, 2022 at the Novacare Complex in Philadelphia, PA (Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire)

There’s a lot of flexibility at the LB spot and versatility will likely be the name of the game along with tackling security and overall speed. Elliss has been the most consistent standout at the position thus far, but he’ll need to carry that momentum into Baltimore if he wants to push for a bigger role.

Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire