Preseason football is growing increasingly worthless, but since they’re playing each other in the opener, the Eagles and Browns took great pains to conceal plans in the usually important third preseason game.
Those involved say you can glean some clues from the preseason, but only in terms of personnel, rather than scheme. For instance, David Sims was a Browns safety during the preseason, but was acquired by the Eagles last week. He said the message there was to reveal nothing.
“There was some starter-on-starter action; I think both sides probably were a little more vanilla because we’re playing two weeks apart,” Eagles guard Evan Mathis said, via Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “You can’t rely on it too much.”
Of course, both sides have a pretty good feel for each other anyway, regardless the Aug. 24 preseason game.
Aside from Sims switching locker rooms, the Browns top three coaches (head coach Pat Shurmur, offensive coordinator Brad Childress and defensive coordinator Dick Jauron) are all former Eagles assistants.
That led the Eagles to do a lot of their “dress rehearsal” preseason stuff in the second game against the Patriots, and only sent starters out for a quarter.
It also matters that a number of key players wree absent that night, including Eagles quarterback Michael Vick and defensive end Jason Babin and Browns running back Trent Richardson weren’t even out there.