Sheldon Brown, DeSean Jackson and Asante Samuel are used to postgame accolades. Sunday’s 38-10 thumping of the Carolina Panthers provided yet another glimpse into the firepower these guys provide each Sunday.
Winston Justice hasn’t been that lucky. For the last year and a half, Eagles fans, the media and every radio talk show host this side of Glen Beck has reminisced about the Osi Umenyiora six-sack attack in 2007 whenever they read the word “justice” in the newspaper.
Based on how well Justice has played this preseason and during Sunday’s game, he may finally receive due process from those analyzing his game tapes.
The fourth year offensive tackle played well, and you didn’t hear his name once on Sunday. That means no penalties, no big-time sacks surrendered. He won’t make anyone forget about the anchor of the line the last decade, Jon Runyan. On the flip side, nobody is clamoring about Shawn Andrews this morning either.
Reid said Justice had a chance to win the starting job; Andrews may want to give it a go this week, or Justice could very well secure the job.
Omar Gaither and rookie Macho Harris are two other Eagles who rose to the occasion against the Panthers as both took a step forward in Sean McDermott’s defense.
Gaither was awarded the starting MIKE backer’s job when Joe Mays handed it to him during training camp. The competition was expected to continue, but Mays was injured, and Gaither’s play today should keep him on the field in the coming weeks.
He recorded four tackles, .5 sacks and a fumble recovery. He won’t be punching any Pro Bowl tickets, but a few more weeks like this and he may even keep a starting job the entire season, something he hasn’t done the last two years when he lost spots to Stewart Bradley and Akeem Jordan.
Rookie saftey Macho Harris only had one tackle, but didn’t get burned on Sunday. That’s more than Quentin Demps has been able to say during his brief career. It’s still early, but Harris has played solid football since the start of training camp.
If these three guys can compete this way each week, three of the Eagles questions entering the fall may have been answered already.