Kolb looks for a big opening…and it may be in the Pack’s secondary…

Packers vs. Eagles
Sun., Sept. 12,  4:15 PM ET
Radio: 94 WYSP, Sirius 127

Eagles QB Kevin Kolb would like nothing more than to come up huge on Opening Day by exploiting the Packers’ banged-up defensive backfield…He’ll be aiming at undrafted rookie CB Sam Shields (below), who spent his first three seasons at the University of Miami as a wide receiver before switching to cornerback his senior year…Shields replaces the injured CB Brandon Underwood, and will try to hold down the nickel back role for the Packers on Sunday.

Cornerback Sam Shields is on the hot seat and he knows it…and so does Kevin Kolb… As the No. 3 cornerback due to injury to Brandon Underwood, and with DB Al Harris still on the 6-week PUP list,  Shields will play starter’s minutes — last year the Packers used their nickel package on almost 60 percent of their defensive snaps — and Kolb and Andy Reid can be expected to go right at Shields, matching WR’s DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin against him as much as possible.

Shields is one of two rookies starting in the Packers’ secondary, along with third-round draft pick S Morgan Burnett. The Eagles probably will target Burnett as well, though he’s had the advantage of working as a starter from the first day he joined the team last spring, and is a little easier to protect at safety.

Shields, on the other hand, is more raw than most rookie cornerbacks because he didn’t play the position until his senior season at the University of Miami. Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette describes Shields as “the surprise of the Packers’ training camp”, because despite his brief time at the position, Shields kept making attention-grabbing plays, including several interceptions in practice and two more in the preseason games.

Kolb needs to acquire a veteran’s nose for exploiting a rookie to the maximum, and there’s no better opportunity to begin than against the Packers with the current state of their secondary. Shields knows what’s coming at him, too…he understands how the league works . He knows he has solid vet cornerback Tramon Williams on the other side, and nobody wants to pick on the great Charles Woodson. So Shields is the guy that’s left…

Other dramatic angles on this nationally televised match-up:

—-This game commemorates the 1960 NFL Championship win by the Eagles over the Pack…and the Birds will be flying around in their retro Kelly green uniforms and retro helmets:
This is my favorite wing design of all time for the Eagles’ helmet…it’s a clean single-color look with a definte advantage over the current three-color wing design (see Kolb’s helmet in the top photo), in my opinion… the current wing design is less identifiable, less intimidationg, and too “SeaHawk-y”….The old 1960 wing design is less “busy” and speaks more to a grind-and-pound mentality…I’m wondering, if the Birds do manage to pull off a big win this Sunday, will they keep wearing the retro’s? Hmmm…

—-Looks like center Jamaal Jackson (coming off a 9-month rehab of ACL injury) is going to give it a go as a starter on Sunday…although that could change by game-time…

—-I forecast the Brimidity Index for this game as 40%….  ( “Brimidity” is a term I coined to describe GK Brizer’s metric measurement of Eagles Fan Game Enjoyment probability, which is the ratio of Anxiety to Entertainment…)

—-Our Eagles Eye fan-of-the-game is Tyler Doney, who will now display for you what a 40% Brimidity Index looks like as he views the game from his couch at home:
Here, of course, is what Tyler looks like during a 90% Brimidity attack:

Enjoy the game, and pray for a “laffer”…and here’s the guy you should dial up with that prayer, in the spirit of the Commemoration of the Eagles’ 1960 Championship win over the Pack:
Pete Retzlaff (TE), 1956-1966….and still going strong at age 79…


Thomas Jackson

About Thomas Jackson

Jax Sports Media has been reporting on NFL teams in the mid-Atlantic region since 2006. Thomas Jackson is its senior writer. Tom started covering the Philadelphia Eagles for the MVN Network in 2007. In 2009 he joined the Bloguin Network. He now also covers the Baltimore Ravens.