Philadelphia Eagles: Players With Most to Gain in Week 2 of the Preseason

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COMMENTARY | Following a 31-22 loss to the New England Patriots in their preseason debut, the Philadelphia Eagles found plenty of places in all three phases of the game in which they can improve.

That's the beauty of preseason. Every team around the league, no matter how good or bad, can find ways to improve itself overall and individually. Teams and players alike both use the preseason as a measuring stick for how well they managed their offseasons.

When looking ahead to Week 2 of the preseason, there are a handful of players on the Eagles' roster who could use this next game as a way to gain momentum heading into the final and most crucial weeks of the preseason.

Michael Vick, quarterback -- While the veteran dual-threat signal-caller threw only five passes in his first game under new head coach Chip Kelly, Vick looked solid in his short performance. Completing four passes on five attempts, including a 47-yard touchdown to DeSean Jackson in the first quarter, Vick seemed to have confidence in his throws, as well as his presence in the huddle.

At this point in the quarterback competition, it's safe to say that with another solid showing in Week 2, Vick could begin to shut the door on Nick Foles in the Eagles' quarterback race.

Chris Polk, running back - Polk has had one of the loudest camps down at the NovaCare Complex this summer, so it's no surprise that Polk could use Thursday's contest against the Carolina Panthers to propel him into serious contention for the second-string running back role against second-year back Bryce Brown.

Polk didn't necessarily translate the talents he's shown in practice thus far in the game vs. New England, but that could be more related to the fact that Chip Kelly has a deep stable of backs that he needs to take a look at before making the first roster cuts. Look for Polk to get more work against Carolina, as Kelly needs to start defining his regular-season depth chart.

Bennie Logan, defensive lineman -- Logan showed promise as an early contributor during his time on the field vs. New England last week, posting five tackles, including one for a loss and a sack. Logan has the versatility and skill-set to play either the 3-4 defensive end, or slide down and play as a three technique defensive tackle in passing situations in Kelly's hybrid 3-4 base defense.

If Logan can manage to stay relevant early and often against Carolina this Thursday, he could be looking at some serious playing time early in the regular season.

Jeff Maehl, wide receiver -- After losing starting wide receiver Jeremy Maclin for the entire 2013 season with a torn ACL, Chip Kelly needed to make a move. In a rare player-for-player trade, Kelly acquired the only 1,000-yard receiver he ever had during his time at Oregon in Jeff Maehl. Maehl was an undrafted free-agent pickup by the Houston Texans, and while he didn't make much of a contribution in Houston, Maehl knows Kelly's offense better than any receiver currently on the roster.

If, in fact, Maehl does play, Thursday's game vs. Carolina will go a long way in helping not only Maehl get comfortable to real-game repetition, but will also help alleviate some concerns Kelly had about the depth behind veteran receivers Desean Jackson, Jason Avant and Riley Cooper.

Bradley Fletcher, cornerback -- Fletcher was brought in this offseason to provide veteran depth and leadership in what is now a young and growing secondary. Gone are the days of Asante Samuel and Nnamdi Asomugha roaming the defensive backfields. Fletcher was hand-picked by Tom Brady as a target during the future Hall of Fame quarterback's time on the field last week -- and it's safe to say Brady won. While Fletcher didn't embarrass himself during his debut outing with the Eagles, he left a lot to be desired.

If the Eagles are going to attempt to seriously grow in year one under Kelly as a defensive unit, Fletcher is expected to be a big part of the transition from a 4-3 base defense to a hybrid 3-4. Fletcher will have his hands full on Thursday vs. Carolina, going up against veteran wide receivers Steve Smith and Brandon LaFell. Look for Fletcher to show more comfort in his second week in Kelly's new defensive scheme.

Chris is the Lead College Football writer for www.edraft.com and also runs the new NFL Draft site www.scoutingthedraft.com. Chris has covered college football, the NFL, and the NFL Draft for over 9 years for multiple media outlets. His work has been seen on SI.com and USA TODAY Sports. Chris has also been covering the Philadelphia Eagles extensively since 2009.

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