By Peter Gleason
Eagles fans, members of the media and, if truth be told, most players are cheering the cutdown in exhibition games from four to two.
But not everyone.
“I know that when I played, I would not have made the team if I didn’t have the chance to play in the preseason games. I actually didn’t make the team at first,” Eagles Hall of Famer Seth Joyner, an eighth-round draft pick in 1986 who was released at the initial roster cutdown and added to the active roster during the season, told the team’s web site. He then, of course, went on to have a brilliant NFL career through 1998, finishing career as a Super Bowl Champion with Denver.
“Preseason is where you show what you can do in a game situation. Some players, they show you flashes in practice and then it’s completely different in a game. Preseason games are where you make the roster. Or don’t.”
Said former Eagles defensive tackle Hollis Thomas, signed as an undrafted free agent from Northern Illinois in 1996 who made the roster that season and played 178 games in 13 NFL seasons: “Without preseason games, I would not have made the Eagles. The coaches didn’t know who I was. They needed to see me in preseason games. It’s that simple.”