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Now that legendary running back Brian Westbrook is no longer with the team, the door is ajar for 2009 second-round pick LeSean McCoy to emerge onto the scene in his second year with the Philadelphia Eagles. The former Pitt Panther showed more than enough last year to convince Andy Reid and the Eagles coaching staff that he could be entrusted with the primary rushing duties in 2010.
McCoy joined the programming on WIP in Philadelphia on Tuesday to talk about being named the starter heading into the regular season, why he thinks he’s ready to excel in the new role, what Kevin Kolb has brought to the Eagles offense so far this offseason and preseason, and why he thinks teams and fans shouldn’t sleep on the Eagles. Below are a few choice excerpts from the interview.
How he feels heading into this year as the featured running back:
“I feel pretty confident knowing the supporting cast I have around me, a lot of great guys. We have a high-powered offense so I feel real confident. I think if we also get these younger men in we are going to be unstoppable.”
Whether he is going to be able to pick up blitzes similar to how Brian Westbrook would:
“Definitely. I think the biggest thing with Brian is he is so smart. He knew the game and that stuff helped him out so much. He knew the game so well and when those guys blitzed he knew where they were coming from it never really fooled him. When he was here that was one of the biggest things that he was teaching me so it was kind of great having a guy like that around to be able to kind of see things through his eyes, pick his brain a little bit and learn from him. So now when I watch tape and kind of prepare for games, it is Brian did it.”
What he can say to assure the fans that this team hasn’t taken a step back:
“I mean the whole Eagles franchise and history we have always been a good team. I think you have got to have confidence in the coaching staff to make these changes, I think for the better. You will see. You will find out. Just have confidence is us, man. We are them same birds.”
The Philadelphia Eagles announced today that rookie DE Ricky Sapp underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his right knee today. The surgery cleaned out tissue that was likely left after he partially tore his ACL in that knee while in college.
Sapp was placed on injured reserve about a week ago and will miss the 2010 season.
The Eagles announced today that they’ve placed rookie DE Ricky Sapp on injured reserve. Sapp will undergo knee surgery and miss the entire season.
In all likelihood, the injury probably saved Sapp a spot on the team for next year. He’s failed to impress this summer and looked like a longshot to make the roster.
In his place, the Eagles signed free agent DE Pannel Egboh. The 6-8, 227 pound DE was an undrafted free agent in 2009 and has bounced around in the 49ers and Texans practice squads. The Eagles released this info about Ebgoh.
A four-year letterman at Stanford University, Egboh appeared in 40 career games (36 starts), tallying 98 tackles, 15.5 sacks and three forced fumbles. He was selected to play in Texas vs. The Nation All-Star Game and the East-West Shrine All-Star following his senior season in 2008.
On Monday, wide receiver DeSean Jackson and cornerback Ellis Hobbs were named the team’s starting return men for the 2010 season. It was more or less assumed that the sure-handed and elusive Jackson would be responsible for the punt returning duties, but it was less clear who head coach Andy Reid would name as the primary kickoff returner to start the year. And Reid explained the thought process:
“Well, [Jackson] loves that part of it. Both he and [CB Ellis] Hobbs enjoy doing the return stuff. I’ve kind of held Hobbs out and given [S Quintin Demps] an opportunity back there to do something, and [WR] Chad [Hall] an opportunity. But, both of them enjoy that part of the game, so I’ll probably end up letting both of them do that.
Some fans have expressed concern that putting your starters, especially one as valuable as Jackson might not be wort the the risk. Personally, I don’t understand that logic. There’s only 16 games in an NFL season(for now), you can’t afford to not go all out to win every single one. If you aren’t letting your best punt returner return punts then you aren’t going all out to win. DeSean Jackson has game changing ability as a return man, if the Eagles lose a close game he might have been able to influence with a big return, then the fact that he may stayed healthy isn’t going to mean much.
The Eagles pulled off a minor trade today sending rookie RB turned FB Charles Scott to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for rookie CB Jorrick Calvin. Scott, who the Eagles took 200th overall out of LSU failed to make an impact at Lehigh or in preseason and was most likely set to be cut by the end of the week. However, when Arizona lost Nehemiah Broughton to an ACL injury, they decided to swing a trade for Scott. Ironically, the player Arizona sent in return was taken just one pick later in the 2010 NFL Draft.
Calvin's best shot to make the Eagles 53 man roster will be as a return man, where he's shown some ability.
"This guy has return ability ... and you’re always looking for corners," said Eagles general manager Howie Roseman. "It’s a hard-to-find position. We felt like it was an opportunity to bring a guy in and see what he has."
None of the Eagles return men have really distinguished themselves so far this preseason and if he turned in a solid performance against the Jets, he very well might find himself a roster spot. If not, there's always the chance he lands on practice squad.
Today, the Eagles held their final practice of the year at Lehigh University and closed their 2010 training camp. Head coach Andy Reid said he thinks the team built a good foundation in their time at Lehigh.
“I think that built a foundation. In particular, a young group, and I think they need to be introduced to what the National Football League is all about. It’s faster, there’s more pressure put on you mentally and physically than what you had at the college level, and there’s no better place to figure all that out than right here. I’d rather have them figure it out here then when they get in the games they’re not worried about their conditioning or the plays that they’ve already studied, that they can go in and play football. It works into our favor when [GM] Howie [Roseman] and I have to sit down and have to make an evaluation on the players. We have a good base from practice and from the games. We can make smart decisions here.”
Reid said he was impressed with the performance of the thirteen rookies at camp this year.
“I told the team. I’ve been impressed with the energy and the work level and the effort that’s been put in. How they’ve handled themselves up here. And then the young guys have been very impressive, the draft picks, and how they’ve picked things up. Now, I give credit to the coaches and I give credit to the players that have been here that open up themselves to the young guys, even though it’s competition there, they’re not afraid to help them out. It’s a smart group that picked things up quickly.”
The team spent longer than usual at camp this year, an extra 200 plays by Reid’s estimation. So far, they seem to have escaped relatively unscathed and avoided any major injuries. Any camp that closes with everyone intact is a good one…
The Eagles play their second preseason game Friday night against the Bengals in Cincinnati.
A quick feel good story because, hey, he may not be with the team much longer. But for now, Anthony Scirrotto is living out his dream trying to make an NFL team. The former Penn State and western Pennsylvania product may be an extreme long shot to make the squad at wide receiver, but he’s not worried about anything but taking advantage of every day he has in camp.
What makes his story compelling is that Scirrotto bypasses a chance to play professional baseball a year ago in order to continue working towards his dream of playing in the NFL.
“It comes down to this is my first priority – football,” Scirrotto said. “It’s the sport I loved the most since I was in high school and in youth programs. Baseball is a great opportunity for me, but it’s pretty much the backup plan of backup plans.”
Whether or not this is his only chance at catching on with a team in the league is to be determined, but he insists that for now he’s just enjoying the moment.
“As long as I’m out here, I’m playing and I’m participating, it doesn’t matter if I’m practicing or active,” he said. “I just love being around the guys. I love being in this atmosphere. I just love this game. As long as I’m participating, as long as I’m around, I’m not even thinking about baseball.”
While they were only on the field for six plays in the first preseason game, many people took note of how active and physical the Eagles’ corners were. We even saw the “tackling challenged” Asante Samuel wrap up and bring down a big TE… Eagles defensive coordinator Sean McDermott was asked about what seems to be Samuel’s new dedication to hitting & tackling.
“Asante is a pro and he’s driven, in my mind, by being the best and the best that he can be. I think he realized that he needed to get in the weight room, which he has, and add muscle to his body, which he has. To me, he looks like he’s added five to six pounds of muscle. I can’t confirm that right now because I don’t know where he is, but I believe his weight was up about five or six pounds. When he came back in the spring, when I saw him for the first time since February or January there, [I knew] that he had been working hard. That’s to his credit.”
He was also asked whether he thought Ellis Hobbs seemed to playing with a chip on his shoulder.
“I really do. I would imagine when you’re in a situation like Ellis went through last year, not being able to be on the field, going through a significant injury that he went through, you see both sides of the game and how quickly things can be taken away in this league, both as a player and as a coach, for all of us. Whether it was that, or just how he is, and I think it’s a little bit of how he is, as well, an extremely driven individual, extremely aggressive, and then you look at the physical attribute. He’s quick, can burst, and loves to play the game. Those are all great qualities to have, especially in a corner.”
If the Eagles corners play like they did Friday night they’ll consider that position a strength this year… but six plays against a team who can’t really throw the ball is hardly enough to judge.
It was a bit of a surprise when the Eagles announced that they took center Jamaal Jackson off the PUP list. It was only late last season when he went down with a knee injury and he was expected to miss the first few weeks of the regular season at the very least. So when came off the PUP list, Andy Reid was asked whether that was a sign he was ahead of schedule.
“I would probably say that. We’ve got to see how this part of it goes, but he’s done well to this point. They’re all different. A guy that has one of those ACL’s is a little different. We’ll see how it works.”
He was also asked whether he thought Jackson could be ready to play by opening day.
“It’s too soon. I can’t tell you that. I’ve got to see how his leg reacted after this practice, then it’s going to be the same thing the next day, and we’re just doing to take it day by day and see how he does, and make sure you don’t over work it. There’s a fine line there.”
At the start of camp Reid was very doubtful that Jackson would be ready for the season, now his tone is… cagey? Has to be good news.
The Eagles got good news on the injury front today as offensive lineman Todd Herremans and Jamaal Jackson were activated from the physically unable to perform list today. Being activated from PUP means that both players will be allowed to practice with the team.
For Herremans, it likely means that he’s ready to go after spending much of the offseason rehabbing an injured foot. Jackson, on the other hand, could be a little further off. He tore his ACL at the end of last season and still has to be considered a longshot to be ready for the start of the 2010 campaign.
For the Eagles rookies, this first preseason game isn’t just a glorified practice like it is for some of the vets. This is their first taste of real live NFL football. Understandably, they’re excited.
Nate Allen on how much he’s looking forward to Friday night.
“A lot. It’s a big one for me. This is my first NFL game, even though it is preseason, I’m still going into it like it’s the Super Bowl. I’m excited.”
“It’s going to be exciting. It’s going to be pretty jacked up. But, I have some time because I know Kevin and [QB] Mike [Vick] are going to get some reps. So, I have to kind of settle down and take it in a little bit. But, yeah, it’s going to be fun and I’m going to enjoy watching everyone and the team really get after it.”
It seems like everyone has had an opinion this offseason about the Eagles decision to trade Donovan McNabb and install Kevin Kolb as the starter. The latest? Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones who thinks the Eagles will be more consistent with Kolb.
`McNabb helped create those big swings in our games over the last 10 years,’’ Jones said. ``When he played well, it was like throwing the knockout punch. When he didn’t, you were able to throw the knockout punch. I don’t see that now (with Kolb). I think Kolb and the way they’re going about it now, you won’t have those big swings one way or the other. I think every game with them is going to be a battle. Because of Kolb and because the makeup of the rest of their team is solid. And their coach, there is not a better coach in the NFL than Andy (Reid).’’
If Kolb does turn out to be more consistent than McNabb, we’ll actually have Jerry Jones to thank. His 2007 draft day trade with the Eagles brought Kolb(and Stewart Bradley) to Philly.
Making mistakes in practice isn’t that big a deal, provided you learn from those mistakes. That’s precisely what Andy Reid has loved about Kevin Kolb in this camp.
"Well, that’s a great question, [Philadelphia Daily News writer] Les [Bowen], because today – and I don’t like telling you it was a great question, but that was a great question – you saw where [CB] Asante [Samuel] read a play over on the right side; offensive right side. [WR] DeSean [Jackson] had run an eight-yard hitch route and Asante squatted on it, just like we saw the other day. Kevin reared back, he went to throw it and then he held up; he pulled it back. He threw it the other day, came back today and learned from it. Pumped it, checked it down, plus eight. That’s what he’s doing. When Kevin makes a mistake, he learns from it and he makes progress. That’s a very important quality to have. The guys that make them over and over and over and over again, those guys can’t play at this level. It doesn’t work for them. He studies it, he sees it, which is important, and then he reacts to it, which is even more important."
We’ve already seen some evidence of this in Kolb’s two starts last year. Against the Saints, there was a play where he didn’t read Darren Sharper lurking across the middle and threw a pick that ended up getting returned for six. A week later against Kansas City, Kolb had no turnovers and appeared to looking off the safeties much better. For an in depth look at the game tape of Kolb’s week 3 start against KC, check out Bleeding Green Nation.
Reid also praised Kolb's presence in the huddle.
“He’s very good in the huddle. He’s able to get in there and give them information, which is important; down and distance. Both he and the center are giving them down and distance in the huddle. Snap count, if we go an off-snap count, he’s going to present it to them first. This all sounds fairly easy here, but the clock is running. So he gives them the snap count. If it’s an off-snap count, other than one, he gives them the play, repeats the snap count, tells them the situation, ‘Hey, keep your eyes open for this. Give me an extra step if it’s a seven-step drop.’ He’s coaching them up in there as he’s giving them the play. Doing it time, giving himself enough time to get to the line of scrimmage and still make a check if he needs to. I think he handles all that very, very well.”
Something in a 7 on 7 drill sparked a little argument between the Eagles two starting WRs.
DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin got into a brief argument late into the morning practice and spent the remainder of the practice and the walk off the field in an animated conversation.
“It’s training camp. There’s no bad vibe between us two,” Maclin said. “We talked something out and that’s all it was. I don’t hate him, he doesn’t hate me. We’re still good. We’re still friends. There was a little mix up and it’s all good now.”
No one was sure exactly what started the spat, but whatever it was appears to have been dealt with. This kind of stuff is pretty much par for the course out there in the heat of training camp. Earlier in camp, some of the disagreements ended up with guys exchanging blows. Actually Maclin himself got into a little fight last week after he felt like a defender was a little rough with him in a “thud” drill.
It seems like rookie hazing in the NFL is getting more ink this season than in years passed. The thing that touched it all off was the Dez Bryant situation in Dallas. The most recent was the ridiculous haircut given to Broncos QB Tim Tebow. That picture was the reason reporters asked Andy Reid whether he was ever hazed and whether he is against the practice.
“No I wasn’t. I was never hazed. I just don’t think it’s productive. I don’t see any positive that comes out of it. In this day and age, you’re asking these young guys to step in and play and I think [hazing] takes away from it a little bit. I don’t think we need to put anybody down, or mess with anybody hard enough for these guys to get themselves right and ready to go. So, I don’t think it’s productive in helping you win football games, so we don’t do it.”
The Eagles website had this little tidbit that kind of blew me away.
Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said on Tuesday that while checking the team’s stats through training camp two days ago, Avant had around 80 catches and zero drops … in competitive drills.
I believe it too. Every day I’ve been up at camp Avant has made plays. I have no problem saying that he’s been arguably the best offensive player at Lehigh this year. Marty seems to agree.
“I’m not sure I’ve ever had a receiver that has had quite this type of camp, as far as catching the ball. I just looked at the numbers about a day and a half ago and he has caught up near 80 balls - now this is under competitive, this doesn’t include the competitive 7-on-7 – zero drops. I’m not sure I’ve ever had a man do that.”
For those of us that have gone to Eagles training camp over the years, there’s nothing really different about how physical it is. After all, most of us don’t really have a basis for comparison. However, when national guys come into camp they always seem to note how physical it is. Adam Schefter was here last week and said “Eagles are hitting — blowing up people — unlike any team I’ve seen in camp this summer.” ESPN NFC East blogger Matt Mosely told me that he saw more hitting at Lehigh than any other camp he’d been to.
So today Andy Reid was asked why he runs a tougher camp than other teams.
“Well, it’s what I said at the beginning of camp, is that I think it’s important that you build a strong foundation and you kind of find out about the guys that are going to be with you later in the year, the guys that are pushing through this. When you get to that last quarter of the season and you’re in striking distance, you’re going to be beat up and sore. Whether you have this camp or you don’t, there are certain guys that will sit out and you kind of find that out here, you find out who’s going to be there and who’s not going to be.”
Over the past two years the Eagles have shed a number of veteran players, all of which pretty much made up the leadership of the team. Brian Dawkins, Brian Westbrook, Sheldon Brown, and of course Donovan McNabb.
So the obvious question is… who will step up to lead now? Two emerging leaders were asked this very question after practice.
“Even when Dawkins was here, obviously he was more on the forefront but we always had a lead by committee type thing and that’s what it is now, we have myself, [LB] Stew[art] [Bradley], [LB] Ernie [Sims], we have a lot of guys that are respected on this team and around the league and that’s really all you need, so in terms of leadership really it’s about what your putting on the field and if people are going to follow that, and we have guys that can do it.”
“No. I don’t think so because if you think about it, before I was here they had young guys and they still went to the playoffs, they still had playoff runs. I just think what Andy Reid has done, he develops a program where if young guys come in, they’re in and they’re going to be in a position where they can succeed. So, I think that’s what he does a good job of because we have young guys who have playoff experience from last year, who came in, and [WR] Jeremy Maclin is one of them, [WR] DeSean Jackson. So, we have guys out here who are young guys, but they’re veteran leaders.”
After looking beat up the past couple weeks, the Eagles are slowly returning to full health. Yesterday DeSean Jackson made his return in the morning practice and in the afternoon both Asante Samuel and Jeremy Maclin returned.
The Eagles will play their first preseason game this Friday.
For a full recap of yesterday’s afternoon practice, check out BGN.
SB Nation Philly and Bleeding Green Nation has been covering Eagles training camp live all week and will be there all this weekend(and next week too).
Our latest camp diary for the Saturday morning practice is up at Bleeding Green Nation!
By all accounts, the leader in the clubhouse for the starting right cornerback job vacated by Sheldon Brown is former Patriot Ellis Hobbs. Hobbs never really got settled in with the Eagles last season before injuring his neck and being lost for the season. But he's come out in this camp with a new intensity that has the coaches paying attention. Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott
"I’m not surprised at all. I watched him over the years at New England and he, in my mind, has always been a guy that’s played football the way it was meant to be played. He plays hard, he’s quick. He has an aggressive mentality, and that’s what I wanted at the corner position, a guy that’s going to challenge any receiver. It’s a little bit like a John Riggins-type of running player. Four yards and a cloud of dust, and that’s what happens when Ellis is involved. He’s in, he’s out, he’s here, and he’s gone. He’s all over the place. And he’ll hit you at the same time."
"I love his attitude,'' Reid said of Hobbs. "He's a feisty little dude. He likes to play the game. And he's not going to take anything from anybody and I appreciate that.''
Reid was probably referring to the couple scraps that Hobbs has been involved in. One with rookie WR Riley Cooper and another with second year man Jeremy Maclin. Just from my own observations from the sidelines at camp, you can see how intense Hobbs is. If he makes a mistake on a play, you can hear him yell at himself and whack his helmet. He's really out there on a mission.
After being “carted off” the field at Lehigh University seven days ago, DeSean Jackson has returned to full practice this morning. The pro bowl WR had been nursing a back injury, but was running and working out over the past few days.
Jeremy Maclin, Mike Bell, & Asante Samuel didn’t practice today, but did spend the morning on the adjacent field at Lehigh running and working out.
The announced attendance at the second annual Eagles Flight Night was 31,124. Yes, over 30,000 people came out to see the Eagles practice. The event was also streamed live on the Eagles website, as well as live on tv locally on MYPHL17 and nationally on NFL Network.
We talkin bout practice!
But hey, it’s the NFL and this is Philadelphia. What else do you expect?
The only real relevant news is that there was no repeat of last year’s Flight Night where Stewart Bradley tore an ACL. Everyone left the Linc tonight intact.
FYI, the Eagles are streaming Flight Night live on their website.
The practice will also be shown live on MYPHL17 at 8pm.
Asante Samuel, DeSean Jackson, & Jeremy Maclin are all in shorts and not practicing, but all three were introduced and ran out of the tunnel. Maclin jogged, but Samuel and Jackson looked fine.
I know I held my breath when I saw Jeremy Maclin go down about 15 feet from where I was standing at Lehigh and not get up… I immediately tweeted that he was down and was met with countless exasperated replies from concerned fans. A fanshot on Bleeding Green Nation drew 125 panicked comments.
We all breathed a sigh of relief when we found out that it was nothing serious… So did Maclin.
“I’m blessed and I’m thankful that it didn’t turn out as bad as it could have,” Maclin said. “I’m happy. It is what it is. I wish I was out there competing, but now I can get better and get out there as soon as I can.”"
Maclin said it will just take some time to heal and “I’ll be back out here in a little bit.”
Andy Reid was asked after practice today about the injury to WR Jeremy Maclin and said “I don’t think he’ll be very long.” He also said that Maclin was already running in the gym at Lehigh.
This pretty much echos what Marty Mornhinwheg told us yesterday that Maclin was “day to day” with a bone bruise.
Andy Reid told reporters at his post practice presser that none of the currently injured Eagles will return for this evening’s Flight Night Event. That means no big names like Asante Samuel, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, or Todd Herremans.
Those guys will probably all be there for the event however.
Reid also was “noncommittal” about whether there will be live hitting at the event tonight.
Tonight, the Eagles return home to Lincoln Financial Field for their second annual “Flight Night” which is an event that raises money to benefit Eagles Youth Partnership. It’s also the event where Stewart Bradley was lost for the season last year…
So understandably some fans are bit apprehensive about the event. I was one of them… until I spoke with a certain member of the local media that allayed my fears. Over at Bleeding Green Nation, I posted his defense of Flight NIght. Let me know what you think and be sure to vote in the poll.
One of the things you always hear about a rookie at a skill position transitioning to the NFL is that he needs to improve his blocking. We’ve pretty much heard that about every TE the Eagles have drafted. From L.J. who never improved to Brent Celek who started out pretty poor but got better.
But Clay Harbor is a little different.
“I take a lot of pride in my blocking and I know it’s something that can separate me from other people, but all of the guys on our team are good blockers. I just take pride in that, and more of a mindset than anything. Some guys are more receivers, and they’re a lot more finesse players, but I just like to grind it out and hit people and see how they react to that.”
Clay Harbor’s blocking actually made one of my plays of the day in my recap of yesterday’s practice.
That brings me to one of my plays of the day. It wasn’t something the crowd probably noticed, but I was impressed. Rookie TE Clay Harbor took on DE Daniel Te’o-Nesheim by himself and absolutely stoned the guy. Just stood him up and drive him back. That’s blocking ability you rarely see in a rookie TE. After practice, Marty Mornhinwheg remarked “Clay will hit you, now.”
We were able to get a video interview with him on Tuesday.
We’ve got a full recap of Jeff Lurie’s state of the team address over at Bleeding Green Nation, but one of the hot topics over the past couple days at camp has been the possibility of expanding the season to 18 games. Roger Goodell talked about it yesterday and Jeff Lurie addressed it today. Both are clearly in favor.
“I think first of all that it’s long overdue and one of the things that I’ve realized and it’s been almost an embarrassment, is fans don’t like the long preseason. The quality is not there, and I think you have to balance getting ready for a season, and two games I think with all of the training and offseason conditioning that goes on, is it perfect? No, but I think that the fans have spoken and they absolutely would rather see an 18-game regular season and a two-game preseason. I’m not really in favor of expanding the overall games, I think that we don’t want to get like other sports where there are so many games and the physical wear and tear becomes a factor. It already is a factor, we’re going to have to figure out both roster sizes, roster flexibility rules, lots of things like that, but I think that we have been slow to react and I hope that we can in a new collective bargaining agreement certainly go for that as soon as possible.”
Do fans really not like the preseason? Other than season ticket holders forced to pay for preseason games that is…
I think rookie Brandon Graham is going to endear himself to Eagles fans with his play in 2010 and beyond, but he also may become a fan-favorite for his willingness to be candid and his down-to-earth but fiery, self-confident attitude.
During an interview on WIP yesterday, Graham commented on a number of interesting subjects, including how he didn’t want to be perceived as greedy or selfish by not signing before the start of camp, as well as his thoughts on Dez Bryant’s refusal to carry Roy Williams’ pads down in Big D. I’ve included several choice quotes from the entertaining and informative interview.
On if he was anxious that he might not get signed before the start of training camp:
"Well I just didn’t want nobody to think I was holding out. I just didn’t want people to start bad-mouthing me because it wasn’t my call. But I told my agent I was trying to get here on time, and he got that done for me. I’m happy about that."
On the recent Dez Bryant/Roy Williams stuff and if he’s encountered much hazing thus far at camp:
"Well I haven’t seen too much, but I know I have to take the whole D-Line out to dinner. That’s as far as it’s probably going to go. I don’t know. But it don’t matter because I’m used to the hazing stuff because that’s what I was brought up on too. Being hazed when I first got there as a freshman; you know, it’s just an always continuous thing. It’s just about respect, that’s all. You should respect the ones that have been there before you, and if I was Dez Bryant, I would have did it. Because it’s not nothing that they’re trying to do that’s a bad thing, it’s just a fun experience to go through because later on it will be memories."
On if he thinks the Cowboys have forgotten about the incident or if he thinks it will be something that maybe lingers for a bit:
"It’s a big stamp on you saying that you’re selfish and saying that you wouldn’t fight for his teammates for real. Because you know, him saying that he’s here for a Super Bowl, that’s just a lot talk for him. But he’s a selfish guy if he doesn’t do what they ask him to do. Because he knows it’s going to come. He knows it coming in because that’s what you have in the back of your mind – ‘oh, I’m a rookie again, I’m about to get hazed.’ But some people really don’t like that stuff, and it’s just…you can’t get around it."
Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie says the incident Michael Vick was involved in that included a shooting at his birthday party in late June didn’t involve his quarterback doing anything wrong.
“Nothing he did was factually creating any wrongdoing,” Lurie said. “He shouldn’t have been there, but he was trying to appease some people from his old neighborhood and family.”
“If there was wrongdoing, there was no way we were to continue with Michael in his career,” Lurie said. “There’s no question on that. It was just waiting for the facts to come in.”
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told Vick on Tuesday he will not face disciplinary action.
Michael Vick met a cadre of reporters as he walked off the practice field today and addressed his recent meeting with commissioner Roger Goodell.
“We had a great conversation; we’re on the same page now. I understand everything that I am supposed to be doing and that I’m out here to do, and it was a great meeting.”
Vick was also asked how hard he felt it was to live a “zero tolerance life?”
“It’s not difficult living a zero tolerance life, you’ve got guys walking around doing it every day, you’ve got the other 52 guys on the team doing the same thing. Living a life that they are suppose to lead, enjoying themselves, and doing the right thing, and that’s what it’s all about. It’s not hard to live a zero tolerance life, you just put yourself in the right positions at all times and think through situations thoroughly.”
We’ll be live today from Eagles training camp and I’ll be updating all the goings on via twitter. Of course we will post a full recap later this afternoon, but if that’s not quick enough for you definitely follow us on twitter and get news the second it happens.
CSN’s Derrick Gunn has the scoop.
A league source tells CSN’s Derrick Gunn that Maclin’s MRI revealed only a bone bruise and no ligament damage to the meniscus.
Though it’s very good news that no serious damage was done, it may be a couple weeks before Maclin gets back if he indeed did hyper-extend his knee. It’s better than the alternative for sure, but still not a good thing for a guy that had been having a really good camp so far.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell visited Eagles training camp today to, among other things, have a little chat with Michael Vick. Goodell told assembled reporters beforehand that he wouldn’t announce what if any action the NFL would take against Vick over the Virginia beach birthday party shooting incident until he spoke with Vick.
Evidently the meeting went well because the NFL released this statement soon after.
Commissioner Goodell informed Michael Vick today (Tuesday, August 3) at Eagles camp that there will be no disciplinary action as a result of the incident in Virginia, based on his current understanding of the facts. Commissioner Goodell spoke several weeks ago by phone with Michael, Tony Dungy, and Eagles Coach Andy Reid. All were in agreement on the need for additional support measures to be added to Michael’s plan to enhance his opportunity to succeed in life and football. These additional steps will remain confidential, but they will require Michael to meet even higher standards.
I just got back from Eagles training camp and wanted to provide a few updates on the Maclin injury situation.
He was hurt in a no pads, non-contact drill. He was running a pattern, planted his foot and went down. Kind of a freak injury, and nothing that could have been prevented. He was taken off the field by cart after clearly favoring his left leg.
The Eagles soon announced that he had a “hyperextended left knee” and that the team was still evaluating him and would have a further update tomorrow.
About a half an hour later, Kevin Kolb told 97.5-FM The Fanatic that he had just visited Maclin who was positive and Kolb didn’t get the impression that the injury was anything serious.
Maclin later told reporters “I should be all right.” He was seen walking out of the locker room under his own power with his leg in a sleeve.
Eagles second-year receiver Jeremy Maclin was carted off the field during practice on Tuesday afternoon, according to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Maclin needs a assistance walking out of cart and into locker room.
Jason Brewer from Bleeding Green Nation reports that the Eagles believe Maclin hyperextended his left left knee, but that there won’t be any additional news until tomorrow.
Stay here for more Eagles training camp updates and be sure to check out Bleeding Green Nation for in-depth access as well.
Rookie TE Clay Harbor talks about practice and adjusting to the speed of the NFL
I am live at Eagles camp all day today and will be providing updates after the two practices. But in the meantime check out my twitter feed for blow by blow updates of the goings on at Lehigh.
Though it still appears as if the back injury suffered by Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson isn’t overly serious, the gifted playmaker was held out of practices at training camp in Lehigh for the second straight day. The Eagles are banking on Jackson following up his stellar 2009 season and helping the team make the transition from Donovan McNabb to Kevin Kolb. The more time the two can spend working together this camp and preseason, the better. So here’s to hoping that Jackson, who became the first player in NFL history to be nominated to the Pro Bowl at two different positions, is back on the practice field sooner rather than later.
The star of Eagles training camp today was undoubtedly first round pick Brandon Graham, who gave Winston Justice fits in both the morning and afternoon practices.
Graham was so quick getting off the line in the morning, Justice jumped offsides two plays in a row. The penalties caused Andy Reid to pull Justice off the field for a play. Later in the morning session Justice ripped Graham’s helmet off.
It didn’t get any easier for Justice in the afternoon session according to Jordan Ranaan.
Brandon Graham having a HUGE afternoon practice. Just dominated Winston Justice with a bullrush.
Moving the Chains also noticed Graham’s strong afternoon practice.
Every time Brandon Graham is on the field, I notice him. Best description I can give at this point
It’s actually fairly rare for rookie defensive ends to have big seasons in their rookie year, but if Graham keeps up this pace he could buck the trend and be a big contributor for the Eagles this year. As the Inquirer’s Jeff McLane commented today, it’s “Only a matter of time before Brandon Graham is the starting LDE.”
Eagles Defensive Coordinator met the media yesterday and the topic of discussion was mostly centered on linebackers. The Eagles clearly targeted the position as a weakness last year and in need of change coming into this season. They drafted two LBs(Jamar Chaney & Keenan Clayton) and one hybrid type OLB/DE (Ricky Sapp). They also signed a UDFA (Simoni Lawrence) and traded for Ernie Sims. When you add in the returning Stewart Bradley who didn’t play a down last year… That’s five or six new bodies.
So far, Keenan Clayton has been the standout of the new faces and Stewart Bradley has been arguably the best defensive player in Lehigh so far.
There’s also been some shuffling of the guys that were here last year. Ernie Sims appears to have pushed last year’s starter at WILL, Akeem Jordan, out of the spot. However, Jordan may have found a new home on the strong side. Currently, he’s running with the first team at SAM. McDermott was asked about the move.
We’re just trying to find the best combination of the first three. [LB] Akeem [Jordan] is a good football player, he’s been productive for us over the years, so that’s why he’s in there.”
Last year’s seventh round pick Moise Fokou finished the season starting at SAM, no naturally McDermott was asked whether putting Jordan with the ones was any indictment of Fokou’s play.
“Absolutely not, absolutely not. Moise still has a lot of good football in front of him. We’re talking about a very young football player in the NFL right now. He’s done some good things, he’s very physical and his best football is ahead of him.”
“It really goes with the territory. If you’ve been around sports long enough, this happens all the time. At the same time, it’s a challenge for Moise or the player in question to rise up and respond to the challenge.”
What makes you worry however, is that Jordan has never played on the strong side. This is a position switch for him. His inexperience at SAM is something McDermott addressed.
“He’s played there some in the spring, he’s played there some in the spring and early on in his career he may have touched the spot once or twice when I was his linebacker coach. Really, he’s been a MIKE or a WILL, mostly a WILL up to this point. He’s got a good feel for the game and instincts to go along with it, and that’s what we’re banking on that he can make the transition. Really, he’s been taking the mental reps at that position even before physically we made the move at this time.”
Is there a major difference in the SAM and WILL positions in the NFL these days?
To some extent you have to stay current in terms of the trends that are going on the offensive side of the ball so you know how to defend it. If we were playing in a smash mouth league and, in some cases we are with the NFC East, then we’ve got to be able to stop the run. I feel confident that Akeem, at the SAM linebacker, can succeed at the point of attack. He’s physical, he loves the aggressive part of the game.”
With Bradley in the middle and Sims on the weakside, 2/3 of the LB corps seems set. The SAM position looks like it will be the battle to watch.
It was a busy day for the trainers at Lehigh as four different Eagles took the cart ride to the locker room. Asante Samuel and Mike Bell both picked up hamstring injuries. Max Jean-Gilles was treated for dehydration and center A.Q. Shipley had an ankle injury.
No word yet on how serious any of the injuries are, but reports are that Mike Bell seemed to be in some pain.
Bleeding Green Nation’s Jimmy K was on hand at Eagles training camp today and reports that DeSean Jackson was taken off the field on a cart with an apparent back injury.
The Inquirer is reporting that the injury is not considered serious.
The Eagles gave the injury update after practice, but said Jackson was still being evaluated. About a half hour after the update, the receiver, who hasn’t spoken to reporters since he arrived at Lehigh two days ago, walked out of the locker room on his own, got into his black Porsche and sped away without comment.
Teammates and Eagles sources were saying the injury wasn’t serious. Judging by the way Jackson left the practice facility, they could be right.
Obviously it doesn’t even need to be said that potentially losing Jackson to an injury would be a crushing blow. So far though, it appears a bullet was dodged here.
You gotta wonder if he ever had a chance to unpack?
When you’ve got eighty or so guys fighting for a job in 90 degree heat occasionally tempers will flare… and they did this morning. Rookie WR Riley Cooper and veteran CB Ellis Hobbs got into it.
9:40 – Ding ding ding – Our first fight! It’s Riley Cooper vs. Ellis Hobbs. Hobbs went after Cooper first, and Cooper was starting to gain an advantage, when out of nowhere, Big Stew protects his smaller defensive teammate, hitting Cooper and removing his helmet from his head in the process. Cooper got plenty of attention afterward from the media for his role in the fight. And might I add for a second – Riley Cooper is dreamy.
First round pick Brandon Graham missed the rookie portion of camp as the team and his agent worked on his contract. However, Graham said he felt like he was there thanks to another rookie defensive end.
“Well, I feel like I was there a little bit, because I talked to players every day, just to let them know that I wished I was there, let them know that I’m not being selfish, it’s just the business part of it, and they understood. I just felt bad because I wish I could be out there and I don’t want to feel like I’m better than anybody, but that’s just how it is. I talked to [Te’o-Neshiem] every night and he was just keeping me updated on plays.”
Earlier this week, the Eagles worked out veteran WR Kelley Washington and last night decided to sign him. Washington is an 8 year vet who has mostly been a special teamer over his career.
He did catch 34 passes for the Ravens last year. However, with special teams extraordinaire Bobby April on board this year, it’s likely we’ll see the Eagles put an extra emphasis on special teams with a few of these roster moves.
According to CSNPhilly, the Eagles have traded linebacker Joe Mays to Denver for J.J. Arrington.
What the plan is for Arrington isn’t clear, but be sure to check out Bleeding Green Nation for more.
[Note by JasonB, 07/31/10 11:35 AM EDT ] If J.J. Arrington does not make the Eagles roster, the Broncos will send the Eagles a 6th round pick in 2011.
Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinwheg met the media yesterday and not surprisingly, was asked alot of about what his expectations were for QB Kevin Kolb in his first year. His answer was pretty simple, "I’ve told him that I want a high completion percentage and I want him to stay away from the interceptions and then everything else will tend to take care of itself and understanding that he needs to do the right thing."
Complete a lot of passes and don't throw picks. Sounds simple enough. Check out BGN for more on Marty's press conference.
The Eagles have agreed to terms with their first round pick Brandon Graham on a five-year deal. The 13th overall pick will be in Lehigh tomorrow.
That means all Eagles picks have all 13 of their draft picks signed and in camp.
So far, so good with Eagles training camp 2010.
After signing his deal, Graham admitted that he was was listening when the coach told reporters that he had to get to camp:
“It feels good. Because I really wanted to get to training camp and Coach Reid really wanted me to get to camp and now it’s time to show them why they picked me. I have a lot of work to do, but I’m ready to go.”
It was somewhat busy day for the Eagles as far as transactions were concerned. They reached injury settlements with WR Kevin Jurovich and S Brett Johnson. (I know, you’re asking, "Who?")
To replace them on the roster the Eagles signed former Falcons CB/S Antoine Smith & rookie WR Jared Perry. Perry was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the 49ers. He was also a college teammate of Jeremy Maclin at Missouri.
In the wake of the whole Dez Bryant nonsense, Bleeding Green Nation noted how last year Sheldon Brown revealed that the Eagles locker room doesn't allow rookie hazing. In this Fox29 interview, rookie Kurt Coleman confirms that. He said he brought some vets Gatorade, but there was no hazing.
Nate Allen held a press conference today after his first NFL practice. For a transcript of most of the presser check out Bleeding Green Nation, but I thought this exchange about his lack of sleep was particularly funny. He was literally not allowed into his dorm room until his signature was on the contract. So he had to wait around for a couple hours while his agent hammered out the last little details and wasn't able to get to bed until after 2am. He had to be up 4 hours later.
On when his arrival time was last night:
“About 11:30 pm.”
On whether any of the players were still awake:
“No, I was the last one in and the last one to go to bed last night. I was just waiting to sign.”
On whether his roommates were asleep when he arrived:
“Oh yea, they were knocked out because I didn’t get into my room until about 2:30 am. So, it was a late night last night.”
On what he was doing between his arrival at 11:30 pm and 2:30 am:
“I was sitting around and waiting because there was still some negotiating, I guess, some small stuff on the contract. I’m not sure exactly what, but they were still negotiating some things.”
On what he was doing in those hours between 11:30 pm and 2:30 am:
“I was sitting around talking because I was dead tired. I was on the couch and almost fell asleep a couple of times, I was waiting.”
Today, the Eagles released OLB/DE Alex Hall. The same Alex Hall that came as part of the package for Sheldon Brown and Chris Gocong earlier this offseason. So for those keeping score at home, the sum total of the return for both Brown & Gocong is a 4th and a 5th round draft pick.
Those picks, ironically ended up being on a corner, Trevard Lindley, and a DE/OLB hybrid type Ricky Sapp. Sapp and Gocong are probably a wash at this point, but Lindley has a long way to go before he can replace Sheldon Brown. Lindley was arguably the star of the teams OTAs this offseason, but then again being the star of OTAs doesn’t mean a whole lot… If he ends up being an above average starter for 6 years like Sheldon was, then he’ll have been a nice replacement.
Here’s Andy Reid’s statement on releasing Hall.
“Well, you obviously go through the roster and see the guys that you feel don’t quite fit in to what you are doing schematically. I think Alex Hall will be a very good outside linebacker in a 3-4 front. We worked him as a linebacker, and also worked him as a defensive end. After the evaluation we just felt like his best thing would probably be a 3-4, and I think Alex can definitely play in this league and be very successful, he’s just got to get into the right situation.”
When the trade actually went down we had speculated at BGN that Hall & Gocong were more or less throw ins that canceled each other out. Both were very athletic project type players that each team had given up on, but figured a change of scenery or system might do the trick for them.
Whether it was worth trading Sheldon Brown in the first place is up for debate, but when the trade went down we actually figured his worth to be right around a 4th rounder. So even with Hall’s release, the Eagles still got fair market value. Did they replace him adequately though? That remains to be seen.
Dave Spadaro broke the news that the Eagles have agreed to terms on a four year deal with rookie safety Nate Allen. He will report to Lehigh tomorrow.
That leaves just first round pick Brandon Graham unsigned. Unfortunately, just one first round pick has signed which is going to make it tough for the team and the agent to reach a deal. As it stands now, it could be at least another week before Graham gets into camp.
Eagles defensive coordinator Sean McDermott spoke with the media after practice and singled out rookie safety Kurt Coleman for praise. Coleman was the the Eagles 7th round pick out of Ohio State and missed the offseason OTAs due to NFL rules that don’t allow rookies from schools with a late graduation date to practice.
After his press conference, McDermott told Wing Tips that Coleman [pictured above right] “quarterbacked the defense” on his first practice – translation: made calls and coverage checks – better than any he rookie he could remember. Said McDermott: “Does he have room to grow? Absolutely. But the way he handled himself and quarterbacked the defense for not being here all but three days after the draft camp, that’s tremendous.”
With second round pick Nate Allen still unsigned, Kurt Coleman figures to get a lot of work at safety in his absence.
The Eagles held their first practice with rookies and selected veterans today. From the coverage it seems that Kevin Kolb & Michael Vick were the only notable vets at camp so far. BGN will be live at camp next week, but for this first week we'll continue aggregating coverage to get a clear picture of what's going on at Lehigh.
The Eagles practiced in just shorts and shells today and as I said very few notable vets were in attendance, but Kevin Kolb was the guy who was generating all the buzz. In fact CSN Philly's Jordan Ranaan says that not one Kolb pass hit the ground. Geoff Mosher noticed just one pass to hit the grass after a Jordan Norwood drop. Jeff McLane started the day joking about Kolb, but when practice was over he was impressed. "One observation: Kolb looked very, very sharp. (In all seriousness)"
The only other real buzz around camp was that former Eagle Duce Staley was back as a coaching intern and apparently has gained a ton of weight.
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