Thursday, August 28, 2008

McDougle, Wilson could be surprise cuts

The way DE Jerome McDougle has come on during the preseason, he deserves a spot on the final 53-man Eagles roster due by 4 p.m. Saturday.

But McDougle might not stick around because the Eagles are unlikely to jettison free agent pickup Chris Clemons and his problematic calf only months after handing him a $4 million signing bonus.

Then there's rookie third-round pick DE Bryan Smith who, despite having a lot to learn, looks like a cross between Pro Bowl edge rusherTrent Cole and Derrick Burgess, the Eagle draft pick that made the Pro Bowl and has become one of the league's top pass rushers with the Oakland Raiders.

Moreover McDougle could wind up with the DE-desperate Giants if he's cut.

Tight end Kris Wilson also is in a tough spot as he hasn't really challenged Brent Celek or Matt Schobel, who are backing up starter L.J. Smith.

Other possible surrprise cuts: DE Clemons, LB Rocky Boiman, OL Winston Justice, DE Smith, TE Schobel and FB Tony Hunt.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Klecko? Glecko? Whatever, he's in (tape)

Defensive coordinator Jim Johnson says Dan Klecko will be the fourth tackle, which is a monumental achievement for the product of Crozer Hospital in that he switched to the position after the Eagles played him at fullback for all of the offseason work except training camp.

Johnson apparently was so overwhelmed by the absurdity of the question - who's your fourth defensive tackle? - that he unloaded on the unenlightened reporter that hasn't kept up with Klecko's steady improvement.

Attached is a clip of the news conference with the "Glecko" gaffe ...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Dawkins' ankle not serious; Reagor gone

Brian Dawkins’ sprained right ankle won’t delay the start of his 13th straight NFL season.
Dawkins said Sunday he expects to get on the field long before the Eagles open against the St. Louis Rams in two weeks.

“That’s the plan – absolutely,” Dawkins said.

Andy Reid called the sprain suffered Friday in a 27-17 win over the New England Patriots “a day-to-day situation right now” but that he also thinks Dawkins will be ready for the regular season.

One player that apparently won’t make it to the opener – at least not with the Eagles – is veteran defensive tackle Montae Reagor. His locker appeared to be cleared out Sunday. Reagor, 31, is on the mend from arthroscopic knee surgery.

For now it looks like veteran Dan Klecko and rookie Trevor Laws are the backups to tackles Brodrick Bunkley and Mike Patterson. Also part of the tackle equation is defensive end Darren Howard, who has played there in nickel situations.

Don’t be surprised if the Eagles keep 11 defensive linemen, including seven defensive ends – Howard, starters Trent Cole and Juqua Parker, Chris Clemons, rookie Bryan Smith, Victor Abiamiri and Jerome McDougle. Abiamiri (dislocated wrist) should return in November.

Besides Dawkins, the Eagles unable to work Sunday were Abiamiri, wide receiver Reggie Brown (hamstring), center Jamaal Jackson (concussion) and running back Ryan Moats (high ankle sprain).

Friday, August 22, 2008


Is on the way.

While we're waiting for the, uh, new wrinkle in the offense promised by the Eagles president, here's a few to warm you up above.

Really the Eagles are limited in what they can do without injured wide receiver Kevin Curtis short of moving tight end L.J. Smith to wide receiver, lining up running back Lorenzo Booker at running back and splitting Brian Westbrook out or vice versa, or trying tight end/H-back Kris Wilson at wide out.


Wide reciver DeSean Jackson hasn't played like anything like a rookie second-round pick except with respect to fumbling a punt.

The Jerry Rice influence has rubbed off as Jackson has used his speed and quickness to get off the line and get open whenever he wants against single coverage.

Jackson makes his first start for the Eagles in their third preseason game tonight against the Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Watch how he battled press coverage for he certainly will see some as the Patriots fine-tune to gt ready for the season opener.

And watch how Jackson takes the hits the Patriots will put on him. For all of his explosiveness he's still a litle guy - maybe 178 pounds. Those hits can wear on a little guy both at wide receiver and in the return game, as Jackson also will field some punts tonight.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Shawn Andrews shrugged off his personal struggles Sunday to help brighten the day for Eagles fans at the 14th Annual Carnival and Auction at Lincoln Financial Field.

It was the perfect decision for the young man who says he's being treated for clinical depression.

In helping others, Andrews is helping himself. The best way to get away from life's struggles often is service whether it's signing autographs or taking a few moments to acknowledge another person.

I'm hearing that Andrews received a lot of positive reinforcement from the fans, and that's a great thing. It won't always be easy but this obviously is a great start for the Big Kid.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Super-agent Drew Rosenhaus was at the Link last night after getting together with Eagles cornerback Lito (call me LEEE-tohhh) Sheppard.

Rosenhaus put the word out he was still talking to the Eagles about a contract restructuring for Sheppard, who's unhappy with his pact and his role as the nickel back after losing the starting left corner job to Asante Samuel.

But what else was Rosenhaus going to say after hearing the Eagles weren't going to budge? Super Drew didn't even get an audience with Eagles president Joe Banner on his visit to the NovaCare Complex to introduce himself as Sheppard's new agent.

At this point the Eagles aren't going to trade Sheppard unless someone makes a drop-dead offer of say a first-round pick. Until Sheppard proves he can play a full season, which hasn't happened since the Super Bowl year, it would take a desperate team to offer the Birds as much as a second-rounder for his services.

Monday, August 11, 2008


The Eagles are taking a cautious approach with G Shawn Andrews, who reported to training camp Sunday.

They want him to be comfortable, but they don't want to coddle him in front of teammates wondering exactly what is wrong with him, depression or otherwise,
“I’m going to gradually feed Shawn back in,"Andy Reid said. "I want to see how he’s doing. That’s my primary focus right now. Then we’ll see about those other things, we’ll see where they fall in.”

It's uncertain when Andrews will get back on the field. But to do so he must pass a physical for he's on the active/PUP list.


The Eagles really got after it Sunday morning at Lehigh.

  • The practice featured considerable hitting and left a lot of players sore.

    “This was a ‘you’re still in training camp practice,’ " defensive tackle Dan Klecko said. "It was mentally tough and you’ve got to push through it.”


    Earlier in camp, Donovan McNabb’s receivers had trouble catching the football. Now they can’t drop it. Along those lines the legend of WR DeSean Jackson continued to grow Sunday after the rookie one-handed a McNabb throw in tight coverage for a crowd-pleasing TD.

    The morning crowd of 6,582, one of the largest for a single practice, baited McNabb into doing his Michael Jackson-type break dance, madly applauding every move.

    To make room for Andrews on the 80-man roster, OL Franklin Dunbar was waived.

    With CB Asante Samuel practicing for just the third time in camp due to a strained hamstring, CB Sheldon Brown moved inside in the nickel package with Lito Sheppard at RCB. Samuel also worked in the afternoon practice and there’s an outside chance he could play in the next preseason game.

    The Eagles signed DT Mike Marquardt (6-2, 302), an undrafted free agent out of Arizona, and released veteran DT Kimo von Oelhoffen. Consider Marquardt, 26, practice squad material. His BYU pedigree didn’t hurt. While Von Oelhoffen might be back if his right knee gets healthier the Eagles like how Klecko performed in the preseason opener.

    The Eagles practiced in pads in the morning without OT Tra Thomas (back spasms), DT Brodrick Bunkley (personal reasons), WR Reggie Brown (Achilles’ tendon), WR Frantz Hardy (ankle sprain) P Sav Rocca (knee), G Stefan Rodgers (concussion) and DT Montae Reagor (knee). The afternoon session was indoors due to rain.

    Practice Monday: 8:15 a.m. and 2 p.m. (special teams). Autographs: Defensive linemen. Updates: 215-320-5160.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Joe Klecko, the father of Eagles DT Dan Klecko, and his son Josh had a pretty good time attending the Wednesday morning practice of Eagles training camp.
It was difficult but not impossible for Klecko, the All-Pro New York Jets defensive tackle from 1977-87 to figure out how Dan will fit into the Eagles' scheme.

“This isn’t the venue to see who can do what,” Klecko said at camp. "I couldn’t see half the time. But Danny’s ability to rush the passer that I’ve sensed since Day 1 is his forte. Danny knows how to get after the passer. He’s very disruptive and Jim Johnson’s defense helps pass rushers create havoc.”
Klecko knows about pass rushing.
With 77 1-2 career sacks, he trails only Mark Gastineau on the all-time Jets list
Klecko, who starred at St. James High and Temple, also is in great shape. He almost looked like he could put the pads on again.
"No, I'm retired," he said. "I don't want to play."

PRESEASON ... what's it good for?

Here are two basic schools of thought on the preseason.
Defensive coordinator Jim Johnson is interested in seeing how guys like veteran MLB Stewart Bradley, and rookies Quintin Demps (S) and Joe Mays (LB) play in the exhibition opener Friday night at Pittsburgh.
“I think you see a lot more in games,” Johnson said. “When you go against the offense all the time you see a lot of the same stuff so it’s not fair to the offense, especially with that first group. I really think you find out more in game situations.”
Quarterback Donovan McNabb, on the other hand, can do without it.
“Preseason is still preseason,” he said. “That’s why we turn up the tempo a little bit out here (in practice) to try and get in game mode because when you get into preseason, some of it is vanilla. I wouldn’t mind playing not that much. Let the other guys have an opportunity to play.”

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


It should be no surprise that Eagles teammates don't believe Shawn Andrews has been so stricken with depression he's been unable to attend training camp.

Head coach Andy Reid didn't seem to buy it, either, and he will keep a close eye on the Pro Bowl guard who is slated to report Friday.

The only real question is whether Andrews truly wants to play this year. If he does, there will be a price to pay above and beyond the $225,000 in fines the Eagles will demand he pay,

Sunday, August 3, 2008


King Dunlap, the 6-8, 310-pound rookie, has a pretty good shot to make the 53-man roster. The seventh-round pick out of Auburn has gotten progressively better since his first minicamp, which was an adventur. The similarly built Tra Thomas (6-7, 335) has been a big influence. Thomas has played the best of all Eagles linemen at this camp.

The not so good news is LG Todd Herremans, who's had a very solid camp, seems to be experiencing stiffness in the left knee he had 'scoped last season. A tough guy, Herremans didn't miss a game due to the injury last season. The loss of Herremans - who projects as an emergency OT - would mean Winston Justice at LOT or ROT should Thomas or Jon Runyan get hurt. If AWOL RG Shawn Andrews returns, he could swing to OT.

Saturday, August 2, 2008


The Saturday morning practice (8/2/08) has been cancelled due to a broken water main according to the Eagles.

The 2:45 p.m. afternoon practice still is on but call 215-320-5160 for updates just in case for it could be moved inside due to inclement weather.

Camp visitors using the Northeast Extension of the Pa. Turnpike might want to give themselves extra time as the road could be crowded with spectators driving to the Pocono 500 race.