Saturday, July 31, 2010

Despite DJ injury, Birds have deep threat; plus 'dumb media question of the day'

The only real good news in the wake of the back injury suffered late Saturday afternoon by Pro Bowl wide receiver DeSean Jackson is the Eagles still have a defense-stretching deep threat.
The worst-case scenario of Jeremy Maclin on the other end of Kevin Kolb's deep throws is pretty appealing. Maclin has more straight-line speed than Jackson, who, we all know, still plays faster than virtually any receiver in the league.
Jackson also appeared to hurt his right leg as he fell awkwardly to the ground between a couple of defenders. The Eagles would report only the back injury although they added that Jackson was still being evaluated.

Here's your ridiculous media question of the day as posed to cornerback Ellis Hobbs, who participated in his first contact work Saturday after sustaining a broken neck.

Question: When you get jarred a little bit, do you feel a sensation through your neck at all?

Hobbs: I better not. Or I've got to go talk to the doctor.

Saturday morning at Lehigh U

Quotable: "“We’ve got some new people out here. They’re trying to prove themselves, too. But with competition comes fighting. I told the players these things do happen but don’t make it a habit. We’re not ultimate fighters, we’re football players.”
Eagles head coach Andy Reid

Defensive player: Middle linebacker Stew Bradley played fast, physical and was all over the field in his first live action since rupturing an ACL last August.

Offensive player: Wide receiver DeSean Jackson beat Asante Samuel and anyone else he felt like throughout the morning. DJ also laid out for a long Kevin Kolb throw.

Fight I: CB Ellis Hobbs (5-9, 195) jacked-up rookie wide receiver Riley Cooper (6-3, 222), who was upset with contact beyond the five-yard area. Cooper threw some punches back and Bradley came out of nowhere to deck Cooper with a big hit.

Fight II: It was an all-rookie tussle in the one-on-one blocking drills rookie as defensive end Daniel Te'o-Nesheim (6-3, 263) rocked rookie OL Jerrall McCuller (6-7, 320), who rallied in the late rounds. It triggered a mini brawl.

Other news
The Eagles are waiting for rookie running back J.J. Arrington to pass a physical before completing the trade with the Broncos for linebacker Joe Mays or a conditional 2012 draft pick. Arrington is coming off micro-fracture knee surgery. The Eagles are hoping he can do a Thomas Davis-type recovery. Davis is close to all the way back from a similar procedure.

The Eagles also signed 30-year-old wide receiver Kelley Washington, who they think can help on special teams and at inside linebacker. They cut Jared Allen, the wide receiver they signed earlier in the week.

Wide receiver Jordan Norwood (Penn State) tweaked a hamstring. Offensive tackle Jason Peters and defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley also were shaken up although they finished practice.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Graham agrees to 5-year deal

The Eagles locked up their 13th draft pick late Thursday.
First-round choice Brandon Graham, of Michigan, also was the 13th overall pick in the draft. He agreed to terms on a 5-year contract and is expected to be available for the first full-squad practice Friday afternoon.
The 6-1, 279-pound Graham is expected to battle veterans Juqua Parker and Darryl Tapp for snaps on the left side of the line.
Rookie third-round pick Daniel Te'o-Nesheim and rookie Ricky Sapp, the converted linebacker, also are going to get snaps coming off the edges.
Wide receiver Blue Cooper was cut to make room on the roster for Graham.
The Eagles shipped their first-round pick (24th overall) and a pair of third-round selections (Nos. 70 and 87) to Denver to move up and take Graham.

Maclin: Birds signed my former teammate

The Eagles worked out wide receivers Jared Perry (6-1, 180), a rookie who teamed with Jeremy Maclin at Missouri, and Kelley Washington (6-3, 218).

Eagles starting wide receiver Jeremy Maclin said the Birds signed Perry, who caught 46 passes for 696 yards and 6 TD’s last year, after reconstructive surgery in his right shoulder. The Eagles couldn’t immediately confirm that.

Washington, 30, played for the Bengals (2003-06, the Patriots (2007-08) and the Ravens (2009). He caught 34 passes for 431 yards (12.7 average) and two TD’s in the 2009 regular season and an 11-yard pass in the playoffs against the Colts.


With Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick off, rookie fourth-round pick Mike Kafka got all the snaps at quarterback Thursday morning. It was the last practice before veterans joined camp, and it ended early.

Eagles veterans are required to report for a 7 p.m. meeting Thursday night. Wide receiver DeSean Jackson ran laps around the practice field before the morning practice. There was speculation he opted out of the last week of OTA’s to express unhappiness with his contract.

Still missing from action is unsigned rookie first-round draft pick Brandon Graham. Barring a minor negotiating miracle, he will miss the start of contact Saturday. Graham begins falling behind when he misses next week. He also could be flirting with injury, as late signees tend to lose their conditioning.

Just when it seemed the Eagles were fine at wide receiver they worked out Jared Perry (6-1, 180), a rookie who teamed with Jeremy Maclin at Missouri, and Kelley Washington (6-3, 218).

Perry caught 46 passes for 696 yards and 6 TD’s last year, after reconstructive surgery in his right shoulder.

Washington, 30, played for the Bengals (2003-06, the Patriots (2007-08) and the Ravens (2009). He caught 34 passes for 431 yards (12.7 average) and two TD’s in the 2009 regular season and an 11-yard pass in the playoffs against the Colts.

Mornhinweg was incredulous when a reporter said the Eagles’ system would make Kevin Kolb more prone to interceptions. So was I.

After an “Are you serious look?” look, Mornhinweg’s response was, “It’s just common sense. You want him to throw touchdowns, not interceptions.”

The Eagles’ 3:30 p.m. practice Friday is closed to the public. The first full-squad practices are Saturday at 8:15 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. Camp hotline: 215-320-5160

To contact Bob Grotz, e-mail

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Today is the anniversary of Jim Johnson's death

On this day last July, Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson passed away.
Johnson resided in Newtown Square during his 11-year tour with the Eagles.
Eagles head coach Andy Reid received word the night before Johnson passed that there was time for one last visit. Reid exited training camp and paid his respects to Johnson, 68, and his family.
The Eagles' defense hasn't been the same despite the best efforts of Sean McDermott, who filled in admirably.
This year McDermott has a full year of experience under his belt. And in Dick Jauron, McDermott has at the least a Jim Johnson-type influence.
Jauron, 59, is a veteran of 33 NFL seasons - eight as a player and 23 as a coach. He's also a confidante of Reid, having mentored Big Red in his early days as a coach with the Green Bay Packers.
Jauron's influence obviously is a sub-plot at training camp.

Hall is footnote in Sheldon Brown deal

When the Eagles shipped cornerback Sheldon Brown and linebacker Chris Gocong to the Cleveland Browns early this past April, the immediate prize was Alex Hall.
Hall (6-5, 250) at least had the size to be the next Carlos Emmons, the strongside linebacker the Birds have found it impossible to replace.
But just like that, Hall couldn't find a spot at linebacker or at defensive end for an Eagles team desperate for defensive help.
So now he's the footnote in the trade that also netted the Birds two draft picks - the fourth-rounder used to select cornerback Trevard Lindley of Kentucky, and the fifth-rounder they shipped to the Broncos.
At least the trade made Sheldon Brown happier. The veteran got his contract sweetened, something the Eagles refused to do.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Allen, Birds agree to 4-year pact

Rookie second-round pick Nate Allen agreed to terms on a four-year contract with the Eagles, paving the way for him to practice Wednesday morning.
The Eagles were hopeful of signing the University of South Florida product, who they project as the starting free safety, before he missed the first two practices Tuesday.
With 3 1-2 weeks of Bethlehem boot camp, Allen has plenty of time to make it up – after he passes the physical this morning.
Allen earned the starting job by outperforming veterans Macho Harris and Quintin Demps during the offseason camps. The loss of Marlin Jackson to a torn Achilles’ tendon also helped move Allen up the depth chart.
Rookie seventh-round pick Kurt Coleman (Ohio State) also might mount a challenge after missing all of the offseason due to NCAA rules regarding school graduation dates. Coleman was aggressive at the first two practices.

Tuesday at Training Camp

WHAT HAPPENED: In the morning, quarterbacks Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick played catch with the young receivers, including rookie draft picks Riley Cooper and Clay Harbor, the tight end. Rookie safety Kurt Coleman got noticed in the shoulder pad-less session throwing his body around breaking up passes in the red zone. Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott called it, “Philadelphia Eagles defense.”

THE MEDIA TENT: Among other things, McDermott said he couldn’t sleeep Monday night in anticipation of the first practice; and he hoped his players didn’t sleep, either. “The heart beats a little bit differently this time of year,” McDermott said.

SIGNED: Actually rookie second-round pick Nate Allen, the starting free safety on the depth chart, agreed to a four-year contract. He practices this morning pending the successful completion a physical.

UNACCOUNTED FOR: Rookie first-round defensive end Brandon Graham. He looks like a lengthy holdout.

VISITORS: "Eagle Joe" Brown watched 36th training camp begin. The retired cashier from the ACME at Granite Run Mall resides in Exton.

COACHING INTERNS: Former Eagles running back Duce Staley and linebacker Shawn Barber are trying to get into the game

Monday, July 26, 2010

Nate Allen driving up from Virginia

Eagles rookie second round pick Nate Allen is close enough to a deal that he's driving to camlikp from Virginia according to a source.
The Eagles are counting on Allen to start at free safety.

Vick's chat with the Commish

Michael Vick will address the talk he had with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after reporting to training camp this afternoon, a source said.
Vick recently had to explain to the Commish what  happened at his at 30th birthday party, which ended with a cousin of Vick being shot. No charges were filed.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless mobile phone

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Report: Vick told to limit party guests to family

Embattled quarterback Michael Vick has been told by NFL Commssioner Roger Goodell to limit his partying, according to Bleacher Report (
Goodell wants Vick to only associate with his family at parties, a reaction to the shooting at Vick's open invitation 30th birthday party weeks ago. No charges were filed in the episode.
The NFL, the Eagles and authorities have investigated the issue of Vick’s involvement. Vick's parole officer has forbid him to leave Pennsylvania.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

4-year pact for Eagles and rookie WR Riley Cooper, Tim Tebow's favorite target at Florida. Either Cooper or vet Hank Baskett will make 53-man roster.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Eagles deny AP report that they are gearing up to release QB Mike Vick in wake of shooting at his 30th birthday party.