Thursday, July 31, 2014

Johnson grateful for second chance

Keelan Johnson joined the Eagles at training camp Thursday.

The 5-11, 209-pound safety was charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct two weekends ago in Tempe, Ariz. Aggravated assault and resisting arrest are felonies.

The Eagles excused Johnson from the early portion of training camp to tend to those legal matters and in the words of the player, "not be a distraction."

Grateful for a second chance.

Johnson declined to discuss the legal stuff or how it would play out but was grateful Chip Kelly gave him another chance.

"I need to come out here and give him everything I've got because he could have easily got rid of me," Johnson said. "To be in that situation I was in, it was a situation I wish I could have avoided."

The undrafted free agent out of Arizona State who played in two games for the Eagles last season.

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NFLN analyst Michael Irvin at work.
... Sights and sounds from Eagles training camp, including Michael Irvin, Michael Bamiro, Lito Sheppard, Keelan Johnson and the running backs showing off in a drill ...

Keelan Johnson back to work after arrest.

Michael Bamiro.
Lito Sheppard.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Lurie thinks Chip, Jimmy Johnson are similar

Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie wanted Jimmy Johnson to be his head coach back in 1995.
Chip Kelly reminds Lurie Super Bowl winning coach Jimmy Johnson,.

Johnson left the Dallas Cowboys after winning back-to-back Super Bowls when he feuded with owner Jerry Jones. Ray Rhodes ultimately got the nod as head coach of the Birds.

Lurie knows a lot about Johnson based on the flirtation and having bounced football matters off the Fox football analyst.

Lurie understands why some believe Kelly is like Johnson.

"There are some similarities there," Lurie said Wednesday. "I don’t know if you can carry it all the way. But certainly Jimmy was very cognizant of what it takes to bring a team together. People focused on his bravado and his intelligence and all that but he comes from a pretty savvy psychology background and he had a feel for what brings 53 men together and your staff together.

"And Chip has a lot of those qualities. He knows what it takes to have a common purpose to bring people together. And it’s not about who’s the best team on paper. What team has the best stats. What team accomplishes this. It’s not about who runs the fastest offense. It’s just about how to bring people together in a common goal where you can compete against 31 other teams trying to do something similar. They have a similarity that way and a self-confidence."

More as this develops at

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Lito Sheppard teaching press coverage

Former Eagles cornerback Lito Sheppard, a two-time Pro Bowl defender, is mentor defensive backs on press coverage.

Lito Sheppard with Eagles CB Bradley Fletcher.
Sheppard is attending Eagles training camp as part of the Bill Walsh Minority Intern program. Assistant coach Tra Thomas, a Pro Bowl offensive tackle in his days with the team, also was in the program.
“Just getting to know Lito and knowing what a career he had here as an Eagle and getting a chance to get him back here, he can help impart some wisdom on some of our young corners and young safeties in terms of how he saw things,” Kelly said. “I think it’s a positive impact on all of us.”

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LeSean McCoy on SI cover

Sports Illustrated applauds the skills and endurance of Eagles running back LeSean McCoy in a regional edition this week.
Eagles training camp from the sideline Wednesday.

While many NFL running backs have fallen off after a year of heavy use,  McCoy intends to avoid it through the offseason training program implemented by Chip Kelly.

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Lincoln Financial Field open practice

The sights and sounds at Lincoln Financial Field for the Eagles' open practice Monday:

Southeast corner seating addition.

Nick Foles and first-team Eagles offense.
Northeast corner seating addition.

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McNabb warns Foles about boos

Former Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb said on FoxSports1 that current Birds passer Nick Foles should be prepared this season for "the boos."

Said it a week ago.

And in a way, McNabb is right. The only Eagles quarterback quarterback who wasn't booed since the advent of the 16-game season is Jim McMahon. Due to injuries, he wasn't on the field often enough to get the treatment.

In an exclusive interview at the Super Bowl McNabb, the second pick in the 1999 draft, applauded the way the Eagles bounced back from a 3-5 start to finish 10-6 last season 
“I thought they would probably win four or five games,” McNabb said. “And that’s no slight to anybody by any means. I just thought incorporating a new offense, a new coaching staff, some of the same players I’ve played with, I just thought it would take some time.
“But the interesting part now is what happens next? When you have a great year like that, what’s next? We’ve seen the Washington Redskins win seven in a row and all of a sudden the next season it just plummets. Will there be consistency in Philadelphia?”
Almost all of the key Eagles are back in 2014, including Foles, who with 27 touchdown passes and just two interceptions set the club single-season club record with a passer rating of 119.2.
 McNabb established the previous standard with a 104.7 rating during the Eagles’ 2004 Super Bowl season.
McNabb doesn't expect Foles to put up the same numbers this year.
“No, I don’t think it will be like that,” McNabb said. “In fact I’d tell anybody in Philadelphia, don’t have that high of expectations for him. Just give him a chance. It might be a 20-touchdown, 10-interception year.”
Compared to the standard, that kind of year could draw some boos from a fan base that expects a lot out if its quarterbacks.
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Sunday, July 27, 2014

'Life different without Vick, DJack'

LeSean McCoy got into a tussle in a drill Sunday with Trent Cole, who outweighs him by 62 pounds.
Images of star power past, present at Eagles training camp.

"It was just two friends going at it," McCoy said. "... They were touching me a little bit too much. And I'm trying to let them know it's OK if you can't cover me. It's OK. We were just battling, that's all. We'll go into the locker room and talk it out, joke it out."

The media hasn't been allowed into the locker room since celebrities Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson parted ways with McCoy, Cole and the rest of their teammates.

Life without the buzz Vick and Jackson brought is totally different. Ditto the energy.
Says Trent Cole cannot cover him.

"It's definitely different," McCoy said. "There's different personalities. The limelight is different a little bit. A guy like Michael Vick has kind of changed the game the way he plays. And a star wide receiver like DeSean Jackson. So it's a lot different. A guy like Nick (Foles), who's becoming a big star, he's not really big on the attention. Nick is a guy, man, he'll throw for seven touchdowns and he doesn't want or expect to get patted on the back or a slap on the butt. He's doing his job. Where other guys have that star thing to them. Like Mike. Mike has been in the starlight for so long it comes with the territory. He can have a terrible game but the star pass is going to come with it."

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Linc's HD video boards offer 3D quality

Eagles fans attending the open practice Monday at Lincoln Financial Field (12:15 p.m.) get a taste of audiovisual boards team president Don Smolenski compares to 3D.

"We’ll have some things running but it’s going to be pretty dialed back," Smolenski said. "You’ll still be able to see how bright they are and how clear they are. When it all comes together it almost feels a bit like 3D it’s so clear. The clarity and the resolution of the boards of the video part. You almost want to just reach out and just touch it. It’s just really clear."

Additionally fans get a look at the seating changes.

"Hopefully what they feel and see is a more intimate building with the two corners closed in with the additional seats to help really bring fans in a full circle around the team," Smolenski said. "And then the audiovisual in particular, the HD video boards and the LED video boards just sort of add this dynamic component to it that I think will be able to immerse them and engage them even more into the game once we start playing on the 21st."

Parking is free Monday and the lots open at 9 a.m.

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Who got straight A's?

LeSean McCoy asks the question as he works his way through the line signing autographs along with Eagles teammate Nick Coles at the conclusion of the first day of training camp.

The practice was closed to the general public but pacts of season ticket holders were admitted.

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Barbre would be 'pushing' teammates for job

Eagles head coach Chip Kelly said veteran Allen Barbre would get the first shot at filling in for right offensive tackle Lane Johnson, suspended four games for using PEDs.

Barbre would have been a factor in competition for a job suspension
The NovaCare Complex.
or no suspension.

"If Lane wasn't out, he'd be pushing all those guys," Kelly said at his first news conference at training camp.

The Eagles signed Barbre to a three-year $4.35 million contract extension in June.

Kelly said the pact had nothing to do with the status of Johnson, who was told of the suspension in May. Johnson said he alerted the Eagles to fortify the position after getting a letter from the NFL.

Speaking of Johnson, he's practically fallen off the map in the team drills. Johnson is running alongside guys who could have a tough time making the team. He basically will miss the month of September.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Johnson: PED prescribed by personal doc

Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson understands critics will think he used an illegal drug to get bigger and stronger during the offseason.
Out of work  this September.

So he tried to set the record straight upon reporting to training camp Friday.

Johnson said he was away from the team last April when he took a drug prescribed by a family physician without contacting team trainer Chris Peduzzi to see if it was on the banned list of substances.

While Johnson wouldn't reveal the drug because of what he said were the orders of head coach Chip Kelly, he suggested it would be a reach to say the Eagles had a problems with PEDs. Johnson and teammate Jake Knott have been suspended four games for violating the NFL policy.

"There's a list of like 100 or 200 banned substances you can't take," Johnson said. "They're all over the building. It's just something where I think athletes kind of get carried away a little bit. Obviously substances like that aren't FDA regulated so it's real easy to take something maybe you're not aware of. But that's no excuse. At our meetings all the time they tell us to talk to the trainer and that's something I didn't do."

Johnson can participate in training camp and the preseason games but cannot be on the premises most of the month of September.

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