Asante Samuel wants to show Eagles fans "that I love to go out there and make plays. That's what I'm all about, making plays and helping my team win."
Fans might get their first chance to see that Thursday night, when Samuel could play in a preseason game against the Carolina Panthers, if the hamstring injury that sidelined him from the first training camp workout until Sunday continues to feel better. Samuel talked to reporters Tuesday for the first time since camp began.
"I can feel the love and I can feel the excitement" after a few weeks around Eagles fans, Samuel said. "They're talking mess and talking (bleep). I definitely feel they want to see me out there and see what I can do for the team."
Samuel, signed for $57 million from the Patriots to play left corner, said he feels he knows Jim Johnson's defense pretty well now, he just needs to spend some time on the field with his defensive backfield mates
As far as Samuel is concerned, Andy Reid has Bill Belichick beat in one area (no, not Super Bowl clock management, guess again.).
"You know Bill doesn’t have a personality, so Andy wins that," Smauel joked, when asked to compare the coaches. "Not (by) much, but Bill doesn’t give you anything.”
Also on Wednesday, special teams coordinator Rory Segrest said he feels he has a lot of young guys in new roles, who tried to do too much in Friday's preseason opener against the Steelers.
Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said it's important to get his top five offensive linemen on the field for some reps, something that hasn't yet happened, with Shawn Andrews just having reported to camp over the weekend. Teammates expect Andrews will join them at practice Saturday, when the Birds resume work at NovaCare after Thursday's game and Friday's day off.
Mornhinweg indicated that rookie free agent Jed Collins has taken command of the fullback battle, over Luke Lawton and Jason Davis, and he again praised Max Jean-Gilles, who has stepped in for Andrews.
Mornhinweg said rookie wideout DeSean Jackson is a "natural" player who doesn't need a lot of tutoring on technique, and Jackson is a fast learner.
Crunch Time is a misnomer, now that the pads are off, but we have some highlights from Tuesday's morning practice, nonetheless:
*Winston Justice took Chris Clemons to the ground in a 1-on-1 drill. A few snaps later, Clemons limped off after tweaking his calf in a bout with Stefan Rodgers.
*Given that there's no real hitting in special teams practice, tussles are rare, but J.R. Reed and Andy Studebaker ended up rolling around on the ground anyway. Teammates separated them.
*Quintin Demps made a pretty pick of A.J. Feeley 7on-7.
*All the tight ends looked good in red zone drills; Kris Wilson, who has battled the ball quite a bit, made some nice catches.
* Asante Samuel had good coverage on Reggie Brown deep.