BETHLEHEM --- Eldra Buckley was running for the second-team offense, against the first-unit defense, and as usual, he was running hard.
Buckley blasted through a hole up the middle, but after a few yards he encountered corner Asante Samuel, who -- believe it or not -- squared up, got low and delivered a solid hit, Samuel just back from a hamstring injury/vacation. Buckley spun off the hit, dreadlocks flying, stayed upright and pinballed another 10 yards or so downfield. The green-clad offensive players on the sideline, previously a bit subdued on yet another morning of live hitting at Lehigh, erupted into hoots and cheers.
"One thing we want to do, we want to push each other," said appreciative fullback Leonard Weaver. "Anytime you get hit like that -- we as running backs take it personal, whereas some guys are going to talk trash, especially a little cornerback like Asante, you know I love you, son. It definitely gets us fired up. It makes guys really want to work. It takes that tiredness off your mind, so you focus on what you need to do."
Samuel did not want to discuss the play, or much of anything else.
Buckley said: "It was a good lick by him. He came up and delivered a good lick, and luckily, I was able to keep going."
Buckley said this long into camp, maintaining intensity "turns into a mental thing."
Buckley said he aims to show he can do more than just "go out there and lay the hat on people," but that is his most noticeable skill.
At some point fairly early in yesterday's practice, either a defender or the ground ripped a divot out of Buckley's uniform pants, just left of center on the seat. Fans might have seen more Buckley buttock than they were bargaining for. Buckley said he never noticed.
*Kurt Coleman, always looking for the "rip," forced a rare Brent Celek fumble.
*Offensive line coach Juan Castillo was very pleased when LeSean McCoy followed a pulling Max Jean-Gilles up the gut for good yardage.
*Clay Harbor held onto a pass despite a hard kidney shot from Ernie Sims.
*Undrafted rookie Austin Howard, 6-7, 333 and pretty nimble, took Trent Cole to the ground in 1-on-1 line drills.
*Akeem Jordan blitzed untouched and "sacked" Michael Vick, who had a good morning throwing the ball.
*Rookie Riley Cooper got some work with the first-team offense in 4-wideout sets.
*Mike Kafka found Jordan Norwood for a long strike down the right sideline.
Tight end Cornelius Ingram was given the morning off to rest his twice-repaired knee, the Eagles said. EDIT: After working with other injured players in the afternoon session, Ingram said in fact he had a mild calf strain, the result of the way his leg was tightly taped while he was icing his knee. Ingram said he expects to practice Monday.
Linebacker Omar Gaither sat with an ankle problem. Gaither said it was of little consequence.
Tight end Martin Rucker (hamstring) returned, and WR Jeremy Maclin (bone bruise on knee) took part in some drills. In the afternoon, Maclin worked as a "dummy" returner as Eagles special teamers tried to down the ball just short of the end zone. It was during this drill that new special teams coordinator Bobby April entreated "Julio" Hanson to "play the ball," much to the delight of Joselio's teammates.