After agreeing to a one-year contract with the Eagles, wideout Hank Baskett told reporters at NovaCare today he was glad to be back in a familiar place, where he knows the offense and is comfortable with his role.
Baskett seems to be hoping that in leaving the Indianapolis Colts -- who did not tender him as a restricted free agent -- maybe he won't have to spend the rest of his life explaining what happened on that onside kick in the Super Bowl.
Baskett said he knew when the Saints won the game that the surprise onside kick to start the second half, which caromed off him, would be much-discussed, as one of the pivotal plays. But he said it became a much bigger deal than he or his then-teammates anticipated. Baskett said he felt at one point he had reclaimed the ball under the pile, but by the time it all got sorted out, the Saints had it back.
"It was a long battle," he said. "It seemed like we were under there about a half-hour."
Baskett, cut by the Eagles early last season to make roster room for Michael Vick, said he was impressed with Marlin Jackson's work ethic, particularly how the defensive back remained a part of the Indy locker room after his season-ending ACL injury. Baskett predicted fans would like Jackson, signed this week to play free safety for the Birds.
"He's a blue-collar guy, which definitely fits in in Philly," Baskett said.
Baskett played three years, plus last year's season -opener, with the Eagles, after being acquired in a trade with Minnesota for the unfortgettable Billy McMullen.
Later, the Eagles allowed free agent running back Justin Fargas to meet with reporters during his NovaCare visit. Fargas might be more of an impact signing than Baskett, but he hasn't signed, though he said he'd certainly like to do so. The team later indicated that Fargas will not be signed today, anyway.
Fargas has spent his seven NFL seasons in the Oakland madhouse. To him, Philadelphia is a bastion of stability and sanity, and never mind that he isn't a prototypical West Coast, pass-catching back.
"I've had five head coaches in seven years," he said. "I can adapt easily."
Fargas, a hard-running 6-1, 220, said he is "excited about the opportunity here."
He didn't have a definitive answer when asked how talks were going or if he expected to sign.
"I'm following my agent's lead," he said. Agent David Dunn has not responded to requests for comment.