Johnson: Lito No Problem
The Eagles' defensive coordinator said that despite Lito Sheppard's publicly expressed unhappiness over not being traded and not starting, Sheppard is working hard and not bringing the dispute onto the field with him.
Johnson: Lito No Problem
Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson said Thursday he can't be concerned with cornerback Lito Sheppard's dissatisfaction over not starting and not being traded, especially since Lito is not letting the matter affect his play.
"Every time I walk on the field, I see three excellent corners, actually four, with (Joselio) Hanson, and it gives me a lot of confidence," Johnson said. "I don't even think about (the Sheppard situation). I just think about how we're going to match up, what we're going to do with these three guys."
Johnson said Brown is the starter opposite $57 million free agent Asante Samuel mostly because that has been his job since 2004.
"Sheldon's been our right corner for a long time," Johnson said. "All 3 of them will be on the field. I still say all 3 of them will be on the field 60 to 70 percent of the time."
Johnson said there will be times when Sheppard is the right corner and Brown is the nickel, depending on the situation.
"I'm seeing a guy who competes, who plays hard, and I'm not even thinking about it," Johnson said.
Post-practice update: (No, nothing new on Lito.) It seemed likely Reggie Brown was playing when he took the field for part of Wednesday's practice, but Brown was not on the field Thursday. He did move very well through the locker room, bad left hamstring and all, when reporters tried to question him about his playing status for Sunday.
"Don't know yet," Brown said.
With the other returning wideout starter, Kevin Curtis, already sidelined following sports hernia surgery, the focus on rookie DeSean Jackson will really get intense. The receivers for Sunday could be Jackson, Hank Baskett, Greg Lewis and Jason Avant. If that's the case, look for lots of Lorenzo Booker split wide. And maybe some two-tight-end sets.
One other order of business: Thanks to everyone who e-mailed and commented on today's piece on Donovan McNabb and Eagles fans that led our special section. There was a mistake, though, in the accompanying listing of 10 defining McNabb moments. Because of a quirk of our archiving system, and also because I don't read so well, I got the wrong name for the letter-to-the-editor writer who advocated moving on with A.J. Feeley following the New England game last November. That writer was Kenneth Carchidi. Brian Ward, identified as the writer, actually had written another letter, in support of McNabb, that was printed underneath Mr. Carchidi's letter.
I have only one thing to say in my defense: