The Eagles closed out their minicamp this morning, the last mandatory session before training camp.
ANDY REID AFTER THE LAST MINICAMP PRACTICE THIS MORNING:
On holding Donovan McNabb out of the final practice: We've been charting Donovan's throws. When you go with that first group, you have a tendency to get up there in numbers. He had reached his number, so he was done. We gave the other two (A.J. Feeley and Kevin Kolb) an opportunity to get some red zone work in, which will pay off later. Once we get to training camp, Donovan will take the majority of that (red zone snaps) and the others get slighted a bit.
Compare atmosphere at this camp compared to last year when you were dealing with family problems, McNabb was coming off a major knee injury, et al: Well, I thought you (media) guys struggled to find a positive story (in this camp). You did a good job finding negative ones. But there are plenty of positive ones you can find out there. There are some good young players you can focus in and look at. Other than that, it was business as usual.
Do you expect red zone offense to be better with healthy L.J. Smith and healthy Donovan McNabb: I think we'll get back to where we were. It's not just the skill guys (that impact that). It takes the whole team, starting with me making sure we have the right plays in there, and the offensive line. You can't exclude those two factors. They're very important. But with the people we have, we should be able to get back to where we were production-wise the years before.
On rookie second-round WR DeSean Jackson: We threw a lot of stuff at him. A lot of plays. We overload them with plays (in first minicamp) and see if they can handle the load they're given and what kind of retention they have when a play is dialed up in the huddle. And then execute it. Then there's the physical part of it. (Jackson) came in here. We all heard he was fast and can catch the football. But until he gets here, you don't know that (for certain). It looked like he had good quickness, good speed. He caught the ball OK. Those were all things we were looking for. But there's a lot of work ahead. This is just (guys in) shorts.
Some other stuff:
* Eagles announced today that the report date for rookies for training camp at Lehigh is July 21. Veterans are due on July 24. They'll only be at Lehigh for three weeks, breaking camp on August 13.
* Eagles will begin their voluntary camps and OTAs later this month. They'll hold a two-day rookie camp on May 21-22. There will be OTAs for rookies and selected veterans May 27-30. OTAs for the entire team will be June 3-6 and 9-12.
* Offensive tackle Tra Thomas didn't participate in the final minicamp practice this morning. He's got what might be a small cyst (or possibly a big pimple) on his forehead and was having it looked at.
* The Eagles' sixth-round pick, defensive end Andy Studebaker, of Division III Wheaton (Ill.) College, is being switched to strongside linebacker, much like Chris Gocong was after the Eagles took him in the third round of the '06 draft. Studebaker put up impressive numbers at his mid-April Pro Day, which you can watch here on Eagletarian.com via YouTube. He ran a 4.60 forty, a 6.81 in the three-cone drill and had a 36-5 vertical jump. All of those numbers were better than the top three defensive ends taken in the draft -- Chris Long, Vernon Gholston and Derrick Harvey.