On a day dedicated to Jim Johnson at Lehigh on Wednesday, offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg made his first appearance in the media tent.
“He was a classy guy," Mornhinweg said of Johnson. "He had great class, great character and then, as everybody knows, he was one of the creative, aggressive-type defensive coordinators in the league. I loved it as an offensive coordinator because with his mentality and his style, there were several years where you just got a boatload of turnovers and opponents’ offenses were off the field very quickly in some cases.”
Mornhinweg also addressed a few issues related to the rookies in minicamp and the offense.
On the first few days of camp: “Five practices in three days, mostly rookies, we did have Kevin Curtis in and then the three quarterbacks and Stacy [Andrews]. Those men were coming back from injuries, with exception to the quarterbacks. A lot of learning. A lot of installation. The fellows that got all of these reps really got ahead of the game a little bit because many of these plays will be what we install here when the veterans get in. [It is] an excellent opportunity to get these extra reps.”
On first-round pick Jeremy Maclin missing the first few practices: “I’d normally talk about the players that are here however, in general, it’s my experience with rookies that help a ball club - or helped the club that I’ve been on - they’ve missed very, very little. It’s just a big advantage to be at every practice.”
On LeSean McCoy's retaining of the offense from the minicamps: “Almost all of it, he’s a pretty sharp guy. Now we ask the running back position to do an awful lot. He’s still working through some things, but he’s really a bright young man. I do think that by, lets say the middle of training camp, he should be pretty comfortable. It appears that, that is the way it’s going.”
On what the coaches want to see from McCoy: “There are a few things. The first one would be pass protection. Then there are one or two other things I’d like to see as well.”
The Eagles have one practice that is closed to the fans at 3 p.m. today and then Andy Reid will address the media. The team has its first full-squad workout Friday morning.
As the tributes and memories of Jim Johnson continue to pour in, former Indiana linebacker Mark Deal was among those who weighed in. Deal, now a member of the athletics staff at IU, played center when Johnson was the linebackers coach under Lee Corso for the Hoosiers from 1973-76.
“He was kind of gruff on the outside, but you knew he really cared about you on the inside,” Deal said. “He would kind of give you a little wry smile underneath his moustache.”
Deal and Johnson remained close after Deal's playing days ended as he became a coach at Wabash College.