BETHLEHEM -- Eagles coach Andy Reid held his first news conference of training camp this evening. Here are some highlights of what he had to say, after rookies, quarterbacks and injured vets reported. The rest of the team is due in Thursday:
Opening: “We have a lot of new faces. It’s important we can come together as a football team. This is a great place to do at at Lehigh … This camp will be similar to the ones we’ve done in the past. The most important thing is that learning takes places and we gel as a football team.”
Injuries: “Nobody from this (rookie) crew (will start came on the physically unable to perform list) until we get with the veteran players. Jamaal Jackson, Victor Abiamiri and Todd Herremans (will start on the list). We’ll see how it goes. Doing a little bit more (this week) with Todd than the others.”
Michael Vick: “I’ve had the opportunity to talk to Michael and the commissioner. He’s ready to go and get on with things. He learned some important lessons here. It’s just very important that you put yourself in the proper situation. You’ve gotten to know Michael. Michael is a very nice guy. He tries to please everybody as best as he can. Those are great, redeeming qualities to have and have to be careful of situation you put yourself if. He’s very aware of that.”
How did the Eagles decide what to do about Vick, who will not be suspended by the team or the NFL for last month's shooting incident at Virginia Beach?
“No. 1, you listen to what exactly happened and the law enforcement part of it. They cleared Michael. He obviously didn’t break the law. That’s the No. 1 thing you look at. You just have to make sure he learns from it.”
“I will tell you this. I talked to Michael right after the situation happened. He told me what happened. It was the same story all the way through. The story didn’t change. The law enforcement people proved that fact. I’m going to just leave it at that. I’m not going to get into all the details. I think Michael learned from it. He just has to make sure he’s a little bit more aware of the situations he puts himself in.”
On league clearing Vick: “I talked with the commissioner. I knew where we were at with that. Both the league and the Eagles, we looked at what the law enforcement people tell us … Until the incident came up, I thought he did a phenomenal job trying to right himself.
On Kevin Kolb: “Where Donovan (McNabb) had been in his first couple of years, I think we’re back in that situation again where you have a new quarterback. There will be things he’ll learn as he goes through the process. He’s a little head of Donovan because he has been here, but as a starter, this will be a new experience.”
On unsigned picks Brandon Graham and Nate Allen: “I think we’re closer right now with Nate than we are with Brandon. I think it’s important that they’re here. These three days are great training for the young players. Both these two are going to have a role on our defense. As many reps as they get is very important. You lose a day, you lose opportunity to get better.” Reid indicated there was a chance Allen could be signed in time for Tuesday's morning practice.
On Todd Herremans: "I want to see how he’s doing before we take him off the PUP. We’ll gradually bring him back in. I don’t want him to jump in and hurt himself again. Take it nice and slow. We’ve got a little bit of time … He’s had time off. He’s been working with Rick. I want to see myself. I want to take it nice and easy and make sure we go about doing this the right way." Reid said it was unlikely that Jackson will be ready to start the season, but that Jackson is in "great shape."
More on Kolb: “I’m looking forward to working with Kevin and see how he progresses. That is going to be a neat deal.”
What he needs to see from Kolb: “He needs to keep doing what he needs to keep doing. We made thise move with confidence that Kevin could step in and be the guy. He needs to continue to progress. Will there be a little blip here and there? Sure, he’s a young guy. We need to keep pushing.
On whether Kolb will play more in preseason than a No. 1 QB normally would, because of his inexperience: “I’m going how see things go. I’m going to play by it ear. See how he does in practices. I’ve got a lot of confidence in him … He has a little more experience than Donovan."
On young guys: “We drafted a lot of young defensive players. I can’t wait to see those guys here, hit and sustain. I want to see after the third, fourth, fifth day when body is sore and mind is tired and how they react here.”
On the Vick situation as a distraction: “We have had other camps that have had sticky situations. I don’t see that as this type of thing.”
On the over-30 club: "I think we (still) have a couple of players. Our kickers will get the day off."
On changing expectations because of all the turnover: "It really doesn't. I don't feel that way. I'm expecting the new guys to step in and play and play well when they have an opportunity."
To read our earlier post on Mike Vick's answers today, click here.