Wednesday, July 29, 2015

And then there were two Eagles

Quarterback Mike Kafka and wide receiver Jeremy Maclin were the lone Eagles representatives at Thursday's informal passing camp. The team generally has between six to 12 players show up.

And then there were two Eagles

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Eagles receiver Jeremy Maclin catches a pass from quarterback Mike Kafka during informal workouts. (Photo: Jeff McLane)<br />
Eagles receiver Jeremy Maclin catches a pass from quarterback Mike Kafka during informal workouts. (Photo: Jeff McLane)

They arrived intermittently for Eagles informal practice.

They came fully equipped and ready to work, the NFL lockout their sole reason for gathering in Evesham, N.J., halfway between Philadelphia and the seashore.

By the end of the session they numbered ten, one short of a full defense.

Too bad they couldn't play football.

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Divided by five, the ten media members that covered Thursday's workout equaled the number of Eagles that managed to show up. Quarterback Mike Kafka and wide receiver Jeremy Maclin were the lone Eagles representatives for the "passing camp" that started two weeks ago.

While some other NFL teams have had as many as 30, 40 or 50 players, the Eagles have generally drawn somewhere between six-twelve players for informal workouts.

"I look at it as in when you have a passing camp, I think, the guys that should show up are the quarterback, running back, tight end and receivers," Maclin said. "I don't see no reason that we should have a whole defense on the other side of the ball or the linemen going out there. ... More power to other teams if that's what they feel like is necessary and is going to help them be successful."

Kafka had more than just Maclin to throw to on Thursday, though. Maclin brought along Rams receiver Danario Alexander and two undrafted free agents -- receiver Marcus Harris of Murray State and cornerback Kevin Rutland of Missouri.

When the practices began quarterback Michael Vick was running the show. He has since relocated to Virginia to work out with his personal trainer. Backup quarterback Kevin Kolb made an appearance last week but he's back in Texas.

Tight end Brent Celek, receivers Jason Avant, Riley Cooper and Sinorice Moss and running backs LeSean McCoy and Eldra Buckley have been at the workouts -- some more than others. So have some NFL players from other teams that are locally based.

Vick and Celek are said to have organized the workouts. Kafka said he envisions the practices continuing on in the same manner, with offensive skill players dropping in and out.

"I think it will continue to be like this," Kafka said. "I know [Vick] has a vision, an idea, of what we want to do as this thing progresses. So we'll see what Mike has to say about it."

The length of the workouts, obviously, will depend on the length of the lockout. The dispute between the players and owners is now in court. The owners' appeal on the injunction lifting the lockout will be heard tomorrow. No one expects a decision to be made immediately, although a ruling could spur negotiating to get a deal in place before training camp is to begin next month.

"I keep hearing July is the important month," Maclin said.

Kafka threw a variety of passes to Maclin, who is entering his third season. Maclin lost 15 pounds in March due to mono-type symptoms. He said he has put that weight back on and now weighs 195 pounds. He appears to have also regained much of the muscle he added last off-season.

Inquirer Staff Writer
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Birds' Eye View is the Inquirer's blog covering all things Philadelphia Eagles and the NFL.

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