Sunday, December 28, 2014

DeSean sharp in first practice

DeSean Jackson was back, with a new tattoo reading "dedicated" on the outside of his left calf and the same crisp connection with Michael Vick.

DeSean sharp in first practice

Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson participated in his first practice today. (David Maialetti/Staff file photo)
Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson participated in his first practice today. (David Maialetti/Staff file photo)

DeSean Jackson was back, with a new tattoo reading "dedicated" on the outside of his left calf and the same crisp connection with Michael Vick.

The Eagles most dangerous wide receiver received cheers from fans and caught nearly everything thrown his way in Saturday morning's practice. It was Jackson's first practice in pads since rejoining the team Monday.

One of his first grabs came as Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie ran step for step with him down the sideline (though it looked like Jackson may have drifted out of bounds before he gained control of the ball). He beat Asante Samuel twice in one-on-one drills, prompting a "pay DeSean" chant from fans.

"My legs (are) feeling good, and I’m feeling fresh, so, just ready to get back out there and contribute to my team," Jackson said.

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With Jackson on the field, it helped balance out the talent for an offense facing Samuel, DRC and Nnamdi Asomugha.

Jackson said he hopes to play more consistently this year.

"That’s something I learned from Jerry Rice is just being as consistent as possible," Jackson said, adding that he hopes to eliminate his ups and downs.

Michael Vick said he was excited to have Jackson back. Jackson is hoping for a new contract, but risks injury every time he steps on the field.

"I just try not to think of it," he said. "As long as I’m working hard and not taking the short way out trying to protect myself and just go full go I think I’ll be alright."

He looked better than alright this morning.

Practice notes:

-- Jeremy Maclin was not with the team today. Andy Reid had no update on him and does not know when the Eagles other top receiver will return.

-- DRC continues getting looks with the first team nickel, splitting time there with Joselio Hanson. DRC has to learn the position, but if coaches feel comfortable with him there it could be bad news for Hanson.

-- Vick was again sharp, dropping one long pass over Samuel and into Chad Hall, who had gotten behind the receiver.

-- Alex Henery had a shaky morning. He missed several intermediate-length field goals, some very badly. Reid said the rookie kicker, who did connect on two short field goals in the Eagles' preseason victory over the Ravens, is going to have some off days.

"This is all part of the growing period," Reid said. "One of the greatest kickers to ever kick here was David Akers, and he came from another team ... and really just did kickoff his first year. It's a tough position. And this kid, he's prepared for it. You saw him battle through and make the last kick (58 yards), which was the toughest kick.

"He's got to be more consistent as we go here, but he will. He's a hard-working kid.

-- Great match up between Asomugha and Jason Avant in one-on-ones. Two technicians going at it. Avant got open, but only for a short gain toward the sideline.

-- King Dunlap was with the first team at right tackle with Ryan Harris sidelined by back spasms.

-- Cullen Jenkins and Anthony Hargrove remain at first team defensive tackle. Antonio Dixon and Derek Landri are in the middle for the second team.

-- Vince Young is slowly looking better. There are still several plays each practice where he holds, holds, holds the ball, indecisive about where to go until Reid whistles the play dead and credits the defense with a "sack." But he has had a few nice throws, including a pretty deep ball to Hall today, who had beaten Curtis Marsh.

-- Marsh continues to impress, though, for the most part. He had a nice break up against Hall on a crossing route.

-- Of the receivers fighting for the last spot behind Jackson, Maclin, Avant and Cooper (with Steve Smith's status still not clear), Hall seems to be ahead by far.

-- The new defensive backs continue to learn. Jarrad Page and DRC got mixed up on a coverage, allowing Sinorice Moss to run by both uncovered. (The pass went elsewhere).

-- The defensive line continues jumping offsides.

-- Mike McGlynn was the second team center, though he has sunk on the depth chart. He had a long talk with Reid after practice.

-- After Friday's day off, Reid put his team through a long, hard session this morning. Juan Castillo added to it, making his linebackers work on getting off blocks for another 15 minutes or so after practice. That goes back to his college days, when he worked his offensive linemen for hours, before the days of NCAA rules about practice times.

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

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