Thursday, November 26, 2015

Some first impressions from Lehigh

Shortly after 10 a.m. this morning, Eagles coach Andy Reid made the one-word announcement that annually amplifies the importance of training camp.

Some first impressions from Lehigh

Eagles rookie running back carries the ball during Friday morning´s practice at Lehigh. (Clem Murray / Staff Photographer)
Eagles rookie running back carries the ball during Friday morning's practice at Lehigh. (Clem Murray / Staff Photographer)

Shortly after 10 a.m. this morning, Eagles coach Andy Reid made the one-word announcement that annually amplifies the importance of training camp.

"Live," the coach said.

Hitting time is what the 11th-year coach meant.

And with that, the first-team defense took on the second-team offense for six plays followed by six plays with Donovan McNabb and the first-team offense going against the second-team defense.

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Some impressions:

_LeSean McCoy has some real talent and a lot to learn.

The rookie running back selected by the Eagles in the second round ran exclusively with the first-team offense and carried the football five times. He picked up 10 yards on two carries in the opening series and showed how quickly he can hit a hole. On the second series, he was tackled for a loss by Dan Klecko, rebounded with a seven-yard run, then slipped after getting the ball from Donovan McNabb and was taken down for another loss by Chris Clemons.

"I thought he did good," Reid said. "He had one play where he lined up on the ball and he was supposed to be off the ball. Other than that, if I can pick just one thing out of there, that's pretty good. He did some good things. We gave him the opportunity carry the ball a little bit and I thought he did OK."

_Lorenzo Booker needs to hold onto the football.

After dropping a couple of passes before the live-hitting session, the Eagles' running back was reprimanded by offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg on the sideline. Then on his first carry during the live session, he was stopped for no gain and stripped of the football. If Booker can't catch the football, he will not make this football team.

"He's got good hands," Reid said. "I'm not really sure what the deal is here. He had a couple yesterday and a couple today. He'll work through that. Naturally he has good hands, so he's got to focus back in on watching the ball and do all those things."

_Stacy Andrews proceeds with caution.

Stacy Andrews, returning from surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, participated in some of the controlled hitting drills during 9-on-7 periods this morning, but when the live period started the Eagles' projected starting right guard remained on the sidelines.

"It felt good to get back out there and get some pads on and get shoulder to shoulder with somebody," Andrews said. "I wanted to go out there for the live stuff, but I don't want to rush anything and have any setbacks. I'm trying to ease into it slowly."

_Plays of the day.

There's been a lot of focus on rookie tight end Cornelius Ingram, but Brent Celek showed why he is now the starter at that position when he went over the middle, got behind linebacker Tank Daniels and caught a perfectly thrown pass from Donovan McNabb for a 35-yard gain. Celek picked up 15 yards after the catch and finished the play with a physical push into safety Sean Jones.

The other big passing play was a 50-yard completion from McNabb to Hank Baskett, who had slipped behind safety Rashad Baker. In an earlier encounter, Baker stripped the football away from Baskett on a deep pass down the left sideline.

The best run of the day was a 40-yard burst up the right sideline by rookie Eldra Buckley with the third-team offense matched against the third-team defense.

The biggest hit came from rookie linebacker Moise Fokou when he knocked off Buckley's helmet at the end of a run.

Maclin update

Rookie receiver Jeremy Maclin remains unsigned and missed his seventh practice this morning.

"No, there's nothing there," Reid said when asked about the progress of negotiations between the team and Maclin's agent Jim Steiner.

A total of 12 first-round picks have now signed, but Oakland's Darrius Heyward-Bay is the only wide receiver who has signed among the six selected in the first round. 




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

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