No, Brian Westbrook is not holding out.
Westbrook missed this morning's practice with an illness, Eagles spokesman Derek Boyko said. Boyko insisted that Westbrook remains here at camp despite persistent rumors that he left town. That is not the case.
Brian Dawkins also did not practice with a knee injury. Joining him on the injured list was LJ Smith (calf), Asante Samuel (hamstring), Ryan Moats (ankle), Kimo von Oelhoffen (knee inflammation).
Joselio Hanson (right quad contusion) and Sean Considine (right oblique strain) left practice early.
The Eagles practiced in full pads today and it was a decisively more intense atmosphere than yesterday. With the new defensive headset communication system installed on the sidelines, the team practiced two-minute drills. Each time, the ball was placed on the offense's own 30-yard line and 1:40 was put on the clock.
On the first try, the first-team offense led by Donovan McNabb, barely got across midfield before a Mike Patterson sack ended the drive.
With the second offense, Kevin Kolb completed passes to Luke Lawton, DeSean Jackson and Bam Childress, but he overshot a fourth-down attempt.
The third time was the charm. McNabb hit Greg Lewis for 17 yards. Then Lorenzo Booker caught two short passes and Jason Avant made a nice sideline grab for a nine-yard gain and a first down. McNabb then found Reggie Brown deep down the right sideline for a 40-yard gain to the 5.
For the score, McNabb threw a fade (yes, a fade) to Hank Baskett, who used his size advantage over Quintin Demps to make the catch with 8.3 seconds left on the clock.
This and that
- David Akers nailed a 60-yard field goal, which prompted a standing ovation from the crowd
- Correll Buckhalter had a solid day, including a 28-yard scamper with a few broken tackles
- Quintin Mikell and Considine had the hits of the day. Mikell drilled Childress, who hung onto a short pass. Considine got Tony Hunt behind the line.
- The fans were rowdy today. When McNabb came to the sideline, a group of fans tried the normal routine of attempting to make McNabb turn around for a photo opportunity. He did not oblige. "You can smile, Andy's not here," one fan yelled. "We have cookies!" another screamed. McNabb, who yes, was indeed smiling the whole time, would have no part of the photos.
- Quote of the day came from a fan yelling toward long snapper/magician Jon Dorenbos. "Hey Dorenbos, make Westbrook appear!" Dorenbos turned around and gave the fan a thumbs up.
- Special teams practice starts in 15 minutes.