Hank Baskett enjoyed the success he had running the fade last year and expects it to be a weapon for the Eagles in 2009.
"We worked the fade last year," he said during an interview with the midday guys at WIP earlier this week. "That got to work. Now we saw we had positive gains from it last year so I see myself helping more in the red zone. Everybody’s talking, it’s time for me to step up and make those big strides and help the team out in the red zone."
Baskett set career highs with 33 catches and three touchdowns last season. By my unofficial tally, two of those scores came on the fade -- one in Week 6 against the 49ers and the other in Week 10 against the Giants.
The Eagles' wide receiver said he was pleased with last year's results, especially considering the Eagles didn't really practice the fade much.
"We threw it in at practice just to see what happens," he said. "I guess Donovan [McNabb] had talked about it. If Donovan’s confident in something, you know the coaches are pretty much gonna be confident because Donovan’s the leader of the offense. If he sees something, let him run with it. That’s why he’s our leader. We threw it in there and it just happened to work a couple times and that’s without practicing all the time so imagine what we’re gonna be able to get in this offeseason and training camp. Imagine that kind of threat going into this season knowing that we do have that as a weapon now."
Baskett also addressed the possibility of not making the roster. The Eagles dealt Greg Lewis to the Patriots in the offseason and drafted Jeremy Maclin. Reggie Brown's role with the Birds seems to vary depending on who you ask.
"At the end of the day, if I can look myself in the mirror and say I gave a hundred percent, and I get cut, then I know that it was out of my hands," Baskett said. "But if I’m slacking and he’s just straight outperforming me and I’m not doing the little things to make myself better, then I made the decision easy on the coaches. And no matter what, my goal is to always make it -- on that final cut day or any day throughout the season -- to make that decision tough on the coaches. I want them to know my value to the team."
And of course, no Baskett blog post would be complete without a Kendra Wilkinson mention. He was asked what it's like to now be mentioned in gossip columns instead of exclusively in the sports pages.
"The best thing about it is I’ve never been that guy that goes for fame or nothing like that, and that’s what I told her when I met her. And it’s funny, she’s sitting here looking at me right now," he said. "I told her that from the get-go. I fell in love with her. You see how it is when I interact with the fans. I’m just a normal guy. And my job is football. Everyone else wants to hype up the whole celebrity this and that, but I am straight football and that’s what she knows and that’s what she loves. She knows that I’m not getting caught up in it. At the end of the day, I have my job and she has her’s. And we have made the best of everything, and things have just been great."