Mike McGlynn is drawing a lot of praise for his performance the past couple of days as the first-team center.
And rightfully so. He's done a good job. I haven't seen any problems with the snap, and the offense had some good moments against the blitz today.
Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg even gave McGlynn a pretty strong vote of confidence.
"I’ve got great confidence in Mike McGlynn. No question about it, and other players do as well," Mornhinweg said. "And there are many reasons for that. It’s because he’s a bright young man, and he’s tough. If you have those two things, typically, with enough hard work, you’re going to be in pretty good to shape to play in a league game."
When I talked to McGlynn yesterday morning after practice, I asked him about directing protections. Besides snapping the ball, it's probably the center's most important job. But I wondered if it's something that can really be evaluated in practice.
"You can write it up all you want on paper, but until you get out onto the field and see it live, that's when it really is important," McGlynn said. "That's the only way you get better at directing protections - is seeing it live."
The Eagles' defense is doing its best to test McGlynn, the rest of the offensive line and the running backs who stay in to block. There have been quite a few blitz drills this week.
"The thing with us right now is our defense has so many blitzes in," McGlynn said. "And it's something different everyday. Once we can gameplan for teams, it becomes easier."
With every practice that Nick Cole misses, McGlynn's chances of taking over the starting job increase greatly. But the point is there's only so much we can tell about a center in practice. The preseason will give us a better idea. And really, we won't know until the regular season, when defenses are trying to confuse Kevin Kolb and company on every snap.
One more thing to add here. Some have made the direct connection between McGlynn starting with the first team and the offense looking sharp the past few days after struggling last week. But I make a more obvious connection: Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson being on the field together. Maclin just returned to practice fully on Monday. And Jackson had missed a lot of time with the lower back strain. The fact that they're both healthy is helping Kolb more than anything.
Sidenote: If you're wondering about the reported spat between Jackson and Maclin, I missed it. So there's not much for me to say on the topic.
* Max Jean-Gilles' reaction to Andy Reid calling a short practice this morning? "That's love." Jean-Gilles told me his energy level is high, but everyone's a little tired at this point in camp. And in case you're wondering, he's not a fan of the new Madden. "It's too hard," he said. "You put it on All-Madden, you get beat by a garbage team, so I'm back to 2010." The video game the team seems to be obsessed with right now is FIFA. Jean-Gilles said Maclin is whooping up on everybody in that one.
* During wide receiver vs. defensive back one-on-one drills today, Maclin beat Quintin Demps deep, but Kolb barely overthrew him. Maclin reminded Demps that he still had him beat. "You don't catch, you don't win," Demps replied. "It's the NFL."
* Haven't had a chance to ask him about it, but I saw LeSean McCoy do a good job picking up a blitzing Nate Allen today.
* David Akers has been held out of practice with a heel contusion. I'm no doctor, but heel injury and kicker don't seem to go together. I'm not too concerned yet, but this is one that should at least be on everyone's radar until he returns.
* From earlier today: Taking stock of the Eagles' rookies.
* I'm participating in a media softball game at Citizens Bank Park Wednesday. It's Web/Radio against TV/Newspaper, and it's for a great cause: The Police Athletic League of Philadelphia. Check out the link for more information on their programs.
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