Friday, July 25, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Mailbag: Brown vs. Baskett; Jackson takes a knee

I've been getting quite a few questions via e-mail and Twitter so I thought we'd run through some of them as I keep an eye on the Phils in the background.

Mailbag: Brown vs. Baskett; Jackson takes a knee

I've been getting quite a few questions via e-mail and Twitter so I thought we'd run through some of them as I keep an eye on the Phils in the background.

But a couple quick plugs.

One, join me for a live chat Wednesday at 2 p.m.

And two, I'll be in the studio from 5:30-6:30 to talk Birds on SportsRadio 1470 The Fox in the Lehigh Valley Wednesday evening.

Now on to your questions:

Is there anyone unsigned or on another roster that could fill in at middle linebacker? -- Jim

Jim's question came in before the Eagles announced their signing of Matt Wilhelm, who spent the first six seasons of his NFL career with the San Diego Chargers. The 6-foot-4, 245-pounder out of Ohio State said today he can play either the weakside or the middle, and pointed out that he can play in pass coverage on third downs. The last time he played the MIKE was during his rookie season. We'll take a look at Wilhelm tomorrow, but I'm not expecting the Birds to make a major roster move at linebacker. I could be wrong so here's a list of available free agents if you want to take a look.

As a Hank Baskett fan since he signed with the team, I've been following the wideout situation with interest in training camp. If it comes down to him and Reggie Brown, who do you think has the advantage? -- Nick

It's the question people were asking long before camp started. Both guys have had decent camps up to this point. Baskett had some drops early on but had one of his stronger practices today. Brown has not been spectacular, but I remember a specific play today where he made Quintin Mikell miss, and another earlier in camp where he had the chance to run out of bounds, but instead cut inside and absorbed some contact. Interestingly enough, both guys participated in this afternoon's special teams practice. I don't know if that would be a deciding factor, but it could at least have some effect. I still think there's a chance the Eagles keep both guys, but we'll keep our eye on this battle as camp continues.

Sheil, Joe Mays sounds like Matt McCoy, Dhani Jones, Levon Kirkland and Marc Simoneau to me... say it aint so! -- Tweet from RL219

It ain't so. Mays is nowhere near as big as Kirkland and I would be shocked if he wore a bowtie or played a banjo. As for Simoneau, in terms of size, they're pretty similar. I didn't cover camp when Simoneau was here, although I remember his struggles on the field in the regular season all too clearly. Here's what we know about Mays. He's built like a truck. If he stood still, and I took a running start and rammed into him, I would probably die. OK, maybe not die. But I'd be in serious pain. That's the best way I can describe him. The guy is jacked. Now, that doesn't necessarily mean he can play middle linebacker. Mays appears confident and seems to really want to take advantage of this opportunity though.

It's just very difficult to gauge the progress of the defense right now with so many new parts. I like what I've seen from Sean McDermott, but I'm not sure we'll have a grasp on the identity of the 'D' until we're a month or so into the regular season. A bit of a cop-out answer, but that's the truth.

Any reason why CFL rep is there? -- Tweet from fedcop2

This was in response to post I had that someone from the Calgary Stampede of the CFL was at training camp today. I imagine he was just doing some scouting. Obviously, some of the guys we see are going to get cut and will want to continue their careers elsewhere. Again, this is the first camp I've attended all the way through, but I imagine CFL scouts in attendance is pretty common.

Ouch! How does he look? -- Tweet from missmotorcade

This was in response to my post on DeSean Jackson getting nailed in the jewels during today's practice. Jackson made a reception during the non-tackling portion of practice. During these sessions, defenders generally make contact with the offensive players, but don't bring them down. Kind of like "Rough Touch" if you will. Well someone got a little too rough and accidentally connected with Jackson's groin. To answer the question, he looked like he was in quite a bit of pain. But he got back in after taking a brief knee and later recounted how it happened to Brent Celek. It's funny how every guy has the same cringing reaction when seeing or hearing about a shot like that.

If you have questions, e-mail me or hit me up on Twitter.

Earlier posts today included a conversation with Football Outsiders about the Eagles' injuries on defense and notes from practice.

And below is our video report with Bob Brookover of the Inquirer.

You'll hear from me in the a.m. bright and early for Jeremy Maclin's first practice.

Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
About this blog
Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for philly.com. His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at skapadia@philly.com or by clicking here

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Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
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