Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Observations: Clayton, Cooper and Coleman

The Eagles were back on the field Tuesday afternoon for a second practice. Here are notes and observations on rookies Keenan Clayton, Riley Cooper and Kurt Coleman.

Observations: Clayton, Cooper and Coleman


Here's what I noticed at the Eagles' afternoon practice on Tuesday:

* Strong showing from rookie linebacker Keenan Clayton. The fourth-round pick broke up a couple passes in coverage, including one from Kevin Kolb that was intended for Cornelius Ingram. He also ran over 325-pound Greg Isdaner on a blitz.

* It's only one day of practice, but I have a prediction: Rookie safety Kurt Coleman will start at least one scrum during his time at Lehigh. On more than one occasion, Coleman has gotten physical with receivers, even though the Eagles are practicing without pads. This morning, defensive coordinator Sean McDermott was asked what he saw about Coleman that impressed him.

"Breaking up passes and not afraid to stick his nose in there, and we don't have pads on," McDermott said. "That's playing Philadelphia defense right there."

McDermott might appreciate it. But I'm not sure the offensive players will, especially when the veterans arrive.

Riley Cooper's practice today reminded me of LeSean McCoy's early practices last year - coaches in his ear constantly, calling on him to line up in different places, correcting his mistakes, etc. But that's a good thing. That's what these practices are for. The teaching will continue, and Cooper will have to convince the coaches he can make a contribution as a rookie.

* Speaking of which, he did have some impressive moments. Cooper caught a bomb down the far sideline from Kolb, who beat a blitz. It was probably the loudest cheer of the afternoon from the crowd.

* Cooper also caught a 20-yard TD from Michael Vick on a post. It was probably Vick's most impressive throw of the day, and one that I'm not sure half the league's starting quarterbacks could make. He threaded it right between Coleman and cornerback David Pender.

* Rookie cornerback Trevard Lindley did a good job breaking up a slant intended for Cooper (from Kolb).

* At one point, Andy Reid told his offensive players that they sounded like a bunch of old ladies, although I was unable to figure out exactly what caused the comment. And earlier this morning, wide receivers coach David Culley told Jordan Norwood to tuck his undershirt in. Is this newsworthy? No. But it's one of the things I like about football even at the professional level. Coaches can still execute their power just like they do at the high school level and below.

* From earlier Tuesday, here are my morning practice observations. Plus a short video on rookie Ricky Sapp (embedded below), who spent the day at defensive end. And one other video with the Inquirer's Jeff McLane, focusing on Kolb and Vick.

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About this blog
Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for 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 or by clicking here

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