Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Observations: QB misfires, Cooper and Allen

The Eagles took the field for another day of practice with rookies and selected veterans Tuesday morning. Here's what I saw from Nate Allen, Riley Cooper and others.

Observations: QB misfires, Cooper and Allen

Newly signed Nate Allen will be starting at free safety unless another player takes the job from him. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)
Newly signed Nate Allen will be starting at free safety unless another player takes the job from him. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)

The Eagles took the field once again Wednesday morning for practice with rookies and selected vets.

The only difference from Tuesday? Second-round pick Nate Allen was on the field.

Here are my observations:

* During red-zone drills, Michael Vick looked for rookie Riley Cooper on a fade, with Trevard Lindley covering him. The 6-foot Lindley definitely would have been whistled for a holding or pass interference penalty if this were a real game, and the pass fell incomplete.

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But I wonder how often we'll see the Eagles run the fade with Cooper over the next few weeks. Andy Reid said during his press conference that Cooper was a guy the Eagles did not expect to be available in the fifth round of April's draft, so they snagged him. He's big (6-3), and he plays big, Reid said.

Earlier in practice, the corners had a tough time jamming Cooper at the line of scrimmage. We'll have to see if the veteran corners have the same trouble once the pads are on this weekend.

* Random thought: At some point, Cooper needs to team up with a QB or another receiver who has the last name "Sterling" so we can use "Sterling-Cooper" on a daily basis. Who can make this happen?

* Allen got on the field and will be the starting free safety unless someone takes the job from him. Not too much to report on him the first day, other than that he seems legitimately excited to be here. During the portion of practice where Sean McDermott installs the Eagles' blitzes, he was showing Allen the correct gap to burst through and the right angle to take.

Later, secondary coach Dick Jauron spent time with the defensive backs, focusing on calls and shifts when the offense shows motion or lines up in specific packages/formations.

* I'm looking forward to seeing how Lindley does against the first-team receivers this weekend. He's done a good job so far.

* For fans in attendance, or those of you reading tweets, blogs, etc., a word of caution when it comes to judging the quarterbacks. Just because a pass is incomplete during these practices, doesn't mean it's the fault of Kevin Kolb, Vick or Mike Kafka. It could mean that the wide receiver, tight end or running back made a mistake on his route. For example, there was one play where Vick fired to Dobson Collins, and at first glance, it looked like he threw behind the receiver. But when they came back to the huddle, offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg spent 30 seconds or so going over the play with Collins. It appeared he wasn't where he was supposed to be.

* Many of you have already asked who looks good and who doesn't, but it's just too early to tell. Keep in mind that the only projected defensive starter here is Allen. And the only projected offensive starter is Kolb. Other rookies will play a role, but often times they're going up against players who have little or no chance to make the team during these early practices.

* Earlier I posted about the decision to release LB/DE Alex Hall. Essentially, the Eagles traded Sheldon Brown and Chris Gocong for Trevard Lindley and Ernie Sims. Reid said today that he thinks Hall can be a good fit as an outside linebacker in a 3-4. Many of you asked on Twitter why they traded for him then. Good question. Either an error in thinking he could play DE or SAM for them, or they knew he probably wouldn't fit, but figured they would at least take a look during OTAs anyway.

Todd Herremans and Jamaal Jackson were back on the side field working out this morning. Afterwards, they went over to the fans and signed autographs. Nice touch.

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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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