Saturday, July 4, 2015

Observations: Sims wastes no time

Ernie Sims is in his first training camp with the Eagles, but the new weakside linebacker wasted no time getting noticed on Saturday morning.

Observations: Sims wastes no time

The Eagles practiced in front of thousands of fans today in Lehigh. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)
The Eagles practiced in front of thousands of fans today in Lehigh. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)

Jason Avant made the grab over the middle from Kevin Kolb and was immediately met with a pop from new Eagles weak-side linebacker Ernie Sims.

Only one problem: the Eagles were not in the "live" portion of practice, meaning the defenders are not supposed to tackle.

The hit caught Andy Reid's attention, and he took Sims off the field, replacing him with Akeem Jordan.

For his part, Avant didn't seem to mind much. The Eagles' slot receiver is used to taking licks, and he simply got up and gave the "A-OK" sign, waving to the defensive unit.

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Afterwards, Reid said Sims is a physical football player, and while he wants the Eagles' linebacker to follow the rules, he didn't seem too bothered by the hit.

Sims, meanwhile, said he was excited, and it was just difficult for him to hold up.

"Just anxious," he said. "It's been a long time since I strapped these pads on and it's a new team. I'm just happy to be out here. I'm going to abide by his [Reid's] rules the best I can. Just me playing football, it's kind of hard not to hit people."

Here are my other observations from the day:

* I feel like offensive line coach Juan Castillo is going to take it personally if Stacy Andrews doesn't perform well this season. A lot of one-on-one time with the Eagles' right guard during the individual position portion of practice.

* From Asante Samuel after a ball sailed over Jason Avant's head: "Don't get complacement now that they gave you all that money." Note that Samuel is on the books for $8.895M in 2010. Avant? $3.2M.

* Kevin Kolb hit DeSean Jackson on a pair of bombs. One went at least 35 yards in the air, the other 45 yards. I thought this was going to be a short passing game with yards after the catch? Jackson is too fast and too talented to not send down the field. These two will connect on several deep balls this season - maybe not as many as Donovan McNabb and Jackson, but there will be plenty.

* Darryl Tapp tried to hold up but ended up getting a little hit on Michael Vick, sending him to the ground. The QBs have the red jerseys on and are not supposed to be touched. Tapp helped Vick up. The two are fellow Hokies. I'm sure all will be forgotten.

* The biggest boos of the day came when a fan sat down in the stands with a Ben Roethlisberger jersey on.

* Note that Macho Harris and Joselio Hanson are the cornerbacks with the second team. It'll be interesting to see if rookie CB Trevard Lindley can take that spot from Harris later in camp.

* Stewart Bradley picked off a pass from Kolb. I'll write a little bit more about how Bradley can help the Eagles' pass defense in the next few days.

* For the most part, Juqua Parker was the first-team left defensive end, although I did notice Brandon Graham get in there at one point. Graham actually would have sacked Kolb on the one deep ball to Jackson if he were allowed to hit him. The rookie went right around Winston Justice on the play.

* LeSean McCoy and Mike Bell each had their moments. I believe Martell Mallett got some time with the second team also. Eldra Buckley's reps were exclusviely with the third team. I saw both McCoy and Bell motion out wide on different formations.

Jason Peters took a knee at one point, appearing to be injured, but after a quick discussion with athletic trainer Rick Burkholder, he was back in the huddle without missing a play.

* Kolb was forced to scramble on one play, running down the field to the far sideline. Rookie Kurt Coleman approached him, but of course is not allowed to hit Kolb. The Eagles' QB took full advantage of that little rule, delivering a stiff arm to Coleman's face, which the crowd loved.

* Kolb missed Brent Celek, throwing behind the tight end, and swung his arm in frustration as if we were in Week 12.

* Returning punts at the end of practice were Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Chad Hall.

* Cornelius Ingram got a couple reps at tight end with the first team. Martin Rucker got some reps with the second team. I'm not positive, but I believe rookie Clay Harbor only saw time with the third team.

Michael Vick threw a very nice pass to Hank Baskett for a 40-yard gain down the near sideline. Baskett beat Harris, who had good coverage, but could not make a play on the ball.

* One guy to keep an eye on: Keenan Clayton. The rookie linebacker saw some first-team reps as a nickel linebacker. He also is the second-team SAM, behind Moise Fokou. I've liked what I've seen from him so far.

* The beat guys will have more on the fight between Riley Cooper and Ellis Hobbs. And we should have video of it on the site later today. I find it interesting that both those guys are involved in position battles - Cooper looking to be the No. 4 receiver, and Hobbs looking to hold on to the right cornerback job. Cooper has him by five inches, and the rookie legitimately swung at Hobbs, although he had his helmet on. Bradley then came in to break it up, or to just add to it, depending on how you look at things.

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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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