Friday, August 29, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Practice notes: Asante gets decked

Asante Samuel thought he had an interception.

Practice notes: Asante gets decked

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Asante Samuel thought he had an interception.

The Eagles' cornerback had the ball in his grasp, but couldn't hold on.

Bad hands? Not really. The reason was Kurt Coleman, the Eagles' second-year safety, who was also trying to make a play, but ended up hitting Samuel as the ball fell to the ground.

Samuel sat out a few plays, did some stretching on the ground and joked with Coleman. "You tryin' to get paid, huh?"

The pair shook hands and Samuel resumed practice.

Samuel even assured Andy Reid that he was OK, giving his coach a little nudge in the belly to try and get a smile out of him.

Minutes later, he picked off Mike Kafka, reading the quarterback perfectly and jumping in front of the intended receiver. He high-stepped all the way to the end zone, eventually making his way back and running right through the Eagles' offensive huddle as Kafka tried to knock the ball out of his hands.

Samuel got congratulations from Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and then Nnamdi Asomugha once he made his way to the sidelines.

You could picture much of the scene unfolding in a real game. That is, if all three cornerbacks stay with the team.

If Samuel thinks he's gone, he's not acting like it. He and Juan Castillo talked scheme on the sideline after red-zone drills. And I also noticed Samuel and Asomugha breaking things down with Castillo during special-teams practice.

Asomugha was not allowed to practice yet, although he should be participating Friday for the first time.

Given the Eagles' recent move in adding right tackle Ryan Harris, it's tough to predict what they would be looking for in a potential trade for Samuel, but the front office continues to leave that option open every time they're asked.

Would they be willing to accept future draft picks? Given they're "all-in" mentality, that wouldn't seem to make sense. But we continue to wait and see.

MORE PRACTICE NOTES

* Jason Kelce continues to rotate in at center, but Jamaal Jackson still gets most of the reps there.

* The learning process continued today for Danny Watkins. When he's not getting reps, he's attached at the hip to either Howard Mudd or assistant Eugene Chung. I'm too far away to hear, but there has been a lot of pointing, nodding, etc. as Watkins tries to get the basics down on his second day here.

* The coaching staff wasted no time putting Watkins in during 1-on-1s against the offensive linemen. The defense practiced stunts with Juqua Parker and Philip Hunt going up against Watkins and Austin Howard. Not pretty for the offensive linemen. A more even battle was Trent Cole and Darryl Tapp going up against Jason Peters and Todd Herremans, the Eagles' two best offensive linemen.

* Coleman, not Jaiquawn Jarrett has been running alongside Nate Allen as the first-team safeties. He made some nice plays today (aside from decking Samuel). When Allen's given a breather, it's been Marlin Jackson on the field.

* Trent Cole was slow to hold up during a blitz drill and collided with Michael Vick. The same thing happened earlier in camp. Andy Reid had a few words for Cole afterwards. Guess he's not too anxious about beginning the Vince Young era.

* Antonio Dixon was carted off the field with a knee sprain. The Eagles signed a pair of defensive tackles yesterday, but are very thin there since the new guys can't practice yet. Undrafted free agent Cedric Thornton got a lot of reps today. Trevor Laws was not practicing because of a hip flexor. Check out our Eagles section for the latest on Mike Patterson.

* The first-team linebackers continue to be Casey Matthews, Moise Fokou and Jamar Chaney. The second team consists of Brian Rolle, Keenan Clayton and Rashad Jeanty. Matthews did a nice job breaking up a pass intended for Brent Celek. Chaney also did a nice job in coverage on Celek on another play.

* Vick looked sharp today. On three consecutive passes, he hit Celek, Jason Avant and Riley Cooper for touchdowns. On another play, Cooper used his size to get inside position on Curtis Marsh, and Vick threw a perfect strike on a slant.

* On another play, Vick attempted to hit Cooper on a fade in the end zone, but their timing was all off and Rodgers-Cromartie had good coverage.

* Sinorice Moss, who has shown the ability to get past defenders from time to time, dropped a touchdown from Vick.

* We've barely talked about LeSean McCoy, given everything else that's going on. He looks good. Expect another big year.


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Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
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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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