Sunday, December 21, 2014

Eagles training camp 2013: Today's practice, er, walk-through notes

Today was the most uneventful day of camp so far. It was basically a walk-through. First the news that everyone knows by now:

Eagles training camp 2013: Today's practice, er, walk-through notes

Eagles´ head coach Chip Kelly, left, watches as Eagles´ Michael Vick,<br />center, and Patriots´ Tom Brady, right,  greets each other after the<br />Eagles Patriots joint training camp session. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)
Eagles' head coach Chip Kelly, left, watches as Eagles' Michael Vick, center, and Patriots' Tom Brady, right, greets each other after the Eagles Patriots joint training camp session. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)

Today was the most uneventful day of camp so far. It was basically a walk-through. First the news that everyone knows by now:

• Michael Vick will start Friday in the first preseason game against the Patriots, while Nick Foles will start Week 2 against the Panthers. Both Vick and Foles will get reps with the 1's on Friday.

• Brandon Boykin and Bradley Fletcher will start at CB, while Patrick Chung and Nate Allen will start at safety.

• Allen Barbre will start at LT. Lane Johnson will start at RT.

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• One player to keep an eye on in the Eagles' first preseason game is Emmanuel Acho, who has quietly had a really nice camp. We had previously noted that he was excelling in RB pass protection drills, in which he's a blitzing LB. Acho has a brother in the NFL, Sam Acho of the Cardinals, who Emmanuel played with at Texas. Acho explained that his brother has helped him with his pass rush skills. "I think having a brother who is a defensive end who's a pass rusher by trade," said Acho, "whenever I work with him, when he uses me for 1-on-1's, I'm able to pick up on some things."

The Eagles traded Dion Lewis to Cleveland for Acho. Eagles defensive coordinator Billy Davis was the LB coach in Cleveland last year, which means that Davis has at least some level of interest in him. Acho could be a guy who carves out a spot on the roster, especially if he can show something on special teams.

• Both the Eagles and Pats mainly practiced special teams today. They did some onsides kicks, the Stanford band play, squibb kicks, FG hurry-up "end of half" drills, etc. The highlight was when the Pats drilled a squib kick right at Jake Knott. Knott could not get out of the way, as the ball bounced off of him and the Pats recovered. It was reminiscent of the play in basketball where a player inbounds the ball off an unsuspecting opponent who has his back turned, then the inbounder grabs the ball and quickly shoots.

Aaaaand... That's about all have today. Apologies.

***

Because today was so uneventful, a quick story:

Last year I was standing on the sideline at training camp, and had a chance to make a play:

My big moment: Kafka threw a ball out of bounds, and it was coming right to me.  I mean, it couldn’t have been a more perfect throw if he were trying to throw the ball to me.  I was confident.  I calmly dropped my pen and my notepad, and in that split second, there were no nerves, no fear.  I put my hands up, and… pfffff… right through them.  I mean… I barely even slowed the thing down.  Choke.  Awful.  The crowd immediately booed.  And deservedly so.

Today, I got a chance at redemption. I was standing over by the Pats' side of the field, when an errant pass came over my way. Typically, when there's a loose ball, there will be a ball boy running over to retrieve it. No ball boy. So I picked up the ball, and backup Pats QB Ryan Mallett started calling for it about 30 yards away. He was smiling, so I feel like he was thinking that there was no way I was going to reach him. I let it rip and hit him about shoulder high, just above the numbers. It was a better throw than Tim Tebow made the entire three days he was here. 

My buddy Sheil Kapadia of Philly Mag noted that journalists typically make a leap from Year 1 to 2.

Click here for complete coverage of Philadelphia Eagles training camp.

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