Thursday, November 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Day 2: Three things to watch

Rookies in the mix

Day 2: Three things to watch

Rookies and prospects were on the field and getting tangled up Monday at Lehigh. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
Rookies and prospects were on the field and getting tangled up Monday at Lehigh. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

Rookies in the mix

How many rookies will be starters for the Eagles this season? I asked Daily News writer Les Bowen, and we came to a consensus on the likelihood: Assuming no injuries, and discounting fullbacks (sorry, guys), the answer is three.

First-round pick DT Fletcher Cox will be in the line rotation and probably get a shot at starting sooner rather than later.

Second-round strongside LB Mychal Kendricks will start and possibly on Opening Day. The need is great and the opening is there.

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And second-rounder Vinny Curry will be a part of the DE rotation, getting regular reps.

So those three will be under intense scrutiny during camp, especially Cox and Curry with the uber-intense defensive line chief Jim Washburn coaching in his ever-so-subtle way.

Again, barring injuries, it's highly unlikely a rookie will start on offense.

Can the drops stop?

It's typical for rookie and veteran receivers to drop passes early in camp. But the ball looked greased for a while during the afternoon live session.

That's not exactly the way to impress the coaching staff.

Rookie free agent WR Ron Johnson dropped one, quickly followed by RB Bryce Brown, and rookie free agent Damaris Johnson. On the plus side, the quarterbacks were putting the ball right on target.

Duce on the loose

Special teams quality control coach Duce Staley, a former Eagle star RB, is overseeing a handful of potential rookie punt returners, including Cliff Harris, Damaris Johnson, and McKay Jacobson. The "reward" for a dropped punt or bad positioning was 10 pushups.

Judging by the first day's performance, the group may be muscle-bound before long. Day 2 can only be better.

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Jimmy Kempski
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