Another morning at training camp. Here are my observations from today's practice:
* The linebacker shuffle continues - kind of. Yesterday, Sean McDermott played Akeem Jordan with the first team on the strong side, instead of Moise Fokou. That part didn't change today. But what caught my attention was Fokou practicing at defensive end. It seems clear that McDermott is looking for a role for Fokou, even though he's not sure what it should be. He practiced with the second team at strong-side LB too. If Fokou continues to practice more with the linemen, we can close the competition for starting linebacker spots. The three positions will be filled with Stewart Bradley, Ernie Sims and Jordan - assuming of course that all three are healthy. Fokou is a guy I'll keep an eye on the rest of the week.
* Several Eagles not participating today, including Mike Bell, DeSean Jackson, Asante Samuel and Stewart Bradley. Bradley, Todd Herremans, Jamaal Jackson, Jordan Norwood and Victor Abiamiri worked out on the side field. It really looked like Kempo-X for you P-90 X fans out there. "Jab, cross, upper-cut," said Jon Dorenbos from 20 yards away. If Tony Horton makes a guest appearance here, I'll make sure we get a video up.
* Joselio Hanson stepped in with the ones at cornerback in place of Samuel. I'll have some comments from him in a post later this afternoon. When the Eagles went to first-team nickel, Dimitri Patterson went outside and Hanson moved into his usual place covering the slot receiver.
* Bad job by Fokou on one play, blatantly grabbing Jason Avant's face mask. Gotta cut down on those penalties, and definitely don't need to get a teammate injured.
* "It's gotta be perfect," Marty Mornhinweg said to LeSean McCoy after whistling and stopping a play. McCoy was set up a little bit too far outside, lined up as a receiver.
* A drop or two from Riley Cooper this morning.
* Clay Harbor got some reps with both the first team and the second team. Previously, I had seen him only running witih the third team. With the first team, he was split out wide. Kevin Kolb looked for him over the middle, but Harbor wasn't ready for the pass.
The beat guys report that Brent Celek left practice with dehydration. Harbor has good hands. It's just a matter of him picking up all the things the coaches need him to do. We'll have to see if that happens for him as a rookie.
* I caught Jeremy Maclin helping Cooper on the sidelines. Maclin's only 22, but it's clear how much further along the second-year players are than the rookies. There are only so many coaches to go around. It's always good when the players can do the teaching too.
* Speaking of which, Duce Staley is not shy. Here as a coaching intern, he is helping or instructing players after seemingly every rep. Really seems to be enjoying himself.
* I thought Macho Harris had a pretty good practice today. He made a nice play on an inside route to Cooper from Michael Vick.
* One thing about Vick - I have no confidence in his ability to make a play through the air when he's pressured. When he escapes the pocket and looks for a receiver, Vick has been off-target. Same when he stays in the pocket but has to make a quick decision against the blitz.
* I like what I've seen from Kelley Washington so far. Good size. Seems like a pro. It's becoming harder to come up with reasons for why Hank Baskett would be a better fit than him. Should be good competition the next couple of weeks.
* The play of the day was Leonard Weaver trucking over Harris down the near sideline. Big-time collision, and Weaver was the one left standing. Harris appreciated it afterwards, nodding his head and patting Weaver on the helmet.
* Ernie Sims made back-to-back good plays. He got to Vick on a blitz, and then stuck with Baskett in coverage.
* Brandon Graham got some first-team reps at the left defensive end position in the Eagles' nickel packages. On one play, he chased Vick out of bounds down the near sideline. I'm starting to believe the whole 'relentless' reputation he earned in college.
* Two false starts in a row for Winston Justice. King Dunlap came in to take his place for a play.
* Darryl Tapp and Daniel Te'o-Nesheim came in to rush from the interior in the nickel package.
* Rough sequence for J.J. Arrington. A fumble (caused by Trevor Laws) and then a dropped pass on the very next play.
* And finally, on a non-football note - bad job by the Best Western Lehigh Valley. No AMC in your cable package? Really? Isn't this something you should mention when someone makes a reservation? Going through serious Don Draper withdrawal here.
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