One of the stars of my 2010 Philadelphia Eagles training camp report definitely has to be big physical rookie receiver Riley Cooper
The Eagles afternoon session was moved inside the Rausch Fieldhouse at Lehigh due to some serious rain showers outside. The whole practice was run on an inside athletic floor that was circled by an indoor track.
I could tell some of the players and coaches were less than thrilled to be playing on a “foreign” surface that didn’t seem to have the best of footing. Overall, the session was quick while focusing on the kicking game and allowing the first team offense to get some passing drills in. Unfortunately the tight quarters at times did not lend for the best football viewing or practicing.
Some news and notes from the afternoon session:
– After the morning session had the return of center Jamaal Jackson (#67), the afternoon session had the return of veteran offensive guard Todd Herramins (foot). For the first time in a while, the Eagles starting O-line was complete as Peters–Herramins–Jackson–Andrews—Justice all got reps together — at least for this non-contact practice. It maybe some time before the entire group is completely healthly and together, but I am sensing that the team is hoping to have all their O-line starters back in the line-up early in 2010 regular season.
– In the 11-on-11 passing drills, QB Kevin Kolb (#4) continued to look good throwing the ball and rolling out when needed. Kolb and Vick were just as sharp as their earlier outdoor practice and you can see the relationship that they are developing with their receivers especially Jeremy Maclin, Brent Celek, and DeSean Jackson.
– Even though there was limited passing drills in the fieldhouse, rookies Riley Cooper and TE Clay Harbor continued to perform well catching the football. However for the second practice in a row, sure-handed receiver Jason Avant had a rare drop. Avant immediately went to work with one of the assistants catching several bullets.
— The catch of the afternoon was a one-handed grab by Maclin along the sideline on a 20-yard pass. Other nice catches were turned in by running back LeSean McCoy.
— The Birds worked on their kickoffs and punts too, but neither kicker David Akers nor punter Sav Rocca actually kicked the ball. However the kicking game should be in good hand with new special teams coach Bobby April on board.
— After practice head coach Andy Reid gathered his team at the center of the fieldhouse and gave them a pep-talk related to finishing camp strong as the regular season would be here soon.
– I was impressed with the tight end group staying later in practice to work on their blocking and catching. You can tell with the amount of two-tight end sets that the Birds were running that they like this group of youngster.
— I have to take my hat off to newly acquired tight end Nate Laurie (#83) who worked hard in practice and then stayed afterward to run suicides inside the fieldhouse while his teammates tried to get out of the rain.
— Also staying for some extra practice was the offensive line that featured enthusiastic respected assistant coach Juan Castille barking out orders. Castille definitely has had to patchwork together a group at times this training camp as his unit has endured some injuries.
It was a productive and soggy day in Bethlehem for this scribe and you can tell that the young Eagles have clearly turned the page from Reid’s former Super Bowl veteran-laden group. The Birds are a young loose group that may surprise some people in 201o. But right now as several players and coaches said during today, there is much improvement and work still to be done.
Filed under: 2010 NFL Season, 2010 NFL Training Camps, 2010 Philadelphia Eagles, NFL Preseason, NFL Training Camp, Philadelphia Eagles | Tagged: 2010 NFL Training Camp, 2010 Philadelphia Eagles, 2010 Philadelphia Eagles Training Camp, Kevin Kolb, Michael Vick, NFL |