Philadelphia Eagles: Notes from the First Week of Training Camp
One week from today, the Philadelphia Eagles will kick off the 2009 preseason with a home matchup against Tom Brady, Randy Moss and the rest of the New England Patriots. It may only be a preseason, but this early matchup could feature two of the top teams in the NFL who could well be playing in Miami come February.
When preseason kicks off next week, the Eagles will have played through two weeks of head coach Andy Reid’s intense training camp. With one week under their belts, there has already been plenty of discussion down at Lehigh University.
Eagles Lose Linebacker Stewart Bradley After Tearing ACL, Could Be Done For Season
Last Sunday, the Eagles held their first annual Flight Night at Lincoln Financial Field. More than 31,000 fans showed up to watch the team practice and attend a carnival to help raise money for their Youth Partnership. Even though it was a success, the event still had its consequences as the team lost one of their emerging stars on defense.
During the night practice, the Eagles lost middle linebacker Stewart Bradley to an ACL injury that could keep him sidelined for the entire season. The team will now rely on Omar Gaither to fill in the void left by Stewart at linebacker.
Last season was Bradley’s first full season as a starter for the Eagles. After an impressive 2008 campaign, where he recorded 151 total tackles last season, Reid was relying on him to be the leader on defense now that safety Brian Dawkins is with the Denver Broncos.
Rookie Wide Receiver Jeremy Maclin Ends Holdout, Signs Five-Year Deal With Eagles
When Jeremy Maclin was still on the board through 18 picks in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Eagles knew they had to make a move to acquire the wide receiver from Missouri. Since the Cleveland Browns were in control of the 19th overall pick, the Eagles traded their 21st and 195th pick to acquire Maclin.
Ever since their divorce from Terrell Owens, the Eagles have been in need for a No. 1 wide receiver. They may not have acquired Anquan Boldin or Brandon Marshall, but the addition of Maclin to play alongside a group of already talented receivers in DeSean Jackson, Kevin Curtis, and Hank Baskett may make the Eagles one of the most dangerous offenses in the NFC, if not the NFL. Oh yeah, they also have a guy at running back by the name of Brian Westbrook.
After holding out for eight days, Maclin finally came to terms with the Eagles by signing a five-year deal worth $15.5 million, with $9.5 million guaranteed. As frustrating as it was for the fans and front office to get him on the field, it might have been worth the wait.
In a Thursday morning practice, Maclin blew by two defenders and caught an 80-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Donovan McNabb.
In two seasons at Missouri, Maclin recorded 5,069 all-purpose yards and 33 total touchdowns. Not only could he make an impact at wide receiver for the Eagles, but he should play a key role as a return specialist too.
Eagles Defensive End Juqua Parker Arrested For Possession of Marijuana
In the early hours of Thursday morning, Juqua Parker was arrested by Lower Saucon Township police for possession of marijuana. Parker was in a car that was driven by his teammate, Todd Herremans. Herremans was pulled over for making an illegal left turn and driving without his headlights on.
Parker was released Thursday morning after the team’s director of security, Butch Buchanico, posted his $1,000 bail. His court date is set for Wednesday.
As more details continue to emerge from this incident, reports from Philly.com and LehighValleyLive.com make it seem like the incident should have little effect on the team. The players were willing to admit to their mistakes and should be back on the field as if nothing happened in no time.
Eagles Will Attend Defensive Coordinator Jim Johnson’s Funeral Friday
Even though it has been more than a week since the passing away of Jim Johnson, the pain suffered with the loss for the Eagles and their fans is still there.
On Friday, the team will take a break from their practice to pay their respects to the genius that helped the Eagles defense finish towards the top of the league the last 10 years.
The 68-year-old Johnson lost his battle to melanoma last week after taking a leave of absence from the team since the pain in his back was becoming too much to handle on the field. Sean McDermott will enter his first season as defensive coordinator with the Eagles.
No matter who is calling the shots for the Eagles on defense, Johnson’s presence will always be around on the sidelines for the Eagles every Sunday during football season. He may have lost his battle with cancer, but his passion for coaching football will always live on in the city of Philadelphia.
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