Philadelphia Eagles First Camp Comes To a Close: What Have We Learned?
The Philadelphia Eagles have completed their first mini camp this weekend, there was a lot of energy flowing around field, anticipation was bursting from the players as they all display their respective skill sets.
The front office invited all players to participate in the three day event and QB Kevin Kolb wisely participated in camp.
He showed a tremendous amount of poise even though there wasn't any contact and displayed fantastic accuracy. He needs to work on his long ball but Kolb is a perfect West Coast Offense QB who looks at each option and releases the ball quickly.
The Eagles will be extremely successful in eating up the clock while still moving the chains down field.
Sure there will be the occasional long bomb to any one of the WR's and TE's the Eagles have on their roster but the gunslinging Donovan McNabb days are over folks—get ready for five, ten, or even fifteen yard pickups under Kevin Kolb.
Reid spent a lot of time during this first camp evaluating QB Kevin Kolb, analyzing his every move to see just how much Kolb knows about this offense. He wanted to see what type of leadership Kevin would bring to the Eagles offense in 2010 and the unforeseen future.
When Coach Reid was specifically asked on QB Kevin Kolbs progress, Reid said:
"He's got drive. He is put in a position with great expectations," Reid said. "As long as your expectations are greater than those around you, that's a good thing. He puts pressure on himself and there's nothing wrong with that. You need to be able to do that at that position. He handles that very well, and he gets better. You don't see the same mistake. If he makes a mistake, it's not happening again ."
Kevin has patiently paved his way to becoming a starting quarterback in the NFL and it is time to grasp the opportunity and run with it. We will see if he has the uncanny ability to make his offensive unit a better one.
Other news in the teams first mini camp is: Macho Harris was working at the safety position even though it is speculated he will get a look at cornerback in the upcoming camps and guard Mike McGlynn took some reps at center.
Stacy Andrews was out on the field and looked great. He is expected to be the starting right guard in 2010 and also to be a superior talent at that position.
If he can play to his full potential, getting him back is going to be a huge, huge plus for the Eagles.
QB Michael Vick had a great camp putting his awareness and speed on display.
There were multiple occasions where Vick was getting pressure and wisely decided to start running. He wasn't as quick in 2009 and that has been a focal point of his during the offseason—get quicker!
Vick also showed progress with his touch completing a number of nice throws.
Reid is happy with Vick's progress saying:
"I think he looks great. You saw him today. He's working with the second group. Any time he gets into trouble, he's out of there. You see his quickness and speed back. He's throwing the ball confidently. He's very hard on himself. Both (Vick and Kolb) are. They beat themselves up over an incomplete ball. Those things are going to happen. At the same time, they don't want that to happen. I like that. I think that's important ."
Asante Samuel was on the field making his leadership known both on the field, as he was making plays and grabbing a few INT's, but he was also extremely vocal cheering Dimitri Patterson who notched himself an INT in camp.
Alex Hall, who was acquired through the Cleveland Browns trade, was a LB in Cleveland's 3-4 defensive scheme, was working with the Eagles defensive end unit in this camp. Hall is a hybrid DE/LB and he definitely has the size to be a DE at 6'5", 250 lbs.
Keep an eye on that in training camp!
Another little tid bit of information is the Eagles rookie DE Ricky Sapp took some reps at strongside linebacker. Andy Reid wanted to see how well versed Sapp was in his coverage game.
Andy Reid did comment on both Alex Hall and Ricky Sapp saying:
"You have a Sapp or a Hall who haven't played that position for a while and so you get a clean evaluation," Reid said. "You can't do off of a two-hour practice or four hours, two practices. You wait a little bit of time and see if things soak in and it makes them improve."
First round draft pick DE Brandon Graham missed practice today due to his graduation. He was expected to be at practice but Andy Reid seems to be ok with the absenteeism.
Graham is the first person in his family to graduate from college and also President Barack Obama was a guest speaker so it was a big occasion for Graham and his family and Head Coach Andy Reid understands that.
He did have this to say about Grahams progress in mini camp:
"It's been a great weekend for him; last couple of weekends, actually. I think he picked everything up fine ."
Overall it has been a very productive three days spent at the NovaCare Complex with more to come as the teams OTAs' begin on May 19.
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