The Philadelphia Eagles wrapped up their final mini camp before the start of training camp, which will be held in Lehigh Valley.
There was a ton of positives to take from this recent camp, even with players being shuffled around at various positions. In the end head coach Andy Reid was pleased with the overall outcome.
“This was a productive session of OTA’s. I appreciated the guys’ attendance and the effort that they gave through the three-day mini-camp and then through the OTA’s. It’s a good lead in for training camp.
"The players know just like you know now that they have 46 days and 12 hours to get themselves ready to go for training camp and then for the opener against the Packers, that’s the opening game, and then through the preseason games and through training camp. We have to make sure that we’re ready to go. The things I saw in this camp were great effort and energy. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us. I don’t think this crew that will be an issue as far as the work part goes.”
That’s more of the same from Reid, and is generally what he says this time of year. He praises the players for their accomplishments, but doesn’t fill their head so much that they think they don’t have to work their butts off.
Reid was also asked if, due to the youth of the team, he would change the training camp regime that he used with his more veteran players in previous years. According to Reid, he does not intend on making any changes for this years’ camp, so it appears these young guns better get their mind and body right before camp. The Eagles are known for having one of the most intense camps in the NFL.
“I probably won’t do it any different than I did it out here for these. I don’t know how to judge whether I’m more hands on or not. I try to just make sure that I get my points across to either the coaches or the players. I’m going to make sure that I voice that opinion and get it right. Thank goodness opinions are about 51 percent. That works out good. Does that classify as an opinion?”
WR DeSean Jackson missed this camp as he needed to attend to some pressing family issues, but Reid expects him to be ready to go for the start of training camp.
First round pick DE Brandon Graham looked great without pads on in these camps and is anxious for July 26th, when the pads go on, to get out there and hit the QB. He has learned a great deal and will have to show he can retain that info through training camp.
Reid also confirmed that rookie safety Nate Allen will be the starting safety heading into training camp—which is the result of a few things.
First, Allen was the Eagles first of two second round picks in this year's draft, and they have every intention of grooming him into a starter. Second, DB Marlin Jackson was placed on IR for the season. Macho Harris could see extended time at his natural position at CB.
But Jacksons’ injury is a huge blow hovever to the Eagles defense.
As a former first round draft pick (2 9th overall) of the Indianapolis Colts, Jackson is a young veteran who is capable of handling both the safety and CB positions. The Eagles depth got a lot shallower when he went down.
The Eagles aren’t down and out just yet, however; they still have, as already mentioned, Ellis Hobbs, Joselio Hanson, fourth round draft pick Trevard Lindley. Geoff Pope and UFAs Devin Ross and David Pender, and Dimitri Patterson all could compete to start opposite Asante Samuel.
I bring that up because there was some speculation that Harris would compete with Allen for the starting safety job. That could still happen since CB Ellis Hobbs is expected to see more playing time in training camp.
In other injury related news, center Jamaal Jackson is currently rehabbing the injury he suffered last season, and Andy Reid said Jackson most likely will not be ready for the home opener against the Green Bay Packers. But he isn’t ruling it out either!
“His rehab is going very well right now. Sometimes they plateau for a while. He hasn’t reached that point. He’s been on a good incline up and we just hope that it continues to progress that way. Listen, I can’t tell you much more than that. Right now, it’s too early. I’ll know more when we get back.”
QB Kevin Kolb proved yet again that he can be both an accurate and vocal leader on the field during these mini camps, and there was also a great deal of respect for him among his peers.
Building this chemistry early in these camps is vital to the success of the Eagles 2010 campaign.
First year starter RB LeSean McCoy was also present, which is also extremely important on building that chemistry. Reid stated he looked good out there.
Mini Camp Standouts:
QB Michael Vick: Vick had a very impressive final mini camp, as he threw two TD receptions: the first one to Hank Baskett and the other to Chad Hall, who made a beautiful leaping catch in the corner of the end zone.
WRs Jeremy Maclin, Hank Baskett, and Chad Hall: As I mentioned above, both Baskett and Hall each reeled in touchdown receptions in this final camp. But Maclin proved to be more polished in his game catching nearly everything thrown his way and running ankle breaking routes—see Marlin Jackson!
All in all, this was a good series of mini camps. The rookies began getting familiar with the Philadelphia Eagles playbook and way of life, and the beginning of a new era for the Eagles was apparent.
Training camp is up next. I will be in attendance as much as humanly possible in hopes to see exactly what these young and new faces to the team bring to the table and also to catch a glimpse of what the Eagles will look like in 2010.
Keep the faith Philly!
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