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August 10 Practice Report: Franklin Field Fun

Posted Aug 10, 2014

Over 28,000 fans helped celebrate Alumni Day at Training Camp as the Eagles returned to their former home - Franklin Field - honoring 34 players from many generations including the 1960 NFL Championship team as well as the two NFC Championship teams. Here is a look at what happened with the current Eagles squad on the field Sunday ...

Welcome Back, Cooper

One of the more welcome on-field sites of the afternoon was the return of wide receiver Riley Cooper to action after a prolonged absence from practice because of a foot injury. Cooper only took part in individual drills, but the starting wideout said Sunday was an important step in his return to the field.

"The plan right now was to just do individuals today and see how it is tomorrow," said Cooper after practice. "I felt really good, like I didn’t skip a beat. Just running around, individual work. I felt pretty good, felt pretty comfortable in and out of breaks and then all the quarterbacks were fantastic."

Unconcerned about the injury, Cooper’s main frustration has been missing the opportunity to work alongside his teammates.

"It’s killing me," Cooper said. "I definitely want to be back out there. We’re working on it. We’re working on it, but I’m feeling a lot better, for sure."

Coach Bennie Logan

Nose tackle Bennie Logan returned to action on Sunday as he was able to take part in an entire Training Camp practice without any limitations for the first time this year due to a hamstring injury.

"It felt good to be back out there, just being able to complete a whole full practice with no hamstring problems or anything," Logan said as he worked with the first-team defense. "Now, I'm healthy. Now, I'm ready to go and just show what I can do and the things I improved on this offseason."

Logan was with the team in Chicago on Friday night for the preseason opener and was able to play the role of coach helping on the sidelines, in particular, rookie nose tackle Beau Allen. Logan pointed out details with regards to alignment, lining up closer to the ball and what offensive formations might suggest in terms of play calls.

"I wasn't able to play, so the least I could do what help coach him up," Logan said. "Beau's a really good player. He's coming along, making great progress and big strides. Any advice I can give him to help him be successful. I'm doing my best to help teach him and educate him as much as I can.

"He's a great learner, just picking up things or scheme-wise. He's a hard worker. He's strong at the point of attack. He's really aggressive. That's me. That's my style of play. That's what I like about him. He's real physical and aggressive."

In addition to Allen, head coach Chip Kelly cited the performances of fellow defensive linemen Brandon Bair and Vinny Curry.

"Oh man, the whole, young defensive line, I just can't pinpoint one guy to standout," said an excited Logan about the defensive line's performance Friday. "I would say the whole group. The young guys are standing out, making plays and contributing. They really want to learn and do better."

The Molky Way

Center Julian Vandervelde underwent surgery on his injured back, the Eagles announced Sunday. With Vandervelde out, David Molk has been working with the second team over the past few weeks, as Molk looks to secure a job on the 53-man roster.

Molk, a former seventh-round pick of the San Diego Chargers, said that he and Vandervelde are close friends, so the two have been in contact. For now, though, Molk’s focus is on rebounding from Friday night’s preseason opener.

“There’s always stuff you can clean up,” Molk said. “I mean, you could be a 10-year, All-Pro guy and still have stuff to clean up. So, all of us have different things. I know I had things that I picked out on film, things that I need to tweak.”

The 6-foot-1, 290-pound Molk seems to have found himself a good fit in an Eagles offense that places a premium on athletic linemen.

"Yeah, it’s a strong, zone offense,” Molk said. “Quick, athletic center is kind of what I am. It’s perfect.”

The Eagles Are Coming, The Eagles Are Coming

With the final Open Practice now in the rearview mirror, the Eagles turn the page to this week’s joint practices with the New England Patriots.

“Consistency, work on being efficient like I want to be, being smart with the football,” said Nick Foles, when asked about his goals for the week ahead. “We’re going to go against someone else, so that’ll be great for us to go against another defense in a practice setting just to continue to grow our younger guys and for our older guys to continue to clean up things.”

Last summer, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady put on a show in practice against the Eagles, completing passes at about a 95 percent clip. This year, then, will serve as a measuring stick for the improvement of the Eagles' defense.

“I think last year, probably some guys got caught up in the awe factor of Tom Brady, actually going against him,” said linebacker DeMeco Ryans. “So, hopefully guys got that out of their system and understand that we’re going against a really good player, but let’s see if we can get some really good work in against a great player.

“Any time you get a chance to go against one of the best quarterbacks in Tom Brady, a Hall of Fame guy, any time you get an opportunity to go against him a couple days out of the week, it’s really, really great work for our team.”

At the mere mention of Brady, linebacker Mychal Kendricks immediately recalled a pass Brady zipped past Kendricks’ helmet during last year’s practices.

“We get a top-rated quarterback with a bunch of good receivers,” Kendricks said. “It’s going to be nice practice for us. We’re going to utilize every moment of that time and really capitalize off of that.”

View From The Stands

  • As defensive coordinator Bill Davis continues to work on different pairings in the secondary, Nate Allen and Earl Wolff worked together with the first-team defense on Sunday afternoon, while Malcolm Jenkins and Chris Maragos worked with the twos. Surely, Jenkins remains penned into a starting position, but as Davis has said, the best way to evaluate players vying for starting jobs is to have them practice against the first-team offense.
  • After an impressive Eagles debut against the Bears, Mark Sanchez stayed hot, finding Damaris Johnson with a bullet down the seam. Later, he tossed a bomb to Kadron Boone, who beat Curtis Marsh for what might have been the play of the day.
  • After sitting out Friday’s game, defensive tackle Bennie Logan returned to practice and worked with the first-team defense.
  • Josh Huff showed good awareness, working his way back toward a rolling-left Mark Sanchez to haul in a pass along the sideline against Bradley Fletcher.
  • Nick Foles showed off his legs on occassion Sunday, scrambling for a few short gains and, eventually, a touchdown. "If I feel like there’s an opening, get as many yards as I can and get down," Foles said after practice. "I think that’ll continue to move the chains and that’ll help us out a lot and that’ll help the play-calling for the next play because that will make it a shorter down and distance."
  • Matt Barkley provided the spin of the day with an impressive touchdown pass to Will Murphy, who worked his way past Roc Carmichael during a red zone drill.
  • As Ifeanyi Momah continues his push for a roster spot, he’ll have to prove his 6-foot-7 frame can be useful in the red zone. Working with the first-team offense again, Momah was targeted on a fade by Nick Foles. The ever-improving rookie made an impressive, sprawling catch, though cornerback Bradley Fletcher did well to keep Momah from getting both feet in bounds.

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