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Practice Notes: Don't Count Out QB Kinne

Posted Jun 9, 2014

Two of the standout plays from Monday's Organized Team Activity at the NovaCare Complex were an on-the run, across-the-body pass to Jordan Matthews over the middle and a perfectly placed deep ball that floated over the shoulder and into the arms of James Casey down the left side of the field. The two pristine passes had one thing in common – they both originated from the right arm of G.J. Kinne.  

"Y'all are just here once a week, but that's every day," Kinne said after practice with a laugh. "I try to do that every day."

A former standout at the University of Tulsa, Kinne originally signed with the Eagles last March. He was then signed to the Eagles practice squad last October after being released as part of the team's final round of cuts heading into the regular season. Entering his second year in Philadelphia, the athletic quarterback, equipped with an added year of experience, is ready to take on 2014.

"I feel great," Kinne said. "I can't wait to get these next few OTAs and minicamp going and then go home, work on my craft a little bit and get ready for the preseason. I'm really excited to show everybody what I've got.

"Last year, all I did was study, study, study over that whole (offseason) break. This year I'm still studying, but I can work on some other things, physically more than mentally, just because I know the offense so well. I've been through it so many times and I just feel really good about it."

Chip Kelly had Kinne and all of the members of the Eagles practice squad accompany the team on all road-trips in 2013, something that the Eagles had not done in previous years. That hands-on approach, along with a strong group in the quarterback room, seems to have gone a long way for the 25-year old signal caller.

"I feel so comfortable," Kinne explained. "All that experience last year of being able to travel to the games, being on sidelines charting the plays, working with Nick (Foles) and (former quarterbacks) Coach Lazor and (Michael Vick) – He taught me so much. We have similar styles of play, so it really helped me watching both of those guys and I just feel really good going into this minicamp."

Much of the attention surrounding the Eagles' backup quarterback job has centered on Mark Sanchez and Matt Barkley, leaving Kinne out of the conversation. But Kinne isn't concerned with how the depth chart is perceived or how many snaps each quarterback takes in practice. Instead, he's solely focused on getting better every day, and it doesn't hurt matters that he's able to learn from a friend and fellow Texas native.

"Me and Nick were the same class coming out, (we're both from) the same area, so we knew all about each other coming out (of high school)," Kinne said of working with Foles. "We're best friends on the field and off the field, so it makes it so much easier. When he's out there I help him and when I'm out there he helps me ... I just go out there and I get to learn from one of the best quarterbacks in the league, a Pro Bowl quarterback, so that helps."

While Kinne may have been the standout player Monday, here's a rundown of what else you missed at the NovaCare Complex …

  • Nick Foles has looked impressive all spring, as you would expect for the Pro Bowler coming off his historically great sophomore season. Foles, of course, threw only two interceptions in 2013, a total that was actually matched during Monday's practice. Early on in 7-on-7s, Foles was intercepted by cornerback Curtis Marsh. Later, during a red-zone drill, Foles double-pumped before trying to squeeze a pass over the middle. DeMeco Ryans flashed over to make an impressive interception.
  • It's difficult, of course, to evaluate linemen during spring non-contact practices, so defensive backs, wide receivers and quarterbacks do most of the standing out. Nolan Carroll II has been impressive thus far, and made another interception Monday when he picked off a Mark Sanchez pass intended for Arrelious Benn.
  • Sanchez did make a few sharp passes Monday, including a touchdown strike to Will Murphy and a sideline throw to undrafted rookie Quron Pratt, who danced nimbly along the sideline to make the play.
  • Nate Allen, who continues to work exclusively alongside Malcolm Jenkins with the first-team defense, made an impressive pass breakup early on in the action.

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