Philadelphia Eagles News

Focus On The Unflappable Reid

Players have been signed. Players have been released. Players have been placed on exclusive lists that prohibit them from practicing. There has been one player traded -- twice.

It has been a mad, mad, mad, mad carousel of activity and, honestly, it is difficult to keep an eye on everything that has happened.

In the midst of the mayhem is Eagles head coach Andy Reid, presiding over the most unusual training camp of his 13 here. Not only has he had to keep the roster humming, he has had to take four months of teaching and condense it into a week's time to get this football team in position to play a four-game preseason schedule.

It's a week away, folks. Believe it or not. Baltimore comes to Lincoln Financial Field on August 11 (7:30 p.m. kickoff, seen in Philadelphia on 6abc) and the Eagles, well, they have to be ready. Even if they really aren't. There is no choice.

Reid's ability to focus, always a strength with him, has been absolutely amazing this summer. Think about all of the distractions the Eagles could have had already. They've been an extraordinarily active team adding high-profile players. Reid hasn't allowed all of that to turn into a media circus.

The team's first-round draft pick, Danny Watkins, missed the first five days of practices and there was barely a peep.

Wide receiver DeSean Jackson has not yet reported and, aside from a few questions here and there, the hue and cry has been held to a minimum.

The entire league has been turned upside down by the new practice schedule and Reid hasn't blinked an eye. Walk throughs? OK, let's turn them into teaching sessions. No non-stop contact? OK, let's make the tempo high and stress, even more, technique and effort.

It has been bizarro training camp for everyone involved. To go from zero miles per hour to 200 miles per hour requires heavy lifting and a lot of grunting from everyone involved but, boy, does Reid look the same. Same black-on-black practice gear. Same answers to questions. Same structured, no-time-wasted practice routine.

One of the many reasons for Reid's success in 12 seasons here -- nine playoff appearances, six NFC East titles ... you know the dossier -- is his much-appreciated ability to weed out the distractions for his players. They know what to expect every day of every week. They know the practice routine, the meeting schedule and the athletic training expectations. They know how to take care of their bodies, what to say to the media, how to be a Philadelphia Eagle.

In a very short period of time, in fact, Reid has been able to bring in players from all corners of the NFL's universe and educate them on the ways of the Eagles. The players see how organized the practices are. They see how intense the coaches are going to be. They know right away how practices are going to be run.

Reid is a mother hen -- he said that the first time he met the media, back in 1999 -- and the Eagles are better off for it. He sees everything. That kind of attention to detail rubs off on the entire organization.

And so the Eagles have come through this intense period of time relatively unscathed. Thriving, in fact. Heck, the pace of training camp almost feels normal now. The Eagles make personnel moves every day, of course, and they now cause barely a blip on the radar screen.

Reid gets the credit here. A coach with more helter-skelter in him does not work. No way. Reid's steady hand is guiding the Eagles through an incredible period of time -- from an unprecedented four-month work stoppage to a week-long blitz of training camp and a roster makeover.

Nobody knows where this season is heading, but there is every reason to be confident. The Eagles have a very, very talented roster and a terrific coaching staff. Reid has detailed his plan of attack down to the teeniest, tiniest detail leading to no surprises and zero inconsistency.

Hey, the head coach deserves some kudos here. He leads the way. This looks like a very fine football team on paper. Over the course of the next couple of days, Reid will get his entire team together to fit all of the shiny, talented new pieces together.

Reid will do it in the same, meticulous manner that has gotten the Eagles to this point in 2011, and we will all enjoy the hard work and the preparation he puts in to help put this football team, hopefully, over the top.

NEWS, NOTES AND THIS AND THAT

  • Thin at defensive tackle, the Eagles signed two experienced players on Wednesday night in Anthony Hargrove and Derek Landri. Both have started for most of their careers. Will they make an impact? We shall see. At the moment, they fill a need to get this team through a tough time at the position.
  • The offensive line is still coming together¬†and that is to be expected. I think Ryan Harris, providing he is healthy, will make a real push to start at right tackle. And Danny Watkins will be there, even though he really doesn't know what he is doing. The Eagles love his toughness.
  • Nothing to report on Jackson, who continues to be absent.
  • Great to see wide receiver Jeremy Maclin on the field, even though he wasn't practicing. No word on when he will get on the practice field here at Lehigh.
  • Wonderful care by the Eagles' athletic training staff on defensive tackle Mike Patterson, who seems to be out of the woods after suffering a seizure on Wednesday. Very, very scary period of time when Patterson was down.
  • Casey Matthews continues to take reps as the starting middle linebacker. Every day that goes by with Matthews there is a plus. He is growing every day with the practice reps. Will the Eagles add a veteran?
  • Loving what I'm seeing from placekicker Alex Henery, who has a super leg and who has been very, very accurate. Punter Chas Henry is the holder, by the way, and is doing a great job in camp.
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