Philadelphia Eagles News

News, Notes And Things I Think I Know

As the Eagles swing into the final handful of days of training camp, and rev up for the preseason opener against New England, there are some things that two weeks of training camp have told us, and many more questions that don't yet have answers. Off the top, let's discuss this, that and a little bit of everything Eagles ...

  • Wonderful, absolutely perfect Memorial for the late Jim Johnson on Friday afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field. Reverend Herb Lusk was moving in his eulogy to Johnson, and Johnson's best friend, Bill Tobin, delivered a touching, heart-wrenching memory of meeting Johnson at the University of Missouri and enjoying a lifetime of friendship with him. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made the trip, along with many former Eagles, including Troy Vincent, Bobby Taylor, Al Harris, Jeremiah Trotter, Hugh Douglas, Mike Mamula, Sean Considine, N.D. Kalu, Ike Reese, Brandon Whiting, Jon Runyan and Todd Pinkston. Even more current players made the trip from Lehigh, and former Eagles coaches John Harbaugh, Steve Spagnuolo, Leslie Frazier, Dave Toub and Pete Jenkins were on hand. Wives of coaches who couldn't make it were also present. The Phillies sent President David Montgomery and General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. Most of the Eagles' front office was present. It was a classy, perfect opportunity to give thanks to have had the chance to know Jim Johnson.
  • For those of you who think rookie Cornelius Ingram is going to unseat starter Brent Celek at tight end this year, hold on to your hyperbole. True, Ingram has been a positive note during the spring practices and in training camp. But Ingram has a long, long way to go before he has a full comprehension of the tight end position at the NFL level. Celek is having a fine, fine camp, but I have to wonder how tuckered out he and Eugene Bright are at this point. The Eagles used only two tight ends for most of the week, and Celek had a lot of repetitions.
  • Macho Harris came back very quickly from his high ankle sprain and he just doesn't look as quick and as confident as he was before the injury. The preseason opener against New England is huge for Harris and for the entire secondary. I'd love to see the Patriots spread the field and test Joe Mays' coverage ability at middle linebacker, and give the coaching staff ample opportunities to evaluate the coverage guys.
  • Do the Eagles have enough pass-rushing punch on this team? It is something to watch, and it is a question without an answer right now. The Eagles really need Victor Abiamiri to get on the field and get into football shape. I think Chris Clemons is one of the most improved players on the team from where he was at last year, and Darren Howard has looked good in camp. Those three, along with Juqua Parker, need to be consistent and take the pressure off of Trent Cole and get to the quarterback.
  • Who is the fourth defensive tackle on this team? Will the Eagles only go with three? Hard to say, but they need Trevor Laws (hamstring) to get back soon, and the indications are that Laws is close to returning to practice.
  • If I had to predict the Eagles' starting receivers on September 13 against Carolina, I would say DeSean Jackson and Kevin Curtis get the nod. Jason Avant is a tremendous slot man. Reggie Brown has been one of the best receivers in this camp, and Hank Baskett is a good receiver who needs to have a steady role on this team. Jeremy Maclin? Kid has a ton of talent. Some day, he and Jackson are going to be a great 1-2 tandem. I'm just not sure how quickly Maclin can learn the ways of the NFL. Is there any way in the world the Eagles can use six receivers and rotate through all of them? I don't want Jackson coming off the field. Ever.
  • I'm expecting Kevin Kolb to have a big preseason. He has real receivers to throw to this year, not a bunch of kids who don't know where they are going. The line should be pretty good in front of him, and Kolb is going to air it out. I know that some of you are up and down on Kolb, but I still say he is going to be a terrific quarterback in this league. Watch him closely in the preseason and we'll talk later.
  • I watched Maclin return punts the other day in practice and he has good skills, but he is not nearly as smooth and quick in the transition from catching the punt to accelerating up the field as is Jackson.
  • How about LeSean McCoy as a lead blocker in the kickoff return game? Sounds kind of crazy, but have you seen McCoy block in the one-on-one-drills in training camp?
  • Key dates to remember: Rosters must be whittled to 75 players on September 1 and then to 53 players on September 5. So the players have three games to show they deserve to be here.
  • I don't know if I have looked forward more to the preseason games than I look forward to this summer's slate. There are so many young players here to watch, and so many roster jobs to be won ... I truly think these games are going to be entertaining and very meaningful from start to finish.
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