Philadelphia Eagles News

On Day One, Plenty Of Promise Is Obvious

By 8 a.m., the stands at Lehigh University were packed and the line of cars was steady heading into the first practice of this Eagles 2010 training camp. There were E-A-G-L-E-S, EAGLES! chants and the fans were basking in the glow of real, live football. It was a Midnight Green festival of sorts and the wait was worth it. For two practices, the Eagles flew around the field, showed speed on both sides of the ball and, certainly, the next three weeks are going to be extremely interesting.

So many things happened that it is hard to put into a long, drawn-out story. Better, then, to throw out some observations and bullet points about the State of the Eagles after Day 1 of full-pads work ...

  • The biggest story, of course, is the injury suffered by DeSean Jackson in the afternoon session. He caught a pass, appeared to pull up and then he crumbled to the ground. After a few minutes on the ground, Jackson got up gingerly, needed help to get off the field and then was carted into the locker room. There is no official word on the injury other than it is labeled a back injury, although there are plenty of reports that say Jackson's injury is not serious. I won't speculate on injuries. I'll just hope for the best. Jackson had a sensational day -- beating Asante Samuel deep in one-on-one drills, getting behind the defense all day, making a tremendous diving catch -- and he is ahead of where he was last season.
  • Equally great was Jeremy Maclin, who hauled in a Kevin Kolb bomb down the middle of the field in double coverage during the afternoon practice. Maclin looked tremendous.
  • Interesting addition with Kelley Washington on board at wide receiver. He is 6 feet 3 and 217 pounds and he is said to be a fine slot receiver and a very good special teams player. Maybe the Eagles can try him in the red zone and see what Washington has to offer. Maybe this puts some pressure on Hank Baskett and Riley Cooper. Maybe the Eagles have the deepest group at wide receiver they have ever had in a training camp.
  • J.J. Arrington passed his physical and will practice on Sunday. How does he fit in? We shall see. The Eagles have some running backs here. They have a good-looking group. Arrington, if he can run, brings some speed and hands and return ability. Very interesting addition.
  • Ernie Sims had a great day. He is so, so fast and he hits everything. If the Eagles can keep offensive guards off of him -- and the defensive tackles are key here -- Sims will be free to fly to the football and make plays.
  • Clay Harbor opened a lot of eyes with his receiving skills on Saturday. He gets down the field well and he catches the ball very well. Cornelius Ingram is ahead of Harbor on the depth chart, but Harbor is coming.
  • Kolb generally threw the ball well, especially on his deep passes. He had too many passes batted down at the line of scrimmage in the afternoon, but Kolb has more arm strength than some give him credit for having and he gets rid of the ball quickly.
  • Michael Vick has made great strides in the last few days. He threw the ball accurately in the practices on Saturday.
  • Guess who stepped up on Saturday? Defensive tackle Trevor Laws looked outstanding, as did safety Quintin Demps. Let's see if they can keep it up.
  • There were three skirmishes on day one, and as expected defensive lineman Daniel Te'o-Nesheim got into one of them, an all-out rumble during the offensive line vs. defensive line drills. Cooper and Ellis Hobbs tangled and then Antonio Dixon and Mike McGlynn mixed it up.
  • Stewart Bradley looked great. Absolutely great. He covered laterally, he was physical, he picked off Kolb once and he played fast football. Oh, the difference Bradley makes for this defense.
  • Hobbs did a pretty nice job at right cornerback with a couple of excellent breakups down the field. He closed well and played with a lot of confidence.
  • The Eagles came out running the football in the only "live tackling" session of the day. Clearly, Andy Reid wants to be a more physical team and he wants to send that message to his young players. The rookies are not backing down at all. Not one bit. This draft class is off to a fantastic start.
  • Safety Kurt Coleman had a leaping, sensational interception in the afternoon. He was around the ball a lot on day one.
  • Why add linebacker Tracy White? The Eagles needed another linebacker with Joe Mays gone and White played well on special teams last year. I'm actually surprised he didn't sign elsewhere as an unrestricted free agent.
  • Darryl Tapp had a terrific day. The Eagles are going to find ways to get him on the field. He adds so much depth to this defensive line.
  • I liked what I saw from Brandon Graham, including a great spin move against Stacy Andrews in the one-on-one drills. Andrews was OK in those drills, but not dominating.
  • The Eagles hit once in the morning and then practiced without full pads in the afternoon. Good tempo, good execution and a lot of fresh legs on the field.
  • Great, great crowds. Keep 'em coming. There is nothing like the sound of Eagles fans roaring. And there is nothing like Eagles fans voicing their disapproval when a player makes a mistake. It makes a difference, folks. These players pay attention and are aware of the intensity of the fans.
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