AFTERNOON PRACTICE UPDATE:
Special teams practice. Several interesting things to note.
The punt returners are practicing fielding punts with a curious drill - they are holding a ball while the punt comes in, then they toss the ball they are holding into the air as they field the punt with the opposite hand. Then, they try to catch the ball they threw with their free hand. Sounds complicated. My guess? All about concentration. DeSean Jackson seems to have a better feel for the drill than Quintin Demps, but Demps picks it up eventually.
Juqua Parker continues to call DeSean Jackson "Peanut." It's pretty funny. "GET THAT BALL PEANUT!" "RUN PEANUT!" "YOU OK PEANUT?" Never quiet, either. Parker definitely talks with the Caps Lock key on.
Sav Rocca took Richmond McGee's job and was loading the JUGS machine. Wide receiver coach David Culley was fielding some punts.
Here's a sight. David Akers long-snapping to Jon Dorenbos. He's actually pretty good, but I somehow doubt he will be the emergency long-snapper. Just a hunch. Anyway, Dorenbos, who is calling out the count for a punt drill, changes the usual "SOLID! SOLID! HUT!" to "CAL POLY! CAL POLY! HUT!" when Chris Gocong is standing next to him.
Interesting phrase from special teams coordinator Rory Segrest to describe what he wants his kickoff coverage teams to do. "Put him in a phone booth! No room to move!" he says.
INJURY REPORT:Brian Westbrook missed this morning's practice with a viral illness. Also missing were Brian Dawkins, Victor Abiamiri, Franklin Dunbar, Asante Samuel, L.J. Smith, Ryan Moats and Kimo von Oelhoffen. Leaving early were Joselio Hanson (right quad contusion) and Sean Considine (right oblique strain).
10:16 AM -Another red zone opportunity and Hank Baskett leaps up, catching the ball at its peak. Baskett could be a huge weapon to improve on the red zone efficiency.
10:14 AM -Play of the day candidate: Reggie Brown catches a 40-yard pass along the sideline.
10:08 AM -DeSean Jackson runs across the middle, flying past tacklers and gets out of bounds. Any questions of how he can take a hit will have to wait til someone can catch him. I see Dave Spadaro smile. It's no secret that he loves DeSean.
10:05 AM -Quintin Demps switches from safety to corner with the second team defense. The coaching staff said they would look to use him in a variety of situations.* *
9:58 AM -Kolb shows some frustration, not getting any time in the pocket to get rid of the ball. It is the second team offensive line facing the first team defense so it makes sense that the d-line got to the quarterback in a hurry.
9:53 AM -Correll Buckhalter runs hard, electing to go through a player than around them. Kevin Kolb on the run, and finds Greg Lewis open down the field. The offense is down on the goal line now, play action touchdown to Reggie Brown.
9:47 AM -Bryan Smith went one-on-one against King Dunlap and he showed a good burst off the line, quick moves and everything that you expected out of a guy that weighs around 245-pounds. Did I (Chris) hear a "Get 'em killer." The vets are trying out some nicknames for the rookies still. Dan Klecko is surprising some people, including Andy Reid at defensive tackle. Brodrick Bunkley was able to work himself past opponents as well. And how about Andy Studebaker, blazing past Stefan Rodgers.
9:45 AM -Jon Dorenbos and Sav Rocca are working on their field-goal battery right in front of me. It's pretty cool how a split-second action is the difference between three points and being shut out.
9:37 AM -Greg Lewis makes another nice diving catch. Thing is, he probably wouldn't have had a shot at this ball if J.R. Reed didn't slip. Opened the window for a split-second to make the play.
9:35 AM -Fantastic move by Reggie Brown on Lito Sheppard, as Brown cuts back toward the ball and makes a catch. Though Lito was playing left cornerback here, he's been taking reps at right, also, which is likely where he would play when Asante Samuel comes back.
9:34 AM -Lorenzo Booker drops a McNabb bullet. He recovers on the next play to scoot up the sidelines on a screen pass.
9:24 AM -David Akers, after having the day off yesterday for being over 30 years old was able to absolutely smash a field goal from the 50 yard line. That's a 60 yard field goal. His career long is a 57-yarder against New England in 2003.
9:19 AM -Fullback Jed Collins gets the ball and carry's the pile five yards for a first down. Still a three man race between Jason Davis, Luke Lawton, and Collins.
9:14 AM -L.J. Smith and Brian Dawkins are working out with the trainer doing more of that P90X. From a layman's perspective, it just looks like they are punching and kicking the air.
9:08 AM -Nick Graham, fighting for a job as the fifth cornerback, isn't happy that Frantz Hardy just made a catch over him, so he chases down Hardy and strips the ball loose. On the next play, DeSean Jackson blows right by Quintin Demps to make a great play. Then, Jason Avant (who caught every ball thrown his way) absolutely punks Therrian Fontenot with a double move, getting a good six yards of separation.
9:02 AM -Aah, that's more like it. DeSean Jackson makes a great play after slipping, turning back toward the ball and making a great grab. Lots of (sarcastic?) applause from the fans.
8:59 AM -Greg Lewis isn't immune either. This is getting a bit out of hand.
8:57 AM -Jamal Jones "catches" the dropped pass bug, as well. This inspires one fan to yell, "SOMEBODY CATCH THE BALL, LET'S GO!" Quintin Mikell, amused on the sideline, jabs back, "Hey, that's just good D, man."
8:55 AM -McNabb tosses a ball a little bit behind Hank Baskett, but Baskett makes a good adjustment to get himself in position to make the catch. But the ball hits him right between the numbers and bounces off.
8:49 AM -Fans are getting antsy here, with a lot of dropped passes. Reggie Brown, in particular, has two in a row.
8:47 AM -Great deep ball from Donovan McNabb, and nice job by Greg Lewis to pull it in as he falls over. Sheldon Brown's coverage was pretty good, too.
8:45 AM -The cornerbacks are really physical at the start of the seven-on-seven. So much so that the receivers are having difficulty bringing in a pass. The contact might have been excessive enough to draw a defensive pass interference call but receiver coach David Culley tells his guys that you have to be physical right back at the defender.
8:40 AM -Seven-on-seven. Once the defense steps on the field, everyone in attendance starts to get excited. Quintin Mikell feeds off the energy and jumps up and down, raising his arms to get the crowd louder. Gaither puts his hand to his ear as if to say, "I can't hear you."
8:30 AM -Group install. Donovan McNabb works on a news set of hand signals. Players have described the offense as learning a new language all together. One of the situations presents the offense backed up into their own end zone. The weapon they use is a hard count or alteration in the cadence.
8:20 AM -It is still the early morning but Omar Gaither is as loud as ever during a linebacker warmup drill. The coaches are strict with their linebacking corps. If a guy does not do the drill properly, they keep going 'til it's right.
8:15 AM -Absent from the field today all together are L.J. Smith, Brian Dawkins, and Brian Westbrook. Asante Samuel is not in pads like the rest of the team but he is working on his rehab and is doing some light running.
8:12 AM -Special teams start off the day working on kick off returns. Lorenzo Booker, Quintin Demps, DeSean Jackson, J.R. Reed, Correll Buckhalter, and Jamal Jones all field kicks.
8:10 AM -Big news to watch today - the Eagles are utilizing the new defensive headsets for the first time today. We'll be sure to update you with information on that after practice, as Jim Johnson will be talking. Check BlogHead for more information.
6:15 AM - The Eagles will hold a full-team workout this morning beginning at 8:15 before turning it over to the special teams in the afternoon. Defensive coordinator Jim Johnson will talk to the media after the morning workout. We appreciate the comments. If there's a particular person you want to know about, let us know.