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Practice Blog: August 6

Here's a look at what took place during Thursday's practices at Lehigh University. The updates were provided by Bob Kent (BK), Chris McPherson (CM) and Bo Wulf (BW).

  • 8:00 AM -We're on our way to the practice fields. Today is a special day because it's Military Day. Men and women from all branches of our Armed Forces will be honored with a ceremony on the field at the end of the morning practice. In fact, the soldiers will break the huddle to end practice. (CM)
  • 8:34 AM - So what kind of advice does a veteran like Asante Samuel have for a second-year player like Jack Ikegwuonu before a morning practice? "Look good, feel good, smell good, play good," Samuel said to him earlier ... During warmups, the wide receivers were working on getting off the line of scrimmage cleanly, releasing from the jam, and David Culley was giving a lot of instruction to rookie Jeremy Maclin ... Earlier, Maclin was back with DeSean Jackson returning punts, and Danny Amendola was moved off of the punt return ... During D-line warmups, the players were working on stripping the ball from the quarterback, with a ball attached to the tackling dummy ... Jason Peters, Matt Schobel, Victor Abiamiri, and Trevor Laws are all out on the field rehabbing again this morning. (BW)
  • 9:12 AM- Notes from the wide receiver/defensive back 1-on-1's: The highlight of the drill that elicited the greatest crowd reaction was the Jeremy Maclin/Asante Samuel matchup. Samuel jammed Maclin effectively for the first five yards then was running step-for-step with the rookie until Maclin stopped short and Samuel slipped on the grass, allowing Maclin to catch the ball near the sideline. Wide receiver coach David Culley then ran down the field to mockingly give Samuel a high-ten, and DeSean Jackson came over to congratulate the rookie ... Ellis Hobbs did a good job breaking up a long pass for Reggie Brown ... Macho Harris had a tough luck drill as he was beaten by Jason Avant on a stop route, Danny Amendola down the sideline, and Kevin Curtis, although Harris did have one impressive rep when he ran step-for-step with Brown ... Dimitri Patterson looked comfortable in coverage and at line, jamming Curtis beautifully and then sniffing out any attempt Curtis made to get open ... Trae Williams had good deep coverage on Brandon Robinson ... Brandon Gibson seperated a little bit down the sideline against Sean Jones and then caught a perfectly thrown ball over his outside shoulder by Donovan McNabb. (BW)
  • 9:18 AM- Notes from earlier in practice: In the 9-on-7 running drill, Moise Fokou steamrolled over Eldra Buckely in the backfield blowing up a play ... the offense went through a drill with 2 wide receivers against 3 defensive backs and there was some teaching going on from player-to-player. After Jack Ikegwuonu had Jeremy Maclin jammed for a good 8 yards, Maclin eventually ran past Ikegwuonu and then caught a deep ball down the sideline. After the play, Asante Samuel called Ikegwuonu over and said, "You don't need to hold him so long, eventually he's going to get past you, that's why you hit him at first and then get off of him." ... Earlier in the drill after Maclin caught a pass across the middle and was holding the ball away from his body, Quintin Mikell told the rookie "Hey Mac, keep it tight baby, we don't need that." (BW)
  • 9:44 AM - Started out watching some of the linebacker/tight end coverage drills ... Moise Fokou did a good job lining up over the tight end and jamming him at the line of scrimmage. Charleston Hughes did a good job in space as well. Cornelius Ingram did take some reps, but he did not participate earlier in practice when the quarterbacks were warming up with the tight ends. He sat out Wednesday's workouts due to swelling in his knee. In the 9-on-7 inside run drill, on one rep, Max Jean-Gilles did a great job of standing up Joe Mays ... On another rep, I saw Todd Herremans get good leverage to keep Trent Cole at bay. He did commit holding penalties against him on another rep, however ... On one rep, Leonard Weaver split out wide, went in motion and Donovan McNabb faked the handoff on the end around ... On another rep, Weaver did a great job of getting push inside ... On the second team, you can see Omar Gaither pointing out to Matt Wilhelm certain things to look for ... Darren Howard and Bryan Smith worked in with the second team at right defensive end ... At the end of one rep, Willie Williams pushed Mike Gibson well after the whistle. So, Gibson came back over and gave Williams a good pop in the helmet. Needless to say, fisticuffs began ... On one rep, Smith and Williams did an excellent job of clogging the run lanes to the left side of the back ... Josh Gaines did some work inside at defensive tackle ... The next drill was the Special Category or Special Cat drill. The offense worked on plays backed up near their goal line. Quintin Mikell got through the trash and made a stop in the backfield for a safety ... Sean Jones made a nice pass breakup of a pass from Donovan McNabb to Brent Celek ... Jack Ikegwuonu intercepted a McNabb pass and returned it for a touchdown when Kevin Curtis slipped ... Trent Cole stopped Kyle Eckel cold at the line of scrimmage ... I was quite impressed by Jason Avant's run blocking. He's physical and doesn't mind mixing it up. (CM)
  • 10:10 AM - Here are some notes from the 7-on-7 drill ... Brent Celek looks very smooth in his route running and his play has been very consistent. It's not one day of flashes and another day where he disappears ... Jeremy Maclin took some reps with the first-team offense to get some work in with Donovan McNabb ... Jason Avant made a great catch on a tightrope throw over the middle by McNabb. Tracy White nearly broke up the play. (CM)
  • 10:12 AM - Here's some notes from the first-team offense in the two-minute drill which provided the play of the day. Offensive players were to be brought down to the ground by the defense ... The offensive line was without three of its starters. Shawn Andrews is still not practicing. We told you already that Jason Peters was with the rehab crew and Stacy Andrews is also missing from this morning's practice. Max Jean-Gilles was at right guard, Nick Cole at left and Todd Herremans at left tackle with Winston Justice at right ... Kevin Curtis gained about 13 yards on the left side on the first play. He caught a quick pass in the flat from McNabb and got some good blocking to get the yardage ... LeSean McCoy caught the ball in the flat on the next play and Joe Mays made an outstanding wrapup tackle. McCoy had open field and I'm surprised he didn't break loose ... McCoy caught a screen going to the left side and once again Mays was there to wrap him up ... McNabb hit Jason Avant on the sideline along the right side. Avant made sure to get his feet down before Mays pushed him out of bounds ... With 38 seconds left, McNabb threw into the end zone for Curtis but the pass was too far and Sean Jones nearly made the interception. It would have been an amazing grab if he did ... With 32 ticks left, McNabb hit Avant down the field along the right seam. Bryan Smith and Jones converged to make the stop ... Twelve seconds left, McNabb went for Jackson along the left side but the pass was wide and out of bounds ... Eight seconds left, McNabb throws a bullet to Avant. The ball squirms out and Jones makes the interception to keep the offense off the board. (CM)
  • 10:13 AM -To Mark regarding Ike ... Made a nice play on a pass from Donovan McNabb to Kevin Curtis where he slipped and Ike was able to pick it off and run it back for the score. Physical, tough corner ... Good in short-to-intermediate routes ... But right now, if you were to ask me who the fifth cornerback is it would be Dimitri Patterson. (CM)
  • 10:14 AM - The members of our Armed Forces in attendance just walked out to the sidelines and received a standing ovation from the fans. Well deserved. They will break the huddle in a few minutes after the special teams drill finishes. (CM)
  • 11:57 AM - Sorry for the delay on this post, but I had a chance to watch the offensive line/defensive line one-on-one drill in the presence of Hugh Douglas who provided some very interesting insight as a former defensive lineman. He said that offensive lineman often complain that the drill put them at an unfair disadvantage, but it's a great way for both sides of the ball to work on what they will be doing in a game. Douglas said that practice is like an open canvas that you use to create what you'll be working with on gameday. The key for a pass rusher, he said, is to treat it like a sucker punch, you give one initial jolt to the offensive lineman and then try to run off of that. As for some of individual notes from the drill: Douglas was impressed with the work of King Dunlap who did a good job stopping Bryan Smith and forcing Trent Cole to the outside ... Dan Klecko swam past Mike McGlynn up the middle ... Max Jean-Gilles did a good job holding up Mike Patterson, Douglas said the key for beating interior offensive linemen is to make them move their feet ... Trent Cole and Todd Herremans each won a victory over the other ... Chris Clemons used a beautiful hand punch to get past Chris Gibson ... Dallas Reynolds did a great job of stopping Brodrick Bunkley from getting into the backfield ... Nick Cole also held Bunkley up pretty welll ... Fenuki Tupou did well forcing Dan Klecko far to the outside. (BW)
  • 12:07 AM - One final note that we neglected to mention, Ellis Hobbs was back as a full partcicipant in practice after missing a couple practices. (BW)
  • 2:03 PM - The Eagles have begun their special teams practice this afternoon, beginning with punt coverage. Jeremy Maclin is back returning the punts along with Danny Amendola. (BW)
  • 2:36 PM - Just had some fun watching the team work on covering end of the game kickoff situations in which the receiving team has to score or the game is over. On the first rep, Danny Amendola took the low, line-drive kick and ran it back about 10 yards before throwing it across to the left side of the field for Jason Avant. Avant then went about five yards before tossing it back to Brandon Robinson, who then turned and tried to throw it all the way back to the right side of the field, but it was intercepted in mid-air by a covering Dimitri Patterson, which would have resulted in a game-clinching touchdown. When you hear coaches say they practice every situation, they're not lying. (BW)
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