Here are some quick notes from this afternoon's 10/10/10 practice.
Both offense and defense worked extensively on red zone and goal line sets. Obviously, I paid most attention to the offense's plays. I saw a lot of action going the way of L.J. Smith and Brent Celek, as well as seeing Hank Baskett getting involved.
One of the interesting things I noted was the number of passes to DeSean Jackson in the red zone. In fact, he made a stellar grab in the back of the end zone on a ball McNabb overthrew a bit. Just stuck his hands into the air and pulled it down.
Once again, an absolute ton of nickel from the D. Oh, and the goal line defensive line looked like this, from right to left: Trent Cole, Darren Howard, Mike Patterson, Brodrick Bunkley, Trevor Laws and Juqua Parker. Behind them, Stewart Bradley and Chris Gocong, with Omar Gaither and others rotating in. The secondary, as has been customary, has been subbing people in an out.
I also made it imperative to actually count the number of plays each unit does. It's true, they all did 10 plays before rotating.
9:53 AM -Here comes the wind. A storm is definitely brewing.
9:50 AM -Another beautiful deep ball from McNabb to Greg Lewis, but Sheldon Brown breaks it up at the last minute with a fantastic play. It draws a sigh from the crowd. "Ya'll wanted him to catch that, huh?" Brown says. He gets a laugh, and some applause. "There we go, thank you for clapping," he says. He slaps hands with a few fans on the sidelines.
9:46 AM -Sav Rocca plays to the crowd, punting a ball to fans chanting his name.
9:42 AM -Donovan McNabb's deep throws look incredible. He completes one to Greg Lewis, and almost drops one in on Brent Celek, but Chris Gocong makes a great play. Celek? Displeased. His reaction, which can't be published, proves it.
9:11 AM -The field VIP boxes are packed today and McNabb plays to the crowd and his teammates after every completion.
9:07 AM -Todd Herremans jumps for joy in the huddle as the first team offense takes the field during the "Special K" situational drill. There's a live running clock in the corner of the field, simulating a two minute drive. Everything's at 1/4 or 1/2 speed.
9:03 AM -The defense is working on late-game packages. Jim Johnson puts his defense into sort of a nickel/prevent hybrid.
8:55 AM -As noted before, Lito Sheppard is back in action, and he's dancing with Brian Dawkins on the sidelines here. Interesting, to say the least.
8:30 AM -Here's the first group install. Marty Mornhinweg even says before the team begins that this is all in preparation for Pittsburgh.
8:28 AM -Lito Sheppard returns to the field after missing a few days. The players are just in shorts and the practice is relatively tame. Most of the time today will be spent installing formations and schemes for Friday's game.
8:22 AM -Andy Reid watches over the linebacking corps. Five minutes later he goes to observe the defensive line, and ten minutes after that he takes a look at the receivers. Whoever Reid watches, they are sure to hear some words on how to improve what they are doing.
8:17 AM -More fun adventures involving "Mr. John." Quintin Mikell enters the team porta-potty and A.J. Feeley proceeds to throw a football at it. "Violence is not the answer," Mikell says.
8:15 AM -Really strange weather today. It's very cool, very hazy and very breezy. Looks like a storm is brewing. The sun is trying to poke through but is unsuccessful thus far. Every day starts to feel like a fog so the weather's appropriate.
6:30 AM - This will be the final practice blog for a few days. The Eagles will hold their final two practices before they have a walkthrough on Thursday before departing for Pittsburgh.