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Practice Blog: July 22


4:34 PM -DeSean Jackson makes his way over to the media tent to meet with our own Dave Spadaro and Ryan McCann. Catch the interview on the Web site soon! This is Joe Dolan and Chris Zervoudis signing out for today. Hope you all join us tomorrow.
4:33 PM -Andy Studebaker is staying after to work on his long-snapping with Richmond McGee, as is Mike McGlynn. McGee is holding with both hands - for both a right-footed and left-footed kicker.
4:30 PM -Another horn, this time, Reid calls the team in. Practice is over for today. DeSean Jackson responds to cheering fans and goes over to sign some autographs for the loyal few that waited.
4:27 PM -Really nice play here from Brent Celek. He makes a double move on Therrian Fontenot, tosses Fontenot down and hauls in a touchdown pass. Really athletic play from him, and the signs you want to see from him as he gets this extra work in before the rest of the vets arrive.
4:24 PM -What has gotten into Michael Gasperson? He makes the next noteworthy play, too, this time across the middle in triple coverage on a perfect ball from Kevin Kolb.
4:22 PM -Michael Gasperson immediately makes a really nice grab in traffic down the sideline from McNabb. He outjumped Therrian Fontenot and hauled in a pretty good throw from 5.
4:21 PM -Seven-on-seven red zone drills are back, and the brutal sun begins to poke back through the clouds.
4:20 PM -Kevin Kolb had four receivers and a running back to choose from and he went to DeSean Jackson a few times in a row. Someone found a receiver he likes. Marty Mornhinweg comments, "Oh, that's good. Incredible!" Soon after, Jackson drops a pass that was thrown a little behind him, drawing a couple groans from the crowd.
4:15 PM -The rain has cleared over the mountains of Bethlehem and the sun has come out. Rain Sun= ??? Rainbow! Maybe that will cheer up the players, fans, and coaches enough to get them through the latter half of one very long opening day of training camp. Only 20 more days to go.
4:10 PM - Horn sounds back to individuals and as the players run from one field to the next you can see the fatigue on each of their faces.
4:07 PM -McNabb definitely will go for a deep pass more frequently than his backups in the 7-on-7 drills. However, A.J. Feeley was able to fit some passes into very tight spots.
4:05 PM -Before, during, and after every seven-on-seven drill Andy Reid finds someone to talk to. Be it Brent Celek, McNabb, or a ball boy, Reid is constantly mentoring others on how they can do their job better and continue to improve. 4:00 PM -It's time for seven-on-seven drills as the rain begins to slow a little bit. Not gonna lie, the rain feels awesome and it's keeping the pesky insects away for the time being. Really can't complain at all.

3:56 PM -The aforementioned fan who got Andy Reid's attention cheers loudly on a hook-up between McNabb and DeSean Jackson. A few moments later, the wet fields cause Jackson to slip, but he still hauls in a pass while falling into a backwards somersault, getting the biggest cheer of the afternoon session so far. A really nice play for Jackson to adjust like that, and for Kevin Kolb to notice what happened in the first place.

3:52 PM -I can't hear what the fan said, but a yelled comment gets a chuckle and a wave from the normally stoic Andy Reid as he watches his offense go to work. At this time, Brent Celek hauls in a nice grab as a heavier rain begins to fall.

3:51 PM -On the far less scrutinized side of the field, the defensive backs are working on footwork with coach Sean McDermott.

3:50 PM -I'm (Joe) informed that the Eagles have a lightning meter on the practice fields, and are ready to suspend practice if necessary. We'll see if that comes into play this afternoon. In the meantime, Donovan McNabb is having fun practicing his basketball moves while he's waiting for group install drills to begin, and they start with a number of running plays. At the same time, a steady drizzle falls over Lehigh.

3:49 PM -If only by the sight of camera flashes, it's obvious why the few fans that have stayed are here - DeSean Jackson. Every move he makes is under the microscope of photography. Let's see how he performs over the next few days with that in mind.

3:48 PM -Horn sounds for individuals.

3:47 PM -The offensive linemen continued to hear an earful from coach Castillo who encouraged them to explode of the line with a powerful hand thrust. * *

3:44 PM -Rocky Boiman, Justin Roland, Andy Studebaker, and Joe Mays weaved their way in and out ofcones to improve their footwork and then tried to catch a quick pass. * *

3:42 PM -Therrian Fontenot, Sean Considine, Kyle Arrington, and Quintin Demps work on dropping back and coming up to make a pick as coaches throw passes from close range.

3:40 PM -Horn sounds warm-ups.

3:35 PM -Richmond McGee continues to punt to DeSean Jackson and Quintin Demps but an interesting note is that rookie linebacker Andy Studebaker is the long snapper. He is clearly raw but if anything were to happen to Jon Dorenbos or Darren Howard who knows. Maybe Studebaker could make a career out of long snapping some day

3:30 PM -As dark rain clouds loom overhead the players take the field for the afternoon session. If the weather begins to get really bad it is possible the practice will just be scrapped. The fans and the media seem to have seen a weather forecast because their numbers have greatly diminished.


10:09 AM -It's time for the cool-down stretches and that concludes the morning practice. It's now time to talk to defensive coordinator Jim Johnson, and we'll have all the updates for you in just a bit. Stay tuned!

10:06 AM -Another funny moment from Donovan McNabb. Watching the action from behind the line of scrimmage, McNabb comments on a connection from Kevin Kolb to Jed Collins. "Can't stop it! Can't stop it!" he yells, getting a few laughs.

10:02 AM - Cornerback Therrian Fontenot lets out an awesome yell as he tries to break free of a block as a screen pass comes his way. He succeeds in touching up Ryan Moats to stop the play. In fighting for a job, Fontenot has got to get himself noticed and this probably drew some attention his way.

10:00 AM -Michael Gasperson, who saw limited action during the regular season last year, is taking reps at both wide receiver and tight end. At wide receiver, he is an especially big target.

9:56 AM -It's time for seven-on-seven red zone drills, certainly an area of scrutiny this season for Reid. The Eagles must improve their red zone touchdown output from last season.

9:49 AM -The star of the first practice, director of player programs Harold Carmichael, is absolutely all over the place today. He's now instructing running backs Ryan Moats and Jed Collins, both of who have been running flat routes all day.

9:47 AM -What's interesting here is that Andy Reid is finding something to take notes on, despite very little going on with the players receiving instruction for drills from their coaches. Reid's very thorough and very particular.

9:45 AM -The horn sounds once again for individual drills.

9:42 AM -Tight end Brent Celek stretched himself out over the middle to pull in a bullet Kevin Kolb pass.

9:41 AM-Running back Ryan Moats talked Monday about how he excited he was to get back on the field after he broke his ankle in the first preseason game against the Ravens. His enthusiasm showed as he was energetic, cutting well, and alluding tacklers. As the only running back in camp right now, Moats is getting every snap and working hard.

9:40 AM -McNabb dropped a 35-yard pass to Hardy along the sideline which brought a fan to yell, "He's getting the cannon out!" A.J. Feeley found that amusing.

9:35 AM -Michael Gasperson lined up at the outside receiver position, tight end, and slot. He is trying to find a home somewhere and show his ability where ever possible.

9:31 AM -Fans cheered as Kevin Kolb and Shaheer McBride connect on a play over the middle. Everything looks crisp so far from both the receivers and quarterbacks.

9:30 AM -The defense went through different coverage packages as Jim Johnson stands in the middle of it all, evaluating players and giving constructive criticism when needed.

9:27 AM -McNabb pats rookie receiver DeSean Jackson on the helmet after he successfully brings in a rocket pass on a 15 yard curl route. Frantz Hardy worked the left side line and the slot on the opposite side of the field, catching a few balls of his own.

9:25 AM -Head Coach Andy Reid looks over every practice field but pays particularly close attention to his offense. He sets the tone for the intense practice as he yells for the players to hustle in and out of drills. The players respond, to say the least, as it is clear that they have picked up the tempo from June OTA's and mini-camps.

9:21 AM - Up goes the crane for recording full offensive plays, and it's hard to carry a conversation with it going up. It's really loud.

9:16 AM - Speaking of coaches that are fun to watch, wide receivers coach David Culley really gets into it. He's particularly excited with DeSean Jackson, who runs a perfect curl route. "Now explode!" Culley yells to him.

9:14 AM - Rookie Joe Mays has been taking a lot of reps in the middle linebacker spot, where he's been rotating almost exclusively with Rocky Boiman.

9:19 AM - Never fear, Eagle Joe Brown is here. The superfan is talking with assistant director of media relations Bob Lange, most likely about life and football. He's watching the defense intently.

9:18 AM - Quintin Demps starts to roll to cornerback, as he told us Monday that he might do. He's definitely seeing action are more positions than anyone. Still, he doesn't find it particularly challenging. "It's all running backwards," he said on Monday after he arrived.

9:12 AM - Donovan McNabb's signature bullet passes are back. He's finding DeSean Jackson and Shaheer McBride, in particular, as favorite targets. We know about Jackson, but I'm pretty impressed with McBride's size. He's not Harold Carmichael big, but he's got a good frame.

9:11 AM - Offensive line coach Juan Castillo has to be one of the most exciting guys to watch in his profession. You can tell the guy loves his job. He's watching his young guys drop into pass protection drills, and he tells King Dunlap enthusiastically that "it don't get prettier than that." Good news for Dunlap.

At the same time, the horn sounds for the receivers and quarterbacks to come together. This should be fun to watch.

9:09 AM - On the opposite field, Quintin Demps is taking most of his reps at safety. Demps mentioned Monday that he could see time at cornerback, as well.

9:08 AM - There's a big target on the field catching passes from the quarterbacks. Looks like he's been doing it for years. Well, actually, he has. Harold Carmichael is running routes as the QBs warm up, and he's drawn the attention of just about everyone in attendance. He makes a great shoestring catch on the sidelines from Kevin Kolb, and asks the media jokingly, "Did I get it?"

9:07 AM - Jack Ikegwuonu, Trevor Laws and Bryan Smith work on core drills and other conditioning workouts as they each were placed on the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list Tuesday morning.

9:03 AM - Coaches remind players to stay hydrated between drills in the early morning heat around 80 degrees (It feels closer to 90).

9:00 AM - Rocky Boiman leads a young group of linebackers to the next drill. They all say 1-2-3 Linebackers before beginning in unison. They are told to finish the drill strong and play downhill, shuffling their feet rather than hopping.

8:55 AM - Wide receiver work on catching a variety of different passes such as the following: Willie Mays-style basket catches over the shoulder, quick slants, and tip-toeing the sideline. Wide receivers Coach David Culley emphasizes getting in and out of routes quickly and getting off the line after the snap.

8:51 AM - McNabb takes practice snaps alongside Feeley and Kevin Kolb, and rolls around behind center. He looks healthy and enthusiastic.

8:49 AM - Offensive line coach Juan Castillo is pretty busy today. He's working with a good deal of players, including King Dunlap, Mike McGlynn and Mike Gibson.

8:47 AM - DeSean Jackson fields his first punt of training camp, from fellow rookie Richmond McGee. While the team isn't in full pads, Jackson still looks sharp cutting back and forth. He's rotating back there with Quintin Demps, who could see a lot of time on special teams, as well. Special teams coordinator Rory Segrest's relaxing Southern drawl soars above the practice fields.

8:45 AM - The horn sounds for special teams practice. At the same time, A.J. Feeley barks out a really, really loud signal from under center, which draws some laughs from players and media.

8:38 AM - Donovan McNabb jogs onto the practice field to a spattering of applause. There's a pretty good crowd here, especially since the first few days are rookies and selected vets only. Practice should be underway shortly.

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