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Practice Blog: July 23


4:30 PM -Practice ends as the rain looms. We gotta run! Note: Sean Considine was hitting the goalpost with his once-injured shoulder for a couple minutes.

* 4:25 PM -*
Quintin Demps makes a nice play, undercutting Brent Celek on a crossing route and picking off a pass.

* 4:22 PM -*
WOW! What a catch by DeSean Jackson, on a nice throw from A.J. Feeley. Jackson outjumps Therrian Fontenot in the back corner of the end zone, and hauls in a big grab. The animated Fontenot is noticably upset with himself.

* 4:20 PM -*
Good news for Ryan Moats. He seems to be finishing on screens and getting upfield. The big question? Will he be able to hang onto the ball when the hitting starts?

* 4:15 PM -*
Horn sounds for more seven-on-seven red zone drills. The close quarters and simulation of a scoring opportunity can only bring more intensity out of the defense.

* 4:13 PM - *
Kevin Kolb and Brent Celek having been clicking well in the red zone drills. The second-year tight end, along with L.J. Smith are vital to the red zone offense.

* 4:08 PM -*
DeSean Jackson finishes off seven-on-seven drills strong for the offense as he catches a pass from A.J. Feeley between Sean Considine, Joe Mays and Kyle Arrington.

* 4:07 PM -*
Safety Quintin Demps picks off a Kevin Kolb pass deep down the field. Demps picked off Kolb twice in college while playing for Texas-El Paso. Jim Johnson yells at all of the defenders to hustle and finish the play, continuing his emphasis on turnovers.

* 4:04 PM - *
This is a perfect example of the physical play from the cornerbacks. Kyle Arrington took wide receiver Frantz Hardy to the ground. On the very next snap he pushed DeSean Jackson off his route. Marty Mornhinweg tells both rookie receivers to use their speed to get off press coverage.

* 4:00 PM -*
Seven-on-seven drills. This is easily the most exciting part of camp because the defense is intense. They don't like to give one inch to their opponents, even if it happens to be a teammate. Trust me (Chris), it's worth a trip to Lehigh.

* 3:57 PM -*
A deep, beautiful 25-yard pass from Kevin Kolb to DeSean Jackson has everyone on the sideline saying, "That would have been six in a game."

* 3:55 PM -*
The offensive line was busting their butt to get out quickly in front of Ryan Moats on a screen play. The Eagles have been known as one of the best screen teams in the NFL ...this kind of effort in training camp is why. **

3:52 PM - **

Jim Johnson isn't pleased with what he's hearing - silence. "What was that? You guys said like one word," he yells at his linebackers after a play. Better communication will lead to more turnovers. Johnson won't tolerate players that can't relay what they see on the field. The next play, you can't even make out any words because all the 'backers are talking at once.

* 3:50 PM -*
Therrian Fontenot continues the physicality that got him noticed in this morning's practice. This time, however, he's battling it out with coaches in drills. Definitely a bump-and-run type corner.

* 3:48 PM -*
At the running back individual drills, there's not a whole lot going on. In fact, there are more coaches and staff members over there than backs - four to two (Ryan Moats and Jed Collins).

3:46 PM -The linebackers are working a lot on ball drills. Once again, it's obvious that Jim Johnson wasn't joking when he placed a emphasis on more turnovers, and a lot of them. Justin Roland, in particular, seems to have a nice eye for the ball.

3:45 PM -Most noteworthy happening so far is that Donovan McNabb isn't practicing. He won't practice Thursday morning either. It isn't because of the new "30-And-Over Club." It's a tradition that McNabb gets these practices off. No doubt Donovan is loving it. You have to wonder what exactly it is that he's doing right now. My guess? Sleeping.

Additionally, it seems as if the inevitable storm that initially moved practice indoors took a swing south. It's definitely still coming, but Reid and his staff hope that they can get a decent practice in before it hits.

3:41 PM -Practice looked like it was going to get relocated in doors but the weather is holding up. Everyone is out on the field and warming up...stay tuned.


10:00 AM -Morning practice ends with a stretch. It's time for Andy Reid's press conference. Chris will have a story for you soon, and we'll be showing some of the highlights during Training Camp Live! at noon. Then, we'll blog this afternoon. See ya then!

9:59 AM -A coordinated "McNabb, you rock!" cheer gets a wave from Donovan.

9:56 AM - "BALL! BALL!" Sean Considine picks up an incomplete pass and goes the other way with it. The ball was clearly not caught, but the idea is improving on 2007's terrible turnover output - not letting any ball go.

9:55 AM -Ready for Round Three of Fontenot-Gasperson? McNabb threads a bullet to Gasperson with Fontenot nearly deflecting it away, almost making a great play. Fontenot slaps his hands, visibly displeased. "That's it 3-1, I feel you baby," McNabb says. Fontenot is really taking advantage of the first few days of camp here. He's getting noticed.

9:50 AM -Lots of action for DeSean Jackson from all three quarterbacks. He's clearly the offense's priority No. 1 in these first few days of camp. Fly routes, curls, slants, flats. You name it, he's done it.

9:46 AM -Quotable from Marty Mornhinweg. Following a play where Shaheer McBride reached up to grab a Kevin Kolb pass, Mornhinweg remarked, "Catch the ball at its highest point. When it's caught there, it's our ball all the time."

9:41 AM -McNabb bringing laughs again. As he switches fields, he spanks statistical analysis coordinator Mike Frazier while yelling, "WOO!" Took most people by surprise.

9:40 AM -Wow, here's go Therrian Fontenot and Michael Gasperson again. There's a little bit of shoving and a few words after the play.

9:31 AM -Horn sounds, time for seven-on-seven drills. This is where things get interesting. Therrian Fontenot and Michael Gasperson get physical on the very first play at the line. Nothing out of the ordinary really, this is football right? But for three months now, there has been no contact. Shells are on and players are getting the itch to start hitting ...oh boy.

Secondary coach Sean McDermott seems to be pleased with his corners new attitude to press receivers on the line of scrimmage.

9:27 AM -Andy Reid switches his focus over from offense to defense walking from the adjacent practice field. The Eagles have been a well-balanced team on both sides of the ball and 2008 should not be any different.

9:23 AM-Donovan McNabb's first pass of the day went to ...DeSean Jackson. Although Shaheer McBride, Ryan Moats, Frantz Hardy and Michael Gasperson also get a fair amount of touches.

9:20 AM -The offensive line leaves to go back into the gentle, caring arms of offensive line coach Juan Castillo. By the way, Castillo's use of language is truly inspiring and poetic.

9:15 AM -The whole offense gets together, including linemen, to work on reverses and other running plays. Receivers coach David Culley is side-by-side with some of his rookies to make sure they know exactly what their responsibility is on the play. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg stresses the importance of spacing in this offense.

9:10 AM -Brent Celek is the only tight end in camp which is good for him so he can make up for the reps he missed during minicamps and OTA's. His drill focuses on catching passes in tight spaces. He runs around tackle dummies making quick cuts and then has less than a second to react to a pass. Add a man trying to take his head off and you have a real life game situation - we are not there quit yet.

9:04 AM -Defensive coordinator Jim Johnson is going over coverage language and callouts with his linebackers and defensive backs. It's amazing how such simple words mean so much. It's not exactly evident what it all means simply by watching, you've got to be taught these things.

8:59 AM -Funny moment from who else but Donovan McNabb. As he crosses the field to work with the running backs, McNabb intentionally runs through a wide receiver drill. "Hey, stay outside the hash marks!" David Culley yells. "I AM! I AM!" McNabb shouts back, despite running between them.

8:58 AM -Here come Trevor Laws and Bryan Smith to the practice fields. They're carrying medicine balls, still conditioning to be ready to practice in a few days or so.

8:55 AM -Wide receivers coach David Culley is throwing practice tosses to the receivers, and he's got a really nice spiral. He's a lefty, too. The receivers are working on catching the passes one-handed. Not a single ball is dropped the entire time.

8:54 AM -Here's a rare sight - Andy Reid on the defensive field. Typically, you'll find him watching his offense from behind the action, but here he's talking to trainer Rick Burkholder and watching his defensive backs. No matter where he is though, Reid sees just about everything that happens on the fields. It's really remarkable.

8:52 AM -Kicker Richmond McGee has been doing everything that's asked of him, including doubling as a lineman, receiver and running back during defensive drills. In doing so, he puts a blue cover over his helmet. McGee's a smart guy - he's was a financial planner with Northwestern Mutual before deciding to pursue an NFL career.

8:44 AM -Andy Reid is out on the field and the horn sounds for special teams.

8:40 AM -Donovan McNabb comes out of the locker room and he gets right to work.

8:37 AM -This time with the rookies and selected veterans might be most valuable for coach Rory Segrest and his special teams unit. With the exception of the five offensive linemen and three quarterbacks, everyone else in camp is working hard to find a spot on punt and kickoff coverage.

8:33 AM -Kevin Kolb and A.J. Feeley are out on the field playing catch and warming up.

8:31 AM -The offensive line rotates during their first drill. They take turns imitating defensive linemen, spinning every which way and using swim/rip techniques. Offensive line coach Juan Castillo tells the players that even though it's not their turn they should still pay attention to what they other guys are doing so they can see what to do or what not to do.

8:30 AM -It's an ugly day here at Lehigh University. The rain has been pretty steady all morning, and it's showing no signs of stopping anytime soon. Still, practice is underway and we, Joe and Chris, will be here to update you as long as there are updates to blog about. Stay tuned!

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