UPDATE: Asante Samuel had an MRI Sunday morning and he has a mild hamstring strain. He is listed as day-to-day.
3:44 PM – Horn sounds for special teams, which usually signifies the final part of practice. It's time to pack up. Quickly.
3:41 PM – It just occurred to me how little I've been talking about the defense. Part of it is because they're difficult to see, but I'd say a bigger part of it is that it's pretty difficult to see how a defense is performing if it – or the offense – isn't performing at full speed.
3:36 PM – Hank Baskett is also getting a lot of looks with the first team. He's been set up outside and in the slot, catching a few balls.
3:33 PM – Really nice catch from Greg Lewis on a ball that looked out of his range as he cut across the middle.
3:26 PM – Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg are obviously trying to get DeSean Jackson as many reps as possible. He's been in with the first, second and third teams.
3:23 PM – Back to group installs. The O comes out four-wide – Curtis, Brown, Baskett and Lewis. Next play, it's five-wide, with Westbrook in the slot.
3:18 PM – Second teams now. Sean Considine flies in unprotected on a safety blitz. An assignment was missed somewhere.
3:14 PM –11-on-11s. First-team O vs. First-team D. Reggie Brown has seen quite a few balls thrown his way today.
3:13 PM –Kris Wilson is seeing some action with the second-team offense. The battle for the third tight end spot could get interesting.
3:10 PM – Pretty deep ball from McNabb to Kevin Curtis on a fly route.
3:08 PM – Miscommunication between Kevin Kolb and DeSean Jackson. Jackson, split wide, runs an out to the sidelines. Kolb, however, floats a ball to where Jackson would have been before the cut. They run the same play next, and this time, Jackson is in place.
3:05 PM – The Eagles are working on two-tight end sets. McNabb completes a pass to Brent Celek, then one to L.J. Smith. Interesting, too, is the running back setup. Brian Westbrook and Lorenzo Booker are both in the backfield.
3:02 PM – Group installs are starting up. From the small media area, all I can see is the offense running through some plays at about half speed, if that. The defense is down at the far end of the facility. Correll Buckhalter still finds enough burst to scurry through the line and to the other end of the court.
3:00 PM – Perhaps fooled by the hard court, Donovan McNabb works on his jump shot technique. He's still got it.
2:55 PM – Joe here. Sorry for the delay, everyone. Without wireless access, I had to wait for an air card from Chris McPherson. It's amazing that Andy Reid can even fit his entire team in this building (Rauch Fieldhouse). It was cramped on Thursday with not even half of the players here. Definitely pales to three full-size practice fields.
Rauch Fieldhouse is an indoor track-and-field facility with a few courts in the middle. Looks like it can be used for basketball, volleyball and stuff like that. For football, it's only ideal for walkthroughs, individual drills and the like. You'd have to bet that coaches aren't happy with the weather pushing things inside. Trust me, fans; you're not missing much when the Eagles practice in here. No full pads, no full speed. The absolute basics.
Interesting, too, that the Eagles are forced inside to a half-sized playing surface at roughly the same time the Philadelphia Soul kick off in the ArenaBowl.* *
1:16 PM -Practice has officially been moved inside, closed to the public. We'll try to set up the blog, but we aren't 100 percent sure of it. Stay tuned.
12:51 PM -It's pouring here at Lehigh. When we find out for sure whether or not practice will be held outside, we'll let you know.
10:40 AM - Practice is over. Back at it around 2:30 PM.
10:36 AM -Special teams drills always end practice. Returning kickoffs are DeSean Jackson, Lorenzo Booker, Correll Buckhalter, Quintin Demps and even Jamal Jones gets a rep in.
10:33 AM -Defensive tackle Dan Klecko had the difficult challenge of losing weight to come in as a fullback and then put it back on when he made the transition back to the defensive line. At camp, he is undersized but he relies on his quickness and smarts to get to the quarterback or running back. He does so on this play.
10:25 AM - Linebacker Andy* *Studebaker brings down Ryan Moats on his own at the line of scrimmage and cheers of "Studey" can be heard from his teammates.
10:18 AM -DeSean Jackson comes around on a reverse, and Brian Dawkins is there to snuff it out with a great open-field tackle. On the next play, Dawkins slams Brent Celek from behind after an out pattern.
10:14 AM -Rough moment for the offensive line. The pass protection around McNabb completely breaks down, and McNabb spikes the ball in frustration. offensive line coach Juan Castillo gets in there as well.
10:07 AM -"The Headbuster" is at it again. DeSean Jackson had no idea what hit him as he makes a catch on a short curl pattern, and Joe Mays immediately lights him up. The first-team defense on the sidelines loves it.
10:02 AM -Lorenzo Booker comes around on another reverse, but Nick Graham reads it perfectly. He forces Booker back inside, where Darren Howard is there to finish him off. Great play on both ends. Speaking of Howard, he looks fast and has been getting some first-team reps.
10:00 AM -Look out! A McNabb pass is coming our way. Reggie Brown saves the media from certain destruction, though, when he makes a great leaping grab. As he comes down, he's hit by both Quintin Demps and Kyle Arrington, but he doesn't go down.
9:53 AM -Great move here by DeSean Jackson to get open on Kyle Arrington. The problem? Kevin Kolb doesn't see him. He jumps around waving his hands, but Kolb goes to the opposite sideline.
9:50 AM -The best part about the one-on-one linemen drills is that each guy gets two cracks at his opponent. So for example, Franklin Dunbar was unable to stop Andy Studebaker on the first rep but on the second, Dunbar held his own while coach Castillo yelled, "There you go. There you go." It is a true test of one man's will compared to another's.
9:45 AM -While the rest of the team does a seven-on-seven drill, the defensive and offensive linemen square off against one another. I (Chris) think I just found my new favorite drill to watch. Every single rep is intense. Note: Linebackers Chris Gocong and Andy Studebaker are participating in the drill with the other defensive linemen. Both players were former defensive ends, very intelligent, and possess the speed and agility to play their current position of linebacker. Jim Johnson loves to have players like Gocong and Studebaker that he can use in a variety of ways.
9:40 AM -Time for seven-on-sevens. The biggest play so far was a 35-yard go route from Kevin Kolb to Lorenzo Booker. Booker was lined up as a receiver, showing how versatile he really is. He has said that his dream is to go over the middle and jump over a defensive back. This was pretty close to it.
9:33 AM -David Akers is not quite "The Garbage Picking Field Goal Kicking Philadelphia Phenomenon" that Tony Danza was in his 1998 classic but Akers did hit a 60 yard field goal against a live defense. I (Chris) think that is impressive nonetheless. Team owner Jeffrey Lurie has a role in that film, just thought I should tell you.
9:27 AM -Tra Thomas walks over to former Eagles linebacker Ike Reese and Reese jokes with Thomas saying, "That (run) didn't have anything to do with your blocking." Thomas laughs and said, "I did what I'm supposed to do. I didn't break it but I did my job." I guess that's all you can ask for, do your job and have a sense of humor.
9:26 AM -Wow. Wow. Wow. Watching Brian Westbrook break a big run live and on the sideline is amazing. He went 70 yards to house and then Donovan McNabb yelled, "Get off the field. Get off the field," as if having Westbrook is an unfair advantage. What is even better though is that Westbrook goes over to each of his offensive linemen and says, "Good work, good work," after he catches his breath of course.
9:22 AM -We've got a scuffle! Joe Mays lowers his shoulder into Jed Collins, but Collins refuses to go down. He swats at Mays, and Bam Childress jumps in to break it up. Omar Gaither got a real kick out of this.
9:20 AM -Cameron Stephenson, No. 77, finally has his name on his jersey.
9:18 AM -It looks like Brian Westbrook is dead-to-rights on a screen pass, until big Max Jean-Gilles springs out of absolutely nowhere and blocks Pago Togafau. It's all Westbrook needs as he cuts upfield.
9:14 AM -11-on-11s now, and this is what everyone is here for. Full contact. Early on, Sean Considine brings a safety blitz and absolutely blows up Jason Davis on a fullback draw. One of the hardest hits of the morning.
9:06 AM -Our own Bob Kent gives the media and fans on the sidelines a great laugh at the expense of his own psyche. Donovan McNabb sprints toward Bob, who is taking photos, and spanks him while yelling, "WOOOOOO! YEAH BOB!" I (Joe) was standing right next to Bob, so I got a pretty big scare myself. Then I laughed. Hard.
9:05 AM -Seven-on-sevens now. Jason Davis, fighting for a job, makes a great block on Mike Patterson to spring Correll Buckhalter to the endzone. On the next play, Jamaal Jackson makes a great cutback block, which excites offensive line coach Juan Castillo so much he sprints into the huddle.
9:04 AM -Kevin Curtis is having a rough time with the field today, which has been really affected by last night's big storms. He makes a cut to try to beat Sheldon Brown, but he basically slips right into Brown's arms. Curtis gets up with sort of a bewildered "What am I supposed to do?" look. Someone yells to a crew member to fix the divot, and Hank Baskett comments, "Divot? That's a crater!"
9:02 AM -Great defensive play here. McNabb threads the needle to Michael Gasperson, but strong coverage from Quintin Demps and Therrian Fontenot is able to tip the ball into the air. Four tips later, Fontenot is able to secure the ball for the pick and he gets a huge ovation. Could be the play of the day.
9:01 AM -Kevin Kolb throws a pass that is tipped by Kyle Arrington and picked off by Quintin Mikell. Whenever there is a turnover in practice the defense runs the ball back as if they were running the other way for a quick six. * *
8:57 AM -Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg continues his tutorial on spacing with receivers and how it opens up different "windows" for the quarterback. McNabb went 3-3 on his first series against defenders and with his accuracy right now, the "windows" could be closed and he would still fit the ball through somehow.
8:54 AM -DeSean Jackson and Kevin Curtis both jump for passes along the sideline and are not only able to bring in the pass, but tap both feet on the ground before falling out of bounds. Fancy footwork for two of the smaller, but quicker Eagles receivers. This shows that Jackson has already made one important adjust from the college game where you only have to put one foot down to be considered in-bounds.
8:50 AM -Hank Baskett has at least one big fan in the crowd. She says, "Yea Hank," every time the third year receiver runs a route, let alone catches a pass. Baskett will have a lot more fans if he can replicate his big play ability from his rookie season.
8:45 AM -The NFL Network with Brian Baldinger are on the sidelines giving the Eagles some national attention. They discuss the state of the defense (see any recent article on Brian Dawkins for more info) and the offensive focal points, such as Donovan McNabb.
8:40 AM -Fans must be really happy to see the team back on the field because even in the early morning the few 1,000 in attendance "ohhh and ahhh" with every play. And there hasn't even been any hitting yet.
8:35 AM -During warm-ups the entire offensive walks through different running plays and blocking assignments at half speed. There are a few wrinkles, one is a reverse to Lorenzo Booker.
8:20 AM -As I watch Lito Sheppard warm up, I'll let you in on something from the Blog Head section of our Web site. Sheppard and his new agent, Drew Rosenhaus, met with Andy Reid and Joe Banner yesterday. Reid called the meeting "positive," so we'll see how things work out on that front.
8:15 AM -Horn sounds for warm-ups. Hey, so much for those clear skies I mentioned a few minutes ago. According to weather.com, there are thunderstorms rolling in as early as 10 a.m., and they could last all throughout this afternoon, for about a 70% chance of rain. Remember, the Eagles will not practice outside if there is lightning in the vicinity. We'll see where this takes us today.
8:10 AM -Another cheer coming from the bleachers. Here comes Brian Dawkins, who responds with a bit of a wave. Dawkins said yesterday that he's trying to take this training camp as if it's his last, and he wants to leave a big impression. He's off to a good start.
8:09 AM -Rory Segrest is working with his special teams, and once again there's a nice round of applause for Donovan McNabb as he makes his way onto the practice field.
8:02 AM -Goooooood morning ladies and gentlemen. We are today's entertainment. Joe here, reporting from the field. After a brutal spell of rain (and hail!) last night, the skies are almost completely clear. The sidelines, however, have multiple puddles and lots of mud. The fields themselves are very clean, but I still think it could be a muddy full-contact session this morning. Keep tuned in.
7:45 AM - We're here at Lehigh. The action is coming soon ...