Here are the news and notes from the action on the practice field Thursday, the last day of practice before the team's slew of veteran free agents will be allowed to practice Friday morning.
Both the punt and kickoff return situations are yet to be determined. DeSean Jackson, of course, is perhaps the best punt returner in the league, though the team would like to limit his touches in that capacity to high-leverage situations. Johnnie Lee Higgins, one of the first free agents the Eagles signed, is likely to be a factor in the punt return game as well. As for the players who have been practicing thus far, the following players have received reps as punt returners: Chad Hall, Jorrick Calvin, Rod Harper, Derrick Locke, Graig Cooper, Jamar Wall, Terrence Turner and Sinorice Moss.
Toward the tail end of practice, the team worked on kickoff returns for the first time. Hall worked with the first team as the returner, while Moss, Calvin and Locke also got reps. The rest of the first-team kickoff return team? Jason Avant, Jamar Chaney, Colt Anderson, Moise Fokou, Rashad Jeanty, Keenan Clayton, Owen Schmitt, A.Q. Shipley, Darryl Tapp and Riley Cooper.
During the one-on-one coverage drills featuring tight ends and running backs against linebackers, impressive performances were put up by LeSean McCoy, who is virtually uncoverable one-on-one in space, Cornelius Ingram and Locke. Both Jeanty and Chaney held their own in coverage.
One of the highlights of the morning practice was the offensive line vs. defensive line one-on-one drill. Things started quickly for the offensive line, with Jason Peters and Todd Herremans stonewalling would-be sackers. Jason Kelce, the sixth-round draft pick at center who has worked in with the first-team offense, was also impressive. For the defense, Phillip Hunt continued to impress, using his outside speed and some refined moves to make headway into the backfield. Once the drill moved to the two-on-two portion, things swung in the defensive line's direction, as they utilized stunts to speed past the blockers.
The other interesting note from that session is that Brandon Peguese, the rookie free agent linebacker, worked in on the defensive line. Giving Peguese looks at a different position is an indication that the coaches are looking for a way to use a player whose talent intrigues them.
Injury-wise, Antonio Dixon suffered a knee sprain that shouldn't keep him out for very long. The team also announced that they placed Victor Abiamiri on injured reserve with a ruptured Achilles tendon.