Philadelphia Eagles News

Reaction To Eagles' First Day

I don't think anybody outside of the team's circle of planning is any closer to figuring out where the Eagles are going after one day. Oh, it was a glorious day on many fronts. As many as three dozen players -- just a guess, it could have been more -- reported to the NovaCare Complex on Tuesday and the mood was lively, and exceedingly positive.

But there were no major moves, no whiffs of a blockbuster strategy. I know, I know: Be patient. We'll find out in due time what the Eagles want to do to build the roster.

The entire league was relatively quiet, much more than I thought it would be. The Eagles were extremely quiet, which leads me to speculate about a lot of things ...

  • A report late in the day indicated the team doesn't plan to re-sign unrestricted free agents Stewart Bradley, David Akers, Jerome Harrison or Sav Rocca. In fact, the team is reportedly not going to sign any of its unrestricted free agents. If true, then this roster will have a hugely different look. I speculated about that idea earlier in the offseason. If it happens, the Eagles are overhauling the special teams -- a new kicker, a new punter and a new holder -- and the linebacker corps of a year ago. Only Jamar Chaney and Moise Fokou, who is going to have some competition, remain.
  • Don't put it in ink that Chaney will play middle linebacker. I don't rule out the idea that he will play the weak side.
  • Who is No. 1 on the depth chart at middle linebacker at this very moment? It could very well be rookie Casey Matthews, who appeared to be in great, great shape. The kid is a physical specimen.
  • Alex Henery as the placekicker and Chas Henry as the punter? Quite a name game. And quite a daring possibility. Two rookies. The Eagles could very well bring in veterans during training camp to offer some experienced competition.
  • If Rocca doesn't return, the Eagles also have to replace him at holder. He is a darn good holder. Who is the guy there.
  • Congratulations to safety Quintin Mikell, who reportedly agreed to terms with the Rams. He got a great deal. Mikell, a first-day deal? Who would have thought that? I've said this all along that Marlin Jackson would be a factor at safety, and it looks like he is going to get some reps in training camp. Jackson feels great and says he is completely healed. "I can't wait to go," he said. "I think the defense is going to have some tweaks in coverage from what it was last year and I'm eager to learn. Health-wise, there are no restrictions. I'm going all out. It's been a long time." Jackson has missed the last three seasons with two knee injuries and an Achilles tendon injury.
  • Did you expect Kevin Kolb to be traded on Day 1? A lot of people did. He's still here, and as I've said before it is not a slam dunk that Kolb gets traded. Seems like there is a lot of posturing via the media, but I don't have any idea what the truth is. According to Adam Caplan, NFL reporter, Kolb is not required to report to training camp on Day 1. Caplan cites an NFL rule that says players have two days to sort out their travel situations to reach training camp.
  • Will DeSean Jackson be at camp on Wednesday? Everyone will be watching for him, that's for sure. The speculation is hot and heavy that Jackson will not report. The Eagles have been through this before, of course. It is part of the NFL.
  • Which rookies signed on Tuesday should you be excited about? Good question. Henry is going to get a lot of reps, naturally. The measurables on these players are impressive. They just have so much to learn in such a short time to make a deep and talented roster. Good luck, guys.
  • Brandon Graham's positive attitude is going to take him a long way in his rehab from microfracture surgery on his knee, but he has a ways to go here. Graham expects to start practicing in September and he believes he is going to be ready for action this year. We all hope he recovers fully. The young man has a lot of talent and is simply a wonderful kid.
  • I'm going with tight end Clay Harbor as the most improved body. He gained 10 pounds of muscle and is up to about 256 pounds. The kid is jacked.
  • In case you missed it, the first public practice is at 8:05 a.m. on Saturday. There is also an afternoon practice that day. Now, what does the "no two-a-day practices" mean? It means that those afternoon practices are going to be walk throughs. In the past, the Eagles ran 10-10-10 practices that we half-speed without contact. These practices will be less strenuous than those 10-10-10 sessions. These practices, as I understand it, are walk throughs. Literally. Also, the players get every seventh day off, per the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Oh, for the training camps of Dick Vermeil and Buddy Ryan ...
  • I still think the Eagles have big, big plans here. I just don't know what they are. And that has me really excited. I usually have an idea by now.
  • Just in case you missed it, any free agent signed can't practice until August 4, per the new CBA. The reason is that the league year doesn't begin until that date, and the reason the league year doesn't begin until August 4 is because it takes that long for the players' union to recertify.
  • Understand this: The Eagles have a great cap situation. They can do just about anything they want in the period ahead. And they have a plan. They just don't tell anyone about it, which makes for a sometimes-agonizing, always-fascinating trip through free agency.
  • Tune in to head coach Andy Reid's State of the Team press conference at 4:30 p.m. on Training Camp Live! presented by Xfinity on Wednesday. We're setting up the show as you read this.
  • Any veterans who are expected to be released peak any interest here? I'm sure there are. The Giants are releasing most of their offensive line. The Packers sent some veterans packing. Baltimore, too. Dallas released some big names. This is such an exciting time of the year. The key is that the teams must rely on very accurate scouting from the pro personnel department. The Eagles are in good hands with Louis Riddick.
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