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Roster Puzzle Begins To Take Shape

After the final practice of the post-draft mini-camp on Sunday, head coach Andy Reid met with his coaches at the NovaCare Complex to evaluate how the Eagles team came together over the last three days.

There was certainly plenty to talk about.

From a new starting quarterback to nine draft picks on the defensive side of the football, Reid has had to become more of a teacher as his students digested the fundamentals of the scheme.

"I've always tried to jump in and I enjoy that part of it. I got in this business to be a coach and so I enjoy that part of it," Reid said.

As much as we heard about the versatility of certain players in recent weeks, this post-draft mini-camp allowed some of those players to focus on just one position. Macho Harris worked at free safety when Reid said that he could be involved at cornerback. Alex Hall, a 3-4 outside linebacker acquired in a trade with the Browns, got reacquainted with the defensive end position. Defensive end Ricky Sapp, a fifth-round pick, worked on dropping back in coverage as a strongside linebacker.

"You have a Sapp or a Hall who haven't played that position for a while and so you get a clean evaluation," Reid said. "You can't do off of a two-hour practice or four hours, two practices. You wait a little bit of time and see if things soak in and it makes them improve."

As Reid spent a lot of time this weekend amalgamating the rookies and the veteran players, it was quite obvious that there's a youthful energy to this team.

"You can't help it when you get caught up in that energy that they have. It's fun to teach the new guys, it's fun to have an off-season to go back and study the veteran players and give them a little something that even makes them better than what they are now," Reid said. "Those are very satisfying things as a coach."

One position the Eagles do not have to worry about projecting their starter is at quarterback. However, Kevin Kolb is entering his first year as the starter. Kolb was under the microscope to see how he would handle the pressure of running the offense and leading the team. Reid said that Kolb is going to be his own toughest critic.

"He's got drive. He is put in a position with great expectations," Reid said. "As long as your expectations are greater than those around you, that's a good thing. He puts pressure on himself and there's nothing wrong with that. You need to be able to do that at that position. He handles that very well, and he gets better. You don't see the same mistake. If he makes a mistake, it's not happening again."

The rookies and selected veterans return for Organized Team Activity beginning on May 19.

-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 2:35 p.m., May 2

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