Philadelphia Eagles News

Surprises As Camp Opens

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- First-round pick Jeremy Maclin remained unsigned as the 6:30 p.m. deadline for rookies to report Sunday evening came and went.

Earlier in the day, head coach Andy Reid reported that negotiations between Eagles' representatives and Maclin's agent were ongoing.

"I think we're close in a couple of areas," Reid said during his opening press conference. "We need to get closer in a couple of other areas."

Reid stressed the importance for Maclin and the rest of the rookies to be in camp on time.

"I think it's important for the rookies to be here. I think it's very important. Any day you miss puts you behind," Reid said. "I felt as we progressed through the mini-camps, Jeremy was just getting used to this offense. He did go out and work out with (QB) Donovan (McNabb) in Arizona, however I still think he needs the extra work from a team perspective.

"We want him here. We'll see how today finishes up, how things work out, and then we'll go from there."

This is not unchartered territory for Reid, who is ready to direct his 11th training camp with Philadelphia. In the past, players like Corey Simon, Jerome McDougle and most recently, Brodrick Bunkley, have staged holdouts. The team's top pick the last two years - second-round picks Trevor Laws (2008) and Kevin Kolb (2007) - were in camp on time.

Reid added that last year's rookie phenom, wide receiver DeSean Jackson, benefited greatly from being in camp on time. Jackson set Eagles' rookie records in 2008 with 62 catches and 912 yards and two touchdowns.

"DeSean being here last year I think helped him. When he had the opportunity, when he was given that opportunity to step in as a starter, he was ready," Reid said. "I think these three days give you a chance to narrow the learning process for those first three days of the veteran camp when you're also being asked to hit and you're in full uniform and so on. You're not going through that whole thinking process quite as strenuously as you would if you're not here."

While Maclin may not be on the field when practices begin Monday, free agent Stacy Andrews appears ready to step in at right guard. Reid said Andrews, who has battled back after having ACL surgery, is expected to be on the field for these initial three days of non-contact workouts. So, too, will Max Jean-Gilles, who is recovering from leg surgery. However, it's too early to tell whether Andrews or Jean-Gilles will participate in the first full-pad, full-team practice on Friday.

Reid and the team's medical staff will monitor Andrews throughout the week.

"We'll keep a close eye on Stacy with his leg and so on," said the head coach.

Reid lauded Andrews, who had surgery in January, for his relentless and tireless work ethic.

"This kid, we had to kick him out of the building," Reid said. "He's that type of personality. He is a relentless worker. His work ethic has been phenomenal since he's been here and I think that has led to the success of his rehab."

Meanwhile, prized running back Brian Westbrook and third-year defensive end Victor Abiamiri, who injured his pectoral muscle while bench-pressing a few weeks ago, will strictly focus on rehab during their time at camp. Reid said he was optimistic of having both players back on the practice field by the middle of next month.

That's especially good news for Westbrook, who was initially expected to miss the entire preseason after undergoing an ankle debridement procedure on June 5.

"I think he has a chance to be back by mid-August and then we'll just take it from there," Reid said. "You never know on these things. Everybody heals a little bit different. Some people heal faster than other people. We'll just see how it works out."

Westbrook in the past has been able to play in games without practicing much - if at all - during the week. This is different, says his head coach.

"I still think he needs a little practice before he plays," Reid said. "Brian has a pretty good feel of the offense. It will just be a matter of making sure that he's healthy once we get ready for Carolina. We'll see where he is in mid-August when he's able to practice a little bit."

As for Abiamiri, it's just more frustration for the third-year player out of Notre Dame. Abiamiri missed time last summer with a dislocated wrist suffered during the opening days of camp.

"Things happen," Reid said. "He just has to get over it, get himself healthy and get back."

Just getting to camp, right now, is the problem for long-snapper Jon Dorenbos, who has shingles and at the moment is not allowed to get on a plane.

"When they allow him to do that, he'll be here," Reid said.

And, finally, Reid said wide receiver Kevin Curtis, who underwent a second surgery on his sports hernia during the offseason, is ready to go and will be on the field when practices begin Monday.

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