Jeremy Clark has come full circle. After joining the NFL as a rookie free agent with the Eagles in 2007 and spending his rookie season on the team's practice squad, Clark is back where it all started after an odyssey of stops with five other NFL teams, including every team in the NFC East.
"It's been quite an experience," Clark said. "I'm glad to be back and ready to work again.
"I'm familiar with the players, the coaches and even with the scheme. There's some carryover from things we did even when I was here three years ago. There is a little comfort level."
Clark was most recently with the Washington Redskins, but he was cut five days ago, in Christmas day. Fortunately, at the expense of Jeff Owens, who was placed on injured reserve with a ruptured patella tendon, Clark wasn't unemployed for too long. Now, he's preparing for the likely opportunity that he'll play a fair amount on Sunday with the team's playoff status locked in as the No. 3 seed.
"You never want to get fired from a job, but it's a part of a business," Clark said. "One door closes and then another door opens. (I'm) just ready to be back where it all started and anxious to get back on the field, get back to work."
On a team that is filled with undrafted success stories like Dimitri Patterson, Quintin Mikell, Antonio Dixon and Jason Peters, there's an example for success that keeps Clark motivated.
"You pay attention to guys like that," Clark said. "The guys like (all-pro Steelers linebacker) James Harrison that stuck with it. You face adversity, but if it doesn't kill you it makes you stronger. So you try to take that approach and every opportunity I get, new opportunity, I cherish it, go out and work as hard as I can and let the chips fall where they may."
Also new to the nest Thursday was veteran defensive end Bobby McCray, 6-6, 260, who has notched 29.5 sacks in his seven-year career. McCray took the place of defensive end Derrick Burgess, who played his only game for the Eagles this season last Tuesday.
McCray told PhiladelphiaEagles.com that he got word last night that the Eagles wanted to bring him to Philadelphia, so he arrived this morning, worked out for the team quickly and was signed shortly thereafter. The Eagles hope McCray can be an effective situational pass-rusher for them down the stretch.
The former Jacksonville Jaguar and New Orleans Saint said that this season, in which he's been patiently waiting for an opportunity has been difficult.
"It's a new life-changing experience," he said. "You just have to keep working and keep your head up. But I'm very excited for the opportunity here."
-- In his weekly press conference, special teams coordinator Bobby April intimated that returnman Gerard Lawson is likely to get a look at kickoff returns Sunday, saying "there's a good chance" that he'll see action.
-- Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said that no decision has been made as to who will be the starting right cornerback moving forward. Dimitri Patterson has handled the role since Week 9, when he stepped in for an injured Ellis Hobbs, but he was pulled in the second half of Tuesday's 24-14 loss to the Minnesota Vikings in favor of Joselio Hanson.
"We're still evaluating that," McDermott said. "That's an ongoing process right now. Dimitri's a good football player. (Patterson) has made a lot of plays for us, and so has (CB Joselio) Hanson. Whoever's in there is going to be ready to play and do a good job for us."
McDermott also addressed the middle linebacker position, where he said Jamar Chaney has been "tremendously productive" since filling in for Stewart Bradley, who the Eagles hope will return in the playoffs from his dislocated elbow. Chaney has been so impressive, in fact, that McDermott said they may need to figure out a way to get him on the field even when Bradley is back.
"It's certainly a consideration to see, if and when Stewart's healthy, what we want to do there," McDermott said. "Right now, I'm just working on a one-game-at-a-time basis."
-- Meanwhile, Chaney's fellow rookie linebacker Keenan Clayton said he's "good to go" this week after missing two weeks with a hamstring injury. Clayton was listed as a full participant in Thursday's practice on the injury report.
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 5:25 p.m., December 30