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What's Going On With This Team?

We're here at Lehigh University in the Center of the Eagles' Universe. This is not a normal training camp feeling, nor will it be a normal training camp. Free agency is upon us, and the NFL world is swirling very quickly. What are the Eagles' plans? What can we look forward to with this football team? I'm learning piece by piece what I think this team is all about ...

  • It was really important for the Eagles to get their rookies signed, and while there are still two picks not inked to contracts as I write this (first-round draft pick Danny Watkins and seventh-round pick Greg Lloyd), I expect both of those players to get signed quickly. The Eagles need as much time as possible to feed these kids the system, get them up to speed on the terminology and allow them to play with as much speed as possible in training camp and in the preseason. That was the first order of business for the Eagles. At the same time, the Eagles are talking to unrestricted free agents and discussing numbers and situations.
  • Jamaal Jackson goes into training camp as the starter at center. No surprise there. Mike McGlynn will compete at both center and guard. A healthy Jackson is a large plus for the Eagles' offensive line.
  • Are the Eagles trading Kevin Kolb? All of the reports indicate a deal is coming this week, so we will see on that. If the Eagles trade Kolb, his new team likely wants to work out a contract before the trade is made. That's my guess, anyway. Kolb wasn't at Lehigh on Wednesday and reports indicate he isn't going to report. So ... read between the lines.
  • And look, if the Eagles trade Kolb, are they going to add a veteran quarterback as a backup? And if they do that, who in the world would that be? Is Vince Young a possibility? Trent Edwards (who wants to be a starter, maybe in Oakland)? Anybody else out there?
  • I cannot stress enough how much the Eagles are relying on their coaching staff. They made a huge investment in adding all of these veteran coaches and they think the likes of Jim Washburn, Howard Mudd, Bobby April and Johnnie Lynn will make a massive difference. These next few weeks are all about teaching. Heck, the entire season may be all about teaching, more than ever before.
  • Notice how Reid didn't specify who the team's starting right cornerback is going to be?
  • How about this for an idea at linebacker: Jamar Chaney on the strong side, Player X in the middle and Keenan Clayton at WILL? The Eagles are going to scheme their linebackers differently behind Washburn's defensive line, maybe more in a "bunch" formation. So I'm just throwing out a bunch of names and ideas. I have no idea how it will work out.
  • Wait, David Akers isn't among the first four or five placekickers who agreed to terms in free agency? What is going on there?
  • Oh, well. So much for the Plaxico Burress-coming-to-the-Eagles stories. Now it looks like Burress will go to Pittsburgh or New York.
  • A defensive lineman named Ray McDonald got $7 million guaranteed. He didn't start any games for the 49ers the last two seasons, but he got $7 mill guaranteed. The early numbers in free agency are amazing.
  • All of a sudden, the Eagles have a bunch of young, talented running backs, but I still say the Eagles might very well consider a veteran to back up LeSean McCoy. I look around and see a bunch, a ton, of good players at that position.
  • These first couple of days are going to be light practices. Don't look for the full-contact, full-pads practices from past Andy Reid practices any time soon.
  • I'm interested in the depth at cornerback. Where does Joselio Hanson fit in? How about Trevard Lindley? Oh, the questions!
  • I am not stressing about DeSean Jackson. I'm really not. I do not advocate holdouts, and I don't know what Jackson has planned, but I do know that he loves the Eagles and the Eagles love him and I just want Jackson to be ready to go on September 11 when the Eagles play at St. Louis.
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