As the team ramps up for Friday night's preseason opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars, players up and down the roster are preparing for their chance to state their case for inclusion on the 53-man roster, either with the Eagles or elsewhere.
One such player who has been impressive in practice this week is wide receiver Jordan Norwood, who spent most of the 2009 season on the Eagles practice squad and was activated for one regular season game. Norwood, 5-11, 180, isn't the biggest wide receiver but he consistently finds a way to get open through the precision of his route running.
"He has made some plays," head coach Andy Reid said of Norwood. He's a "real good route runner, very quick. I like him. He's a coach's kid too."
Norwood's father Brian is, ironically considering his son is a wide receiver, the defensive coordinator at Baylor. In fact, at Baylor, Norwood coaches underneath head coach Art Briles, who was the head coach at the University of Houston when a certain quarterback named Kevin Kolb - himself a coach's son - was setting all kinds of record.
But in a very crowded position group at wide receiver, Norwood knows that he can't afford to let up at all, which is why he was so disappointed in missing time earlier in training camp with a hamstring injury.
"It was very frustrating," he said. "Everybody's out here competing and if you miss a couple days you're pretty far behind ... but I'm working through it and trying to stay in the playbook and keep up with everything."
Barring injury, three spots at wide receiver are all but locked up for DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Jason Avant. Rookie Riley Cooper appears likely to make the team after his impressive training camp and then there's a brewing battle for another spot as a jack-of-all-trades wideout between Hank Baskett and Kelley Washington. Last season, the Eagles broke camp with seven wide receivers but kept six on the roster for most of the year. Norwood knows the numbers may not appear in his favor, but he's still confident in his skills.
"I'd like to say I fit in pretty well," he said. "That's up to the coaches more so than myself. I'm going to go out there like everyone else and work hard and catch the ball and run the routes that I'm asked to run."
And there's no better time to show the coaches what makes him indispensable than Friday night.
"I can't wait," Norwood said. "It's been a long off-season, to say the least. I've been excited about this preseason really, so I'm looking forward to it.
"It's extremely important. One thing they do here with the Eagles that's great is they get everybody on the field throughout preseason so you can get out there and show them what you can do and show the entire league what you can do really."
To follow Norwood's progress and get all the latest news from the practice field this morning, head over to our EaglesInsider twitter account.
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 8:27 a.m., August 11