If you were to compare the Eagles’ afternoon practice on Sunday to a game, you might say it was akin to a defensive battle characterized by a bit of offensive sloppiness. Sprinkle in a few minor injuries and an afternoon rain shower, and you’ve got a pretty good picture.
While the quarterbacks weren’t as sharp today and there were a handful of dropped passes, the defense did have something to do with it. The Eagles defensive line got strong push much of the afternoon during 11-on-11 drills without pads. Brandon Graham and Winston Justice were matched up, with neither holding too much of an advantage.
It should be noted that the offensive line was somewhat makeshift, with Max Jean-Gilles out due to dehydration. That pushed Mike McGlynn into the left guard spot with the top unit, which in turn left A.Q. Shipley as the center on the second unit until the former Nittany Lion injured his ankle.
With some extra pressure on the quarterbacks, the secondary took advantage by grabbing a couple of interceptions. During blitzing drills, Joselio Hanson came through clean to pressure Kevin Kolb. Nate Allen tipped the ensuing pass in the air and slipped under it for the pick. Ellis Hobbs also had an interception in the afternoon session.
Kolb’s afternoon wasn’t as strong as yesterday’s, but he did have his moments. He showed his ability to improvise under pressure on two plays within a few minutes. Kolb first hurled a sidearm strike to Hank Baskett, then connected with LeSean McCoy by flicking the ball forward as he neared the line of scrimmage.
Unfortunately for the Birds, injuries were again a theme. Mike Bell left practice on a cart after a hamstring injury in a non-contact drill. The power running back caught a pass in the right flat and turned it up field, pulling up after a few strides and grabbing his leg as he tumbled to the ground. Bell limped to the cart with the help of a trainer before riding back towards the locker room. Upon arriving near the door, Bell got off the cart and walked in under his own power.
Asante Samuel also took a ride to the locker room with a hamstring injury which appeared less serious. A.Q. Shipley injured his ankle and Max Jean-Gilles was out with dehydration. DeSean Jackson (back) and Stewart Bradley (hamstring) did not practice today. Todd Herremans, Jamaal Jackson and Victor Abiamiri remain on the physically unable to perform list.
Asante Samuel’s knowledge of the game is always impressive. At one point during 7 on 7 drills, Samuel called out to his teammates to watch out for Jeremy Maclin on a crossing route. Sure enough, Maclin ran a shallow crossing route. When asked about playing across from the intuitive Samuel, Ellis Hobbs said he used to be impressed – until he started calling out routes himself. Samuel and Hobbs are not among the more soft-spoken Eagles.
Charles Scott has dropped a few passes throughout camp, which doesn’t bode well for the rookie. It’s no secret that Andy Reid covets running backs who can be involved in the passing game, and the newly acquired J.J. Arrington definitely has those skills.
Riley Cooper is a fan favorite and has become a training camp standout. Cooper caught several deep passes this afternoon and has drawn the name “Sunshine” from fans and teammates alike due to his long hair, which bears resemblance to the “Remember the Titans” character. On one of his nicer plays of the day, Cooper beat cornerback David Penner then held off safety Ryan Hamilton to make the catch.
Charles Scott took some snaps at fullback, with Philadelphia now only carrying Leonard Weaver at the position. The Birds released Dwayne Wright this afternoon after recalling halfback Martell Mallett from waivers.
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