Eagles Droppings 4/30: Minicamp Report, Max Jean-Gilles Opts for Surgery, Bradley Ok
By Lance Epstein
Jean-Gilles Has Stomach Surgery
Coming into the Eagles training camp there were players expected not to practice in center Jamaal Jackson (knee), Victor Abiamiri (knee) and Omar Gaither (foot). Then head coach Andy Reid dropped a shocker, Max Jean-Gilles, who was out due to gastric band surgery.
On Tuesday, Jean-Gilles had his surgery in hopes to keep his weight down. At the end of the 2009 season, he weighed an astounding 400 pounds and he wanted to get into better shape to be more affective on the field. Jean-Gilles is hoping to get his weight down to 330, but currently sits at 375 pounds.
"My wife and I just researched it, and we felt it would be the best alternative for losing the amount of weight I wanted to lose, in a small amount of time," Jean-Gilles said. "I'd like to weigh around 335 when the season starts.
"I did it for now and in the future. I didn't want to be 400 pounds after football, then have heart problems. I was almost, close to 4(00) and I said, 'oh man, I can't live like this.' I was breathin' heavy."
However, Reid does believe he will be back for the team's OTAs in June. This surgery is very strange for a NFL offensive lineman to have since they are supposed to be large and in charge.
Still, it makes a bit of sense for Jean-Gilles taking into consideration he looked slow out on the field against the Cowboys and out of shape. Furthermore, this should help his athleticism shine through when he has to pull from the guard position.
Other Injury Notes:
As for the injury to Abiamiri, Reid did not divulge very deep into his injury. He just reiterated what he said at last month’s owners' meetings that he had knee surgery.
Rick Burkhalter is expected to explain the surgery and his condition sometime in the next couple of weeks according to Reid. Nevertheless, Abiamiri has an uphill battle due to the fact the Eagles picked up three defensive ends via the draft and Darryl Tapp from the Seattle Seahawks. If he does not recover soon, his tenure in Philadelphia might be over.
Second round safety Nate Allen was held out of the first day of practice because of a quad injury he has been battling since the NFL combine. Allen should be fine by OTAs and at worse training camp. He rally has nothing to worry about; he is the best option for the Eagles out of him, Quintin Demps and Macho Harris. The Eagles are probably just being over precautious with him.
News and Notes from Minicamp:
Reports surfaced today that Ernie Sims is projected as the team's starting weak-side linebacker. With his talent and skills, he could be a major upgrade to the position with Stewar Bradley roaming the middle of the field.
LeSean McCoy, Moise Fokou and Macho Harris all appeared to bulk up over the offseason. According to Reid, they all made a commitment to get stronger for the upcoming season. Fokou even stated that he added 10 pounds of muscle and is up to 238 pounds, so he can adequately play the SAM position.
After the Eagles acquired Alex Hall in a trade from the Cleveland Browns for Chris Gocong and Sheldon Brown, many thought Hall would compete at the SAM linebacker position. Today, he lined up at defensive end with his hand on the ground. This actually makes sense considering the news came out yesterday that Ricky Sapp would transitioning to the SAM linebacker position and fellow rookie Jamar Chaney can also play that position as well.
Two players failed their physicals with the Eagles: waiver pick up in guard Shawn Murphy and undrafted free agent defensive tackle out of LSU Charles Alexander. Probably does not bode well for either to make the team now.
Lastly, Kolb sounded very confident after the Eagles first team's first practice. He even stated the practice was "very good." He also said that the tempo was great and the team looked fluid in the drills.
"There is a lot of energy, more than I remember in the past," Kolb said. "I think the biggest key right now is to kind of settle us down a little bit and make sure we're out there just playing our game and not getting too caught up in it."
Reid seemed to agree with Kolb as he thought the "young guns," play very well as he said, "good to see the young guys move around like they did. So far, I like what I see."
Bradley Feels Great After First Practice:
Middle linebacker Stewart Bradley has not seen the field since last August, but today he was practicing with his teammate. Bradley walked on the field with the first-team defense on the first day mini-camp. Once the day was over he said he felt great and just enjoyed being on the field.
"It was great," he said. "Just putting my jersey on and walking out and being on the grass was a good feeling. It was a bunch of smiles for me today, I was happy to be out there.
"It's gone fast because I've been on the grind working hard, but it's such a refreshing feeling to be out on the grass running around with the guys again, making calls and I think the guys enjoyed it too."
Here are some other quotes from Bradley about returning to action:
On helping the new guys and being the older veteran in camp:
"Your years in the NFL go fast. It's like yesterday that I was getting drafted and now I'm going into my fourth year so it's a reality that as the years go by, you're just kind of one of the older guys. And the guys that are still here that are even older than me, they're obviously, they're the old vets now. Definitely, (being a leader) is a role that all old guys need to step up and relish, and me included."
On being old but not too old:
"I'm not old, but I'm probably older than the median age of the team."
On the competition bring the best out of everyone:
"It's great competition and it breeds excellence. We have a bunch of new guys who are new to the system but they're moving around good out there. I'm sure they'll be pushing for playing time on special teams and on defense as well and that's just going to make us better as a squad."
On his recovery from the torn ACL, the second time:
"It's always easier the second time around because you know that you can push it because it's going to be strong, it's going to be stable, it's going to heal. That mental barricade that a lot of guys face, I've already gone through that and I think that made my rehab go smoother.
On coming back stronger:
"I think that a lot of guys come back and they run faster than when they tore their ACLs. You work so much on your running form and the strength of your legs, you're doing so much in your rehab, that you come back strong and fast."