Eagles Droppings 7/31: Eagles Add WR Washington, Reid On Arrington, Bradley and Fight At Camp
By Lance Epstein
Eagles, Washington Agree To Terms:
It is just another day at the office as the Eagles have come to terms with free agent wide receiver Kelley Washington. Washington (6-3, 219) played last season under former Eagles special teams coach and now Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh.
"Kelly's a wide receiver, great special teams player, good inside receiver," Reid said. "He should strengthen that receiving corps just another notch or two. He'll compete for a spot.
Over the past three days the Eagles added Washington, rooki
e Jared Perry to the wide receiving corps along with adding safety Antoine Harris, while dropping Brett Johnson, Kevin Jurovich and Blue Cooper. After the signing of Washington, the Eagles announced that Perry who was signed yesterday was released.
One of the reasons that the Eagles decided to bring in Washington was to compete with Riley Cooper and Hank Baskett for the No. 4 wide receiver position. Last year in 15 games, Washington pulled in 34 passes for 431 yards and two touchdowns, which was his most productive season of his career.
Additionally, Washington gives the Eagles a big body at the wide receiver position, which the team lacked in previous seasons and is a special team's extraordinaire.
"He might be similar in some pla
ces to some of the guys we have," Reid said. "A couple years ago he was one of the best (special teams players) in the league. He's a good inside receiver, very physical, big, strong guy, (and) he's a good run blocker."
With Washington on board, the Eagles should also be able to implement the fade route that has eluded them over the past couple of years. His size and athleticism should help first-year starting quarterback Kevin Kolb in the red zone. Granted he has to make the team first.
Reid On Arrington and Bradley's First Practice:
Late last night, the word came out that the Eagles made trade that saw linebacker Joe Mays go to Denver in exchange for running back/kickoff returner J.J. Arrington. Today, head coach Andy Reid discussed his latest acquisition.
One of the first topics that Reid touched on was the Arrington’s role and the obstacles he must overcome.
"He'll come in and compete for one of those third spots here [Charles Scott, Eldra Buckley and Martell Mallett]," Reid said. "He's a good runner. He's tough, he's elusive and he's got good hands."
The terms of the deal with the Broncos was if Arrington fails to make the roster then the Eagles would receive a sixth-round pick in 2012. A reason for this stipulation is that Arrington missed the entire 2009 campaign with microfracture surgery. However, Reid does not see any reason for him not to be on the 53-man roster.
"We'll bring him in and give him a physical and just see how he's doing," Reid said. "We've been told that he's doing well. He hasn't missed any workouts with (the Broncos). We're expecting him to be fine and be ready to play."
Besides discussing his new running back, Reid also addressed the media about starting middle linebacker Stewart Bradley. Last year, Bradley missed the entire season with a torn ACL that he suffered in training camp.
Today was the first full day of contact drills at training camp. More importantly, it was his first time in a year that Bradley was able to hit someone. Not only did Bradley hit guys, he impressed his head coach with an interception in 7-on-7 drills.
"He made a great interception on the one off of Kevin," Andy Reid said. "That was tremendous. He hid himself in there, he kind of stuck inside and did a nice job of reading it and hiding himself from Kevin and you won't see Kevin do too many of those, he's pretty good with that. Bradley, he was a sneaky one on that one."
While Reid was shocked by Bradley's ability to pull down an interception where he stepped in front of wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, Bradley seemed all business about it.
"The coverage we put in this year allows me to square up and face t
he quarterback and then use my lateral speed to make plays on the ball," Bradley said. "It was the first time we ran it and it caught them off-guard."
Still Bradley does not understand why people are so worried about his knee since he has been cleared to play for several months. And his actions on the field revealed this as Bradley crushed running back LeSean McCoy in the backfield on 9-on-7 drills.
"It's funny for me because I've been cleared of the knee for so many months now I don't feel like it's an issue in my mind," Bradley said. "I've been doing so much running and speed work that I felt like I had normal offseason prep. I feel as good as I ever have, really."
Without a doubt Bradley sees it as just business as usual, but Reid and the Eagles are thrilled to have their leader back on the field and moving well.
"Stewart, I thought, moved around very well," he said. "He did some good things. There were a couple plays there where I saw him get upset because he kind of knew where the play was going and he overreacted to it a little bit."
One of the most overlooked parts of this very business offseason for the Eagles is the return of Bradley. He brings leadership, outstanding play, a game changing ability at linebacker and is the orchestrator of defensive coordinator Sean McDermott's defense.
Fight At Camp:
In this corner, a sixth-year veteran out of Iowa State University measuring-in at 5-foot-9 and 195-pounds, Elllllliiiissss Hobbbssss. And in this corner, a rookie out of the University of Florida. A 6-foot-3, 222-pound wide receiver, Riley Cooooooooopppppeeerrrrrrrr.
In the first full day of contact drills at Eagles training camp a fight broke out between the aforementioned Cooper and Hobbs. About 10,000 fans were in attendance to cheer on there first [probably not last] fight.
"It's going to happen," said head coach Andy Reid on training camp fights. "It's going to be competitive. I understand that. We got some new people out here trying to prove themselves. With competition comes fighting. Now, listen, I told the players, 'These things do happen, but don't make it a habit. We're not ultimate fighters, we're football players.'"
Normally, players will blame the hot weather conditions and frustration for altercations, but it was an unusually cool day up in Bethlehem. The incident took place as the second-team offense was going up against the first team defense.
Cooper says the whole situation started on a routine football play that
Hobbs did not take a liking too.
"It was just man-to-man bump-and-run," Cooper said. "He was on the line doing his job and I gave him a shove and he didn't like it. So we had a little talk about it."
According to Hobbs, it was a routine play, but Cooper's frustration by his physical man coverage led to the situation.
"I don't know what he's used to," Hobbs said. "I don't know if he knows it or not, but I watched his Florida film. And he's a guy that likes to pull and tug. Against LSU, he pulled a guy and [Tim] Tebow hit him on a 'go' route. So I knew that about him. He likes to put his hand on people and when you got a guy like that, they don't like to be touched.
"As you see, when he gets touched he gets ralled up a little bit. Riley gets riled up. It is what it is. I'd rather see him do that than cower down. He did his job and I did my job and at the end of the job you squash it out on the field. It's over."
After talking about it, Cooper took it a step further as he launched the 5-foot-9 cornerback to the ground. Hobbs called Cooper out for taking a cheap shot as he claims that he had his back turned to him when him when Cooper made his move.
"I took his helmet off and thought about doing something," Hobbs said. "I tried to snap mine off to make it fair. But I'm not all about that. I'm about tough football. And I'm about playing football the right way. If you're about take cheap shots [and] wait until I turn around and knock me down. He had been doing that stuff in the previous practice. You guys hadn't been here yet."
Additionally, Hobbs believes he was simply setting the tone for the defense, which is to play hard.
"Just setting the tone. This is the defense," hobbs said. "I don't know how everybody else feels, but I speak for myself, I'm not going to just sit here and take crap. We going to play hard, we're going to play hard the right way."
Even though Hobbs was thrown to the ground, the rest of the defensive unit came to his defense. Defensive leader Stewart Bradley came out of nowhere like a WWE superstar and put the rookie Cooper on his butt.
"Ellis is like 110 pounds," Bradley said. "You got to stick up for him."
For Hobbs, he respects that his teammates would stick up for him and it shows the type of team the Eagles will have on defense this year.
"I love that," Hobbs said. "That's the thing -- we're going to sit here and play dirty ball, but if want to go low and you want to take it that way, we can go that route."
All in all it was an exciting first day to be at Eagles training camp if you were a fan. You got football, nice weather and even a fight.
In all seriousness, this fight might be a good thing for the Eagles defense and an extremely bad decision for Cooper. This can be one of those moments where trust is formed between players along the first unit of the Eagles defense. Coming to the aid of a teammate shows that they can depend on one another no matter the situation. Ultimately, this could help a young defense with plenty of new faces gel much faster than previously anticipated.
As for Cooper, it is already tough to be a rookie in the NFL and especially during training camp. If he thought it was bad that he had to carry the veteran's pads and the other types of hazing, he will surely endure even more now. Basically, the rookie made his time at Leigh even more horrifying.