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Camp Confidential 8/16: Running Back Depleted, Eagles Sign DE, Sanders and Simms Differ, Injury Update and Camp Observations

Camp Confidential 8/16: RB Going Down, Eagles Sign DE, Analysts Differ on Birds, Injury Updates and Camp Observations

By Lance Epstein

McCoy Missing From Practice:

The Eagles were already down running backs J.J. Arrington and Mike Bell, but today saw RB LeSean McCoy joined the group as he missed the installation period and individual drills during the morning session.

According to the Eagles, McCoy sat out due to a quad contusion, but they did not elaborate on when he sustained the injury. However, it could have happened during the afternoon practice on Sunday since he was seen on the treadmill once the practice was over.

The injury does not look appear to be a nagging long-term injury for McCoy, but he needs all the reps he can get especially in pass protection. While McCoy is a lock to be the team's No. 1 back, he needs the snaps in practice to get comfortable taking handoffs from Kevin Kolb and get used to contact before week one.

Still, the Eagles are thin at running back position with all the injuries, which is going to make it extra difficult for Reid to evaluate, which backs he wants to keep on the 53-man roster.

Eagles Sign DE Moncur:

A couple of weeks ago undrafted rookie free agent DE Eric Moncur was released by the Philadelphia Eagles. Today, the Eagles signed Moncur and gave him his No. 61 jersey back.

At the University of Miami, Moncur registered 110 tackles and 11 sacks. More importantly, Moncur had the ability to play against the run and is quick enough to get around the edge and to the quarterback.

The addition of Moncur is slightly odd considering the Eagles are short two safeties (Demps—knee and Antoine Harris – IR) and do not have much depth at that position. Meanwhile, the defensive line is absolutely loaded with talent. Maybe the Eagles think very highly of Moncur or saw a poor performance from Ricky Sapp or another DE on tape from the first preseason game.

However it has been reported that the Eagles are going to acquire a safety via trade or free agency in the next 24 hours. So Moncur could be cut again or someone with a poor performance from the Jaguars game could be on the chopping block. Either way it is going to be an uphill battle for Moncur to make the Eagles 53-man roster.

Sanders, Sims Differ On Kolb:

It seems like former Cowboy and NFL Network analyst Deion Sanders just does not like Philadelphia or at least just its fans. During a radio interview with Tony Bruno on 97.5 The Fanatic, Sanders stated that QB Kevin Kolb has the most overwhelming job in the NFL this season. Part of it is due to “filling in” for former Eagles QB Donovan McNabb and the rest is dealing with the fans.

"He has the toughest job in the NFL this year because, for one, he's replacing McNabb," Sanders said. "You can't replace McNabb. He's filling in for McNabb. And secondly, Mike Vick is behind this man.

"You know in your cars it says objects in mirror are closer than they appear? The first bad pass he throws, those wonderful, valedictorian-type fans. Those wonderful fans are going to be chanting 'Vick, Vick, Vick' on the second play of the game if he throws an errant, bad pass. He has the toughest job in the NFL this year. He really does."

Maybe Sanders is just defending his friend (McNabb), whom he feels was treated with disrespect by the organization and the fans. However, he missed the memo, which revealed the Eagles giving Kolb an extension and guaranteeing him $12.25 million.

Moreover, if the Eagles did not trust in Kolb's ability to be "the guy" then they probably would not have traded their six-time Pro Bowl quarterback. Finally, it is obvious Sanders missed the Eagles’ first preseason game, where Vick turned the ball over twice (fumble and interception) and showed he was an inferior pocket passer to Kolb.

While Sanders' opinion on the Eagles seems to always be negative, former Giants QB and now CBS analyst Phil Simms went in the opposite direct with his thoughts on Kolb.

"Andy Reid has proven he knows how to get it done," Simms said. "I think the offensive line is very solid, and of course, they have good skill people, so that's going to help him. And the kid's got talent. I think he's improved greatly in the three years I've watched him since he's come to the NFL."

Not only does Simms believe Kolb has the talent to strive in the NFL, but his head coach Andy Reid will make his life much easier on him by simply having faith in his young quarterback.

"Andy Reid is not going to have a quick hook with Kevin Kolb. He's going to get more than one chance to make this work," Simms said. "And my guess is Andy Reid's been watching film for three years, he believes it's going to work. And his assessment of how things have gone since he's been coach of the Eagles, it's been pretty good. So they've got a lot of information and they trust what they're doing, and I believe it'll work."

It was not all-good news for Birds fans out of Simms’ mouth. He sees McNabb having a great year as a Redskin and that the Skins could surprise a lot of experts and fans around the league.

"Some things won't change with Donovan. He's still going to miss throws where we just go 'Oh my gosh. How could you miss that?' That's going to continue to happen the rest of his career no matter how long he plays," Simms said. But I think the Shanahans can design plays that really help a quarterback that has the qualities of McNabb.

"He can move enough, he can get outside the pocket, he has a strong arm, and I think Kyle Shanahan and Mike Shanahan are the best in the NFL, along with Mike Martz, at designing and getting receivers open deep down the field. We're going to see some play-actions and we're going to see him air it out, and I think the whole thing's going to work together pretty well. I'm not saying that they're going to be a big-time contender, but they have a chance to be one of the surprise teams of the year."

While Sanders does not think very highly of Kolb, it is good to see a former quarterback praise Kolb. Of course, Kolb does have a challenging job replacing one of the most successful quarterbacks in Eagles history. Nonetheless, he seems to have the support of the city and the fans have an understanding of the growing pains he will endure in his first season. Only time will tell if Sanders' will have egg on his face or be gloating about his prediction.

Injury Updates:

** Even though center Nick Cole made a return to Eagles practice on Sunday afternoon, he was not at practice today. His knee is continuing to give him problems and the swelling has not subsided. This might be a reason Jamaal Jackson was activated earlier than expected. Speaking of Jackson, he was pushing sleds along with guard Todd Herremans during the morning session.

** RB Martlett Mallett left practice after being hit by rookie CB Trevard Lindley in his lower leg. Before he left the practice field due to injury, he was dominating again. Mallett is starting to really shine for the Eagles. Amazing that just two weeks ago, any team could have picked up the running back from waivers.

** Mallet is just one of the walking wounded at running back. Mike Bell did not practice due to a calf strain. However, J.J. Arrington did return to practice. Arrington is close to 100 percent after sitting out a couple of days with a foot problem. However, the Eagles do not know how much he can give since he is coming off of microfracture surgery.

** Lastly, safety Quintin Demps returned to the early portion of practice. This might be the reason the Eagles have been slow to sign another safety. Expect Demps and Kurt Coleman to get a lot of playing time in the Eagles upcoming preseason game against the Bengals.

Camp Observation:

** WR Chad Hall continues his impressive camp. Kolb threw a pass that was certain to hit the ground, but the smallish Hall went down low and snagged it before it hit the ground. Hall is beginning to emerge as a secret weapon for the Eagles in the mold of Wes Welker. It should be interesting to see what Andy Reid and Marty Mornhinweg put in the playbook for Hall.

** The Eagles no-huddle offense looked very sharp. Kolb threw a strike to WR Jeremy Maclin on a slant round. Then a few plays later, Kolb threw a nice and accurate pass deep down the sideline to Maclin. The bad news in all of this is that both came against starting cornerback Ellis Hobbs. Hobbs has been very impressive in camp and the preseason so far, but he needs ton continue that performance with Trevard Lindley playing extremely well.

** No one should be shocked if the Eagles defense transforms back into a top 10 and even five defense this year. First, DT Trevor Laws batted down a pass at the line of scrimmage. He was not the only defender to knock down a pass as MLB Stewart Bradley and DE Trent Cole did so as well. Furthermore, rookie DE Brandon Graham was in the backfield a ton today and continued to hurry Kolb into throwing dump off passes. His most impressive feat came on 3rd and goal during live play. Graham got to Kolb and forced a dump off to Hank Baskett, who was tackled immediately by Joselio Hanson. The new pass rush and speed has given the Eagles a vintage Jim Johnson look.

** RB Martell Mallet has carried the momentum from his outstanding preseason performance. In practice, Mallet scored two touchdowns in the red zone (a place where the Eagles offense has struggled mightily). First Mallet took a screen pass and followed his blockers into the end zone. Then, like a vintage McNabb-to-Westbrook shovel pass, Mallet took a shove pass from Kolb and carried defenders over the pylon. After watching Mallet, he reminds you of former Eagle RB Correll Buckhalter. He has the power to run between the tackles, but also has the quickness to be a receiver out of the backfield.

** Rookie CB Trevard Lindley is continuing to make scouts regret passing on him. He is constantly around the ball and made a huge tackle on Eldra Buckley to close out the live session. Additionally, he has been doing extremely well on special teams. It is not hard to imagine Lindley taking over for Hanson especially if Hanson continues to be unimpressive. The Eagles would not mind ridding themselves of Hanson big contract and little production.

** Finally, the matchup everyone loves seeing in practice WR DeSean Jackson vs. CB Asante Samuel. Today's winner was by far Jackson. Jackson burned Samuel deep for a touchdown.

1 comment:

  1. The Eagles should trade King Dunlap to New England for DE Derrick Burgess. And did you Iggles fans see Chris Clemons kill Aaron Rogers for the Seahawks.