Eagles Practice Observations

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael VickThere were no defenders on the field, and the Eagles were not wearing pads. But let the record show that on July 27, 2012, at around 3:21 p.m., Michael Vick slid.

And then he celebrated.

As Vick was running, someone in the crowd yelled for the Eagles’ quarterback to slide. Whether he heard the person or not, I don’t know. But Vick got down on the ground, popped back up and tossed the football up in the air as the crowd went wild. He then ran back to his teammates, shared a laugh with Jason Kelce, and that was that.

Baby steps, my friends. Baby steps.

Other practice observations from today:

* During 11-on-11s, the Eagles ran a wide receiver screen to the left side for Jeremy Maclin. Demetress Bell showed good athleticism, getting to the outside and putting himself in position to crush Nate Allen had it been a contact drill.

* Mychal Kendricks has looked good, specifically in coverage, all week. But on a screen to Dion Lewis, backup guard Mike Gibson took the rookie linebacker to the ground with a great block.

* Some depth chart notes, starting with the defense. No huge surprises. Derek Landri continues to work alongside Cullen Jenkins with the first-team defensive line. The second team, from left to right, was Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, Antonio Dixon and Darryl Tapp. The third team was Phillip Hunt, Cedric Thornton, Frank Trotter and Vinny Curry.

* The starting linebackers are DeMeco Ryans in the middle, Mychal Kendricks at the SAM and Brian Rolle at the WILL. In a bit of a twist, it’s been mostly Ryans and Rolle (not Kendricks) running with the first-team nickel. The second team featured Casey Matthews in the middle, Akeem Jordan at the SAM and Jamar Chaney at the WILL. And the third team had Greg Lloyd in the middle with Moise Fokou at SAM and Keenan Clayton at WILL.

* Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie of course are your starting corners, but we did again briefly see Curtis Marsh join them and Asomugha move inside. Joselio Hanson got the first-team reps in nickel. Curtis Marsh and Brandon Hughes were the second-team corners, and Brandon Boykin played the slot.

* At safety, Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman are your starters with Oshiomogho Atogwe and Jaiquawn Jarrett as the backups.

* Offensively, the only real item of note is that Dion Lewis has been getting some occasional reps with the first team, indicating that he’s in the lead to be LeSean McCoy’s backup – for now. And for those wondering about fullback, it’s been exclusively Stanley Havili with the first team, as far as I can tell.

* “They strip in this league!” yelled Duce Staley to the running backs during a drill that emphasized ball security. During his career with the Eagles, Staley had 18 fumbles, or one every 84.6 touches. In three seasons, McCoy has five fumbles, or one every 160.2 touches.

* Andy Reid sees everything. From about 20 yards away, he spotted a camera man with his camera on the ground, whistled at him and instructed him to pick it up.

* T-Mac wrote about DeMeco Ryans earlier. At the very beginning of practice, when the players were separated by position groups, I noticed he made sure he went first on every drill, presumably to set an example. Ryans also broke up a Vick pass intended for Jason Avant over the middle during 7-on-7 drills.

* Vick looked good for most of the day. He threaded the needle to a diving Jeremy Maclin during 7-on-7s and threw a dart to DeSean Jackson near the sideline, getting the ball there just before Asomugha was able to make a break on it.

* Jackson got sick and “gave it up a little bit” as he put it. I mentioned to McManus that Reid’s plan was to get the players to eat two meals before the afternoon practice. His response? “DeSean just got rid of ‘em both.”

* Jim Washburn yells at you first and hugs you later. We know that about him by now. Today, he ripped into rookie Vinny Curry for jumping offsides on what Washburn deemed the worst hard count he’s ever heard out of Nick Foles.

* Damaris Johnson, who I mentioned earlier in the story on the returners, made a nice catch from Mike Kafka with Hanson draped all over him.

* Brent Celek, nursing a slight sprain of the MCL in his right knee, did not participate in the afternoon practice.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.

  • Peter527

    This is gonna be a great blog…

  • Vic in LA

    I am happy to see you keeping your tradition of high quality Eagles reporting alive on this blog. Since they went online I’ve gone to Philly.com to get my Eagles news everyday, but now they are the second stop. Best of luck building up the site, I hope they give you guys the resources you need to compete with the bigger boys. I’ll be reading…

  • sumotrucker

    How is Foles looking?

  • PaoliBulldog

    Joseph Addai thinks DJax needs to improve his conditioning.

  • Cory in CO

    Great blog, keep up the strong reporting. Any word on how Foles is developing?