Eagles Practice Observations

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean JacksonBack in March, DeSean Jackson got a five-year, $47 million contract with $15 million guaranteed.

He’s made a pair of Pro Bowls and is only 25-years-old.

Cornerback Brandon Hughes is fighting for a job. He’s due $540,000 this year. He was a fifth-round pick by the Chargers in 2009, and the Eagles are the third organization he’s been with, even though he just turned 26.

But this is training camp, where guys like Jackson match up with guys like Hughes everyday. So far, Jackson has gotten the better of the cornerback with the first-team offense going up against the second-team defense.

Today, on one play where the ball wasn’t even thrown Jackson’s way, the two players mixed it up and exchanged punches before they were broken up by teammates and coaches.

“It was an incident, we had got into it. It just happened [that] we threw a couple blows,” Jackson said. “It’s a part of football and a part of training camp, honestly. Can’t do that during the regular season, during real games, but I get on the field, intense like that, heat, tired, holding on. It’s a part of the game.”

Jackson ended up being restrained by former Eagles wide receiver Greg Lewis, who is serving as a coaching intern.

“I’m a starter on this team,” Jackson said, noting that Hughes is not. “And I’m one of the leaders. You don’t want to cause anything, me getting hurt, things like that. Me being able to go out there, anything stupid happening and I’m out for the year. So you just gotta be smart with things like that. That was the biggest thing. He didn’t want me getting hurt and things like that, so like I said, once again, it’s football. It’s part of the game so you live with it.”

Hughes didn’t want to talk about the incident when asked about it.

Other practice observations:

* Cornerback Cliff Harris, an undrafted free agent, continues to make plays. During the live hitting period, with no safety help, he stuck with Jackson stride for stride down the right sideline. Michael Vick of course noticed the matchup and threw Jackson’s way, but Harris jumped up and broke up the pass, earning props from linebacker Jamar Chaney, who loved what he saw and rushed over.

* During 1-on-1s, LeSean McCoy matched up with safety Kurt Coleman to the left of Vick. He ran a 5-yard out, and Coleman had him blanketed. But when McCoy turned around, the ball was right there, high and towards the sideline where only he could catch it. And he did. Accurate, well-timed throw from the quarterback.

* With Jason Babin out, the first-team defensive line from left to right was: Brandon Graham, Cullen Jenkins, Derek Landri and Trent Cole. There was a period when the offense was running the two-minute drill and the second-team offensive line simply couldn’t block the defensive line. Graham, Phillip Hunt, Vinny Curry and Fletcher Cox all “sacked” the quarterbacks. Graham’s was on Vick, while the others were on Mike Kafka. Curry must have forgotten that you don’t hit the guys in red jerseys because he ran into Kafka and brought him down.

* Earlier this morning, Marty Mornhinweg talked about how Dion Lewis might not be tall (5-8), but is strong. We saw proof of that in the afternoon as Coleman delivered a big blow to Lewis on a screen, but the Eagles running back stayed on his feet and kept moving forward.

* Mike Patterson was out on the field with his teammates this afternoon. As Jim Washburn said last week, Patterson doesn’t have to be here everyday, but he wants to be.

* Wide receiver Ron Johnson suffered a dislocated ankle that left many of the Eagles players shaken up. McManus has details.

* No real depth chart changes from what I’ve included the past few days.

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

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