It was 5:11 p.m. when Andy Reid ended the second live hitting session Sunday and gave way to Bobby April to close out practice with special teams instruction.
Many of the defensive players who weren’t on special teams took a knee on the sidelines, doing their best to catch their breath and stay hydrated before the final stretching period.
But Nnamdi Asomugha wanted to get some extra work in, focusing on something fairly simple: catching the football.
Throw it to my other other shoulder, he told Todd Bowles, standing with his back partially turned to the Eagles new secondary coach about 10 yards away.
Say ‘ball’ when you throw it, Asomugha instructed, now standing with his back completely to the ball so that he’d have to turn around and make the catch.
And finally, low throws, the ones he would have to scoop off the ground.
Asomugha spent the first eight years of his career earning the reputation as one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL. His focus now is on bouncing back after struggling in his new role on an underachieving defense in 2011.
WHAT YOU MISSED
Tim writes that Jaiquawn Jarrett finally showed flashes Sunday of being the player the Eagles hoped he’d be when they took him in the second round of the 2010 draft.
My practice observations focus on Howard Mudd holding court with the offensive and defensive linemen.
T-Mac did a tremendous job of getting an explanation from Jason Kelce on what pre-snap changes are in store this year with Michael Vick.
I took a look at the roster battles on a very deep defensive line.
And finally, if you didn’t check in at all over the weekend, just go to the blog front, and everything is there for you.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
ESPN aired a half-hour special with Ron Jaworski and Michael Vick Friday night. I wrote about it here, but it’ll re-air Wednesday at 7 p.m. on ESPN2 and again Thursday at 8 on ESPN if you want to watch for yourself.
Chris Burke of SI.com handed out offseason grades and gave the Eagles a B+:
Philly moved quickly to nab OT Demetress Bell after Jason Peters tore his Achilles, and that should pay off. The draft went well, too, with Fletcher Cox the first of several picks that could contribute. There’s no proven backup QB if Michael Vick gets hurt again. The offseason was really defined by two trades, though: The Eagles dumped Asante Samuel on Atlanta, and added DeMeco Ryans from Houston.
Pro Football Talk has the Eagles eighth in their power rankings:
Sticking with the team that closed strong last season makes sense, but keeping key people in place came with an unwritten ultimatum that things have to be better this season. There’s every reason to believe that things will be. The Eagles have a talented team with high-level talent at almost every position. The same was true last year, though, and we saw how that turned out.
The Eagles have their usual 8:15 a.m. walk-through. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg will then address the media. The afternoon session begins at 2:45, with wide receivers signing autographs afterwards.
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