The Eagles’ walk-through was over, and players were looking to get out of Bethlehem and enjoy some free time before their preseason opener against the Steelers at the Linc.
But first, Jackson stopped and took questions about Reid’s return.
“It’s actually an honor to have him back,” he said. “The circumstances and the funeral yesterday — no quicker than 24 hours, he’s right back on the field with us. It shows us how important he is and how much he cares about this football team. We just want to uplift his spirits and make him feel in a comfort zone so he doesn’t have to really worry about too many things. It’s really an honor to have him as our head coach. He’s really a great guy, so whatever it is we have to do to keep him up in spirits and keep him going, that’s what we’re here for.”
Perhaps Jackson, more-so than any other player on the current roster, illustrates the fine line Reid has been able to walk over the years, between support and discipline. The coach-player relationship was tested last year when Jackson let contract distractions affect his on-field play. In the second half against the Patriots, Reid benched the wide receiver. And after Jackson violated team rules, Reid told him not to show up against the Cardinals.
But the bond that was formed when Reid and the Eagles drafted Jackson back in 2008 has endured. By all accounts, Jackson’s new offseason deal was helped along in large part by Reid, who wanted the speedy playmaker back.
As Jackson acknowledged, it’s now his turn to be in his coach’s corner and help Reid in whatever way possible during the coming weeks and months.
WHAT YOU MISSED
When Reid addressed the media, he said the tragic events of this week have humbled him. Tim did a nice job of capturing the scene and reporting the details.
Michael Vick said the Eagles will dedicate their season to Garrett.
McManus and I are going head-to-head with our 53-man roster projections. I went first with my projections right here. Even though his will be comparatively worthless, Tim will post his later today.
And finally, an extended roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles. One writer has heard whispers that the Eagles are concerned about Jackson.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Asante Samuel is still talking. Paul Domowitch of the Daily News caught up with him this week.
“They had me out there swinging like a rag doll,” Samuel said. “[They were saying], ‘Hey, we got Asante Samuel for sale. I feel like they devalued me. But it is what it is.”
“When they first traded for DRC, I got a call from upstairs and everybody was excited,” he said. “They said, ‘We got DRC. You and him are going to be great together.’ Then, no sooner did they hang up then I got another call telling me they had signed Nnamdi and that people were calling and wanting to trade for me.
“First they told me I wasn’t up for trade; that those were just rumors and this and that. At the end of the day, it was all a lie. They did have a trade [in October] on the table, but it broke down at the last minute.
There’s more too. Click here for the full column.
Meanwhile, Bovada released updated Super Bowl odds yesterday. The Eagles are 12/1. Only the Packers (6/1), Patriots (13/2) and 49ers (10/1) are ahead of them. The Texans are also 12/1.
If you’re wondering about the rest of the NFC East, the Giants and Cowboys are both 18/1. And the Redskins are 60/1.
Football? Yes please. The Eagles open the preseason at the Linc against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Kickoff is set for 7:30, and the game will be broadcast locally on 6ABC.
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