Notes: Foles Working With Thin WR Corps
Jeremy Maclin was locked up with Cary Williams during one-on-one drills. He burst down field at full speed, planted hard, turned in and snatched the ball before going to the ground.
Maclin walked towards the sideline after the play with a bit of a limp. During the special teams drills that followed he stood at the far end of the field, at first with Billy Davis and then by himself, slowly pacing back and forth, head down. He re-joined the group for 7-on-7’s and caught a pass from Nick Foles on the first play but didn’t look quite right and promptly pulled himself out. He was a spectator the rest of the day.
The first thing you think of is the knee. Maclin didn’t disclose what was bothering him, saying only: “I’ll be back out there tomorrow, folks” as he walked inside. The veteran wideout missed a portion of team drills on Friday as well.
“I trust Mac to get up. He’s a tough guy,” said Foles. “It’s one of those things where I’m not going to worry about him because I know he is going to get up and be alright because I know Mac and he is out there playing and giving everything he has. He’s been through a lot the last couple years. It’s one of those things where I try not to think about it when he goes down because I want him to play each and every play because I love the guy.”
With Maclin sidelined, Foles was down his top two receiving options. Riley Cooper continues to sit out. Chip Kelly said he expects him back this week but at the moment Cooper is rocking a walking boot on his right foot. So too is Jeff Maehl. Jordan Matthews and Josh Huff continue to work with the second team for the most part. Down the stretch of Monday’s practice, the first string receivers were Ifeanyi Momah, Brad Smith and some combination of B.J. Cunningham and Will Murphy.
The offense wasn’t exactly humming, but Foles put a positive spin on the situation.
“[It doesn’t make it] necessarily harder, it’ fun for me,” he said. “There are situations throughout a season where this could happen — guys could go down, guys could be nicked up for games where you’re not going to have your number one receiver out there, it could be your number two or number three, so just to build the chemistry in this situation, having those guys go against our one defense is huge for me because I need to develop that chemistry just in case that does happen.”
Elsewhere on the injury front, Nolan Carroll (undisclosed) Chris Polk (hamstring), Julian Vandervelde (back) and Jake Knott (leg) sat out. Bennie Logan (hamstring) has had a lighter load at practice. Beau Allen has gotten some looks with the first team as a result and appears to be making the most of them.
Greene working with OLBs
Kevin Greene is in town to work with the Eagles outside linebackers for a few days.
Greene, who ranks third all-time in career sacks behind only Bruce Smith and Reggie White, has a relationship with Billy Davis dating back to their time together in Pittsburgh and asked if he could come in to work with the pass rushers. After getting clearance from Chip Kelly, Davis obliged.
“First of all, he shouldn’t be here this week. He should be getting a gold jacket. The guy has got 160 career sacks and I know I’m prejudice to him but I really do believe it’s time for him to be in the Hall [of Fame],” said Davis.
“But his knowledge of really the simplicity of pass rush and what he’s bringing this year for three days to help us just kind of pick his brain on how he did it; the players are grabbing him on how he did it. It was a very basic, fundamental way of rushing the passer that he’s bringing to our guys. You have to ask our guys their response to Kevin but we are excited about picking his brain for three or four days before it leaves.”
Greene said he likes the group overall. In Marcus Smith, he sees an athletic, skilled player with a lot of ability. “I’m whispering a lot of sweet nothings into his ear every chance I get,” he said.
Well, maybe not so sweet. Asked what the number one thing he tells an outside linebacker when it comes to pass rush, Greene replied:
“Always establish the violent, physical nature of the game up front from the get-go. That’s the number one thing: kick his ass. That’s it, and everything else is secondary.”