With a full season under his belt, we still know very little about Dion Lewis. That’s because we were all busy learning so much about LeSean McCoy.
“That is probably my mistake,” said offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg. “I always went into game wanting to use [Lewis] a little bit more and then you get into a game and every play is important, and LeSean was so good last year, it was hard to take LeSean out. And it will still be hard to play LeSean out, but certainly would like to play the other fellas a little bit more. Dion has earned that role up to date.”
When the first training camp fight of the year began to spread like wildfire, Michael Vick decided to step in and try to restore order. He immediately regretted his decision.
“Not no more. That’s over and done with. Can’t play peacemaker no more,” said Vick, fresh off one of the more spirited practices in recent memory. “I try to keep everything pretty much diplomatic around here but you can’t always do that. Tempers are going to flare and there’s a little attitude sometimes when you’re in the trenches, so I’ve got to stay out of there. I’m not strong enough to be in there.”
It wasn’t long into Sunday’s afternoon practice before a heavyweight bout broke out.
A little hazy on just how Michael Vick and Jason Kelce plan to split the responsibilities at the line of scrimmage this season, Birds 24/7 caught up with Kelce after Sunday’s walkthrough to get coached up.
Thanks to a detailed explanation, we learned that Vick – while maintaining final say – has been relieved of a good chunk of responsibility. Much falls on the shoulders of the second-year center.
We’ve been so consumed with other questions about Brandon Graham (Can he get past the knee injury? Was he a mistake? Can he make a comeback?) that we have forgotten to ask something very important.
Is he a fit for this system?
He was drafted before Jim Washburn got here, after all. Some men are Wide-9 guys, and some aren’t. What category does Graham fall into? Depends who you ask.
These long afternoon practices in the burning Lehigh sun are going to take some getting used to. Just ask DeSean Jackson.
During 7-on-7 drills, Jackson took off on a fly pattern down the left sideline, locked in a battle with Nnamdi Asomugha. Michael Vick overthrew Jackson, who returned to the pack out of gas. He lost his lunch, then spent the next few minutes on bended knee with a cold towel over his head.
Later in the practice, the scene repeated itself.
The Eagles had quality receivers in name only last season. Jackson wasn’t himself because of the contract situation and Jeremy Maclin didn’t hit his stride until the last handful of games following his health scare.
Consider: Maclin’s touchdowns were cut in half, scoring five in 2011 after finding the end zone 10 times the year prior. Jackson gained almost 100 yards less than the season before despite catching 11 more balls, and his four receiving TDs were the lowest for him since his rookie season.
As I noted earlier, wide receivers coach David Culley believes Cooper also would have flourished a good deal more if not for the lockout, and says he has benefitted significantly from this offseason.
In a season full of expectations dashed, the wideouts took a back seat to no one. The group should return to its non-distracted form.
DeSean Jackson used his first media session of the 2012 season to voice his displeasure over the Giants being crowned Super Bowl champs.
“To see the Giants win the Super Bowl last year, just to know how we played against them, honestly, it kind of bothers me a lot,” said Jackson.… Read More
Juan Castillo and Todd Bowles sat just a few feet from one another under the field-side tent Tuesday, one entertaining questions about the other during a media session with reporters.
It is easy to paint a picture where Bowles’ shadow creeps into Castillo’s personal space. He is the rising star, after all, the man coming off several head coaching interviews after taking over the Dolphins down the stretch of the 2011 season. The Temple alum was a defensive back in the NFL for eight seasons, and has been coaching that side of the ball in the bigs since 2000. You get the sense that it is about his time.
We all know Castillo’s story and the tale of the lost season, where the defense had to put together a late push just to finish 29th in red zone success. There was a whole lot of learning on the job, and it cost them. Things improved down the stretch and the defense vaulted to eighth overall statistically. But if this team stumbles out of the gate, won’t this fan base be calling immediately for a changing of the guard?
The Eagles pursuit of a tight end upgrade just got a whole lot more interesting.
According to a league source, the Eagles are showing interest in former Giants and Saints tight end Jeremy Shockey. They are taking a look at Visanthe Shiancoe as well, and are scheduled to bring him in for a workout Tuesday.
Running backs coach Ted Williams had a connection to Bryce Brown — someone with an eye, apparently, for exceptional talent.
“I have a friend who lives in the town where he grew up and knew him as a child. I have a lot of faith in this person,” said Williams, his smile growing, “because he also lived in the same town where Albert Pujols grew up. He knew Pujols when he was a high school junior. When he said Bryce Brown can play and he’s the real deal, take that to the bank.”