Notes From Playground Build: On Peters, Barkley And More

The Eagles held their 17th annual playground build at the William D. Kelley School in North Philly Wednesday. Over 250 team employees, including the players and coaching staff,  joined the students in painting a mural on the school walls.

“You forget until you get here the looks on the kids’ faces, that makes it all worth while,” said owner Jeffrey Lurie. “For them to know that the Eagles care about them, and that they’re just as important as any player, you forget how wonderful that is for the kids until you get here on this day.”

Some news and notes we took away from the event:

All of the players were said to be in attendance with the exception of Jason Peters, who has been missing from OTAs since last week. Lurie told us that Peters “has his own personal reasons that he can’t be here and I actually empathize with him.”

Peters has been in contact with his coaches and is OK, per a source. These OTAs are voluntary. The mandatory minicamp runs from June 4-6.

Kenny Phillips (knee) was supposedly at the event. We didn’t see him.

Matt Barkley said that he is enjoying getting to know the Philadelphia area. He’s obviously been pretty busy, but has gotten a chance to drive around the city and suburbs a bit. He fancies himself a history buff so he’s excited to check out all Philly has to offer in that respect. And yes, he’s already eaten his first cheesesteak.

“I went to Jim’s, which I thought was fantastic,” said the rookie QB. “That might be my last one for a while, though, I can’t get hooked on those.”

Barkley did not have his best day of practice on Tuesday, which was held outdoors under a steady rain. Did the weather impact him?

“The drizzle? I don’t really think you could call that weather,” said Barkley. “It was fine. People think that because I come from Southern California that I don’t have [experience with] weather. We have worse rain than that, colder than that, hotter than this. It was nothing out of the ordinary. We may not have four seasons, it may not snow, but you still get wind, we still get all the other stuff.”

Chip Kelly kept a low profile, toiled away with the paint brush and periodically took a break to talk with some of the kids. He spoke with the media briefly, but nothing earth-shattering was revealed. He did use the opportunity to call out Duce Staley, who apparently was doing a whole lot more hanging out than he was painting.

“Duce!” Kelly jokingly yelled, “Are we getting anything done? How’s that scaffolding holding up?”

“Duce is the one guy I have some question marks on.”

DeSean Jackson was a pretty big hit with the kids. And Nick Foles was popular, particularly because he was tossing passes to the students while Jason Avant played defense (his versatility on display once again!). But the main draw was unquestionably Michael Vick.