Twitter Mailbag: On Vick, DeSean And the Secondary

Every Thursday we select a few of your Twitter questions and provide the long-form answers they deserve. For a chance to have your question published on Birds 24/7, send it to @Tim_McManus.

From @perdeep007: how does the eagles secondary seem like and how has been mike Vicks demeanor? Any body language changes or dissatisfaction?

Chip Kelly talked yesterday about the difficulty of evaluating the corners in this environment.

“With our defensive backs we really can’t make any judgment until we are out of this part of the [collective bargaining agreement] because you can’t play man coverage, can’t do one-on-ones, can’t play press man, so for us to make an evaluation on where our guys actually fit right now it would be unfair to them,” he said.  “They have been forced and handcuffed by whatever the rules are, we just can’t play [press man], everything has got to be off, so it’s really tough to say where a guy fits and where a guy doesn’t fit.”

The question was specifically about Brandon Boykin, who would like a shot on the outside, but you get the idea. Kelly needs to see these guys in a more realistic football atmosphere before he can formulate any concrete opinions. Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher will probably head into training camp as the favorites to start outside, and we’ll see how it unfolds from there.

Safeties Nate Allen and Patrick Chung have been running with the first team the most. Kenny Phillips has been taking it slow because of his past knee issues. Again, it’s tough to judge players in shorts, but I will say that I’ve been encouraged by what I’ve seen out of Allen so far. He’s been around the ball a lot.

As for Michael Vick, I haven’t seen anything in his body language or demeanor that suggests he’s upset about the quarterback competition. At some point, though, you wonder if some frustration will build in him. He playfully called all the questions about the starting job “very annoying” the other day, and you can see how it may become a serious  irritant as we march closer towards the season. Right now everybody is fairly loose and focused on learning the system. I’m curious to see how Vick responds if the competition is still open deep into training camp.

From @Jonzee72: Now that all mini-camps are over until TC, what am I gonna spend my spare time reading about?

Thank God for Dom Brown.

From @tomlindlar: Which 6-7th round picks/UDFAs do you think has the best chance of making the team?

I think Jordan Poyer has a good shot of making it, and I’d imagine they would try and hold onto Joe Kruger as well.

The list of undrafted free-agents I am interested in watching includes Alabama defensive lineman Damion Square, Tulsa running back Matt Tucker, LSU punter Brad Wing and LSU wide receiver Russell Sheppard.

As Sheil has pointed out a couple times during practice, Matt Barkley seems to target Sheppard quite a bit when they are teamed up. Kapadia develops a training camp crush every year. All signs point to Sheppard being his guy this season.

From @penseur76: Do you think all the DeSean Jackson media attention will be a distraction moving forward?

To me, it’s less about the media attention and more about whether Jackson and Kelly are a fit. The two appear to be in sync after Jackson went into Kelly’s office for a talk. You can choose to be 1) concerned that such a conversation was already needed or 2) encouraged that the receiver reached out to his coach to figure out how to get on the same page.

Regardless, there are tests still to come. Kelly wants his players to go about their business in a certain way, and Jackson will have to stay on board with his coach’s way of doing things, even during the inevitable rocky times ahead. It’s in both of their interests to make it work, and I think they both understand that.