Sheil Kapadia

Birds 24/7

Five Eagles Numbers That Matter

Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Juan CastilloFrom the defense’s tackling to DeSean Jackson’s drops to Brent Celek’s production, here are five Eagles numbers that matter.

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Practice Observations: Fletcher Cox Can’t Hide

Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher CoxWhen you’re 6-foot-4 and weigh 298 pounds, it’s not easy to hide.

So while Fletcher Cox did his best to sneak into the Varsity House after this afternoon’s practice, the Eagles first-round pick ended up having to stop to answer a few questions.

“I almost got away,” he said.

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Mornhinweg: Vick’s Pocket Presence Will Improve

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael VickMarty Mornhinweg spent about 20 minutes this morning talking about the Eagles’ offense, and specifically, the team’s quarterback situation.

Michael Vick was on the field for just six snaps Thursday night against the Steelers – five of them pass plays. He was sacked once and injured his thumb when he slammed it against Jason Kelce’s helmet.

The offense went three-and-out twice.

“That was one of the things that I was disappointed in was our precision,” Mornhinweg said. “You saw the plays that were called were precision-type plays, and although we didn’t have many opportunities, several times it wasn’t there.”

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Finding a Role For Harbor

Philadelphia Eagles TE Clay Harbor.About an hour after many of the other Eagles players had headed inside, tight end Clay Harbor finally strolled off the field at Lehigh.

He had finished the special-teams portion of practice and went through his usual routine afterwards.

“Get at least 50 catches in,” Harbor said. “I try to walk through some of the routes I know I’m going to see in the later practice. Just get used to catching the ball coming out of those breaks. It really helps a lot. Building habits, seeing the same ball over and over again, it just becomes second nature and you don’t even think about it anymore.”

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Rodgers-Cromartie: It was a clean hit

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie didn’t have a lot of time after signing autographs post-practice this morning, but he stopped quickly to answer a few questions about his hit on Byron Leftwich Thursday night.

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Rodgers-Cromartie named ‘Goat Of the Week’

In his widely-read Monday Morning Quarterback Column,’s Peter King named Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie his ‘Goat of the Week’ and suggested a six-figure fine could be coming after the Eagles cornerback launched himself at Byron Leftwich Thursday night.

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Eagles Wake-Up Call: The Jason Kelce Lesson

Each morning during training camp, we’ll be bringing you the Eagles Wake-up Call with links and notes from Lehigh. Today, we cover the Birds’ competition at right tackle between Demetress Bell and King Dunlap, expectations for DeSean Jackson and everything you might have missed over the weekend.

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Practice Observations: Eagles’ Red-Zone Struggles

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeremy MaclinJeremy Maclin lined up to Michael Vick’s left at the 10-yard-line.

He ran a slant to the 5-yard-line, stopped, changed direction and headed to the back left corner of the end zone. Vick let go of the ball, Maclin made the catch and kept his feet in-bounds for the touchdown.

But wide receivers coach David Culley saw something he didn’t like. He wanted Maclin to make sure he sold the slant with his final steps inside. Maclin did it again later, and this time, Culley approved.

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Catching Up With Plax, Jamaal Jackson

Wide receiver Plaxico Burress could be headed to the New England Patriots, and former Eagle Jamaal Jackson recently had a tryout with the Dallas Cowboys.

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Hunt vs. Tapp: Who Has the Edge?

Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Darryl TappWe’ve written quite a bit in this space about the Eagles’ defensive line depth, and specifically the decisions the coaches are going to face at defensive end.

Here are the players in the mix: Jason Babin, Trent Cole, Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry, Phillip Hunt and Darryl Tapp.

Of that group, Babin, Cole, Graham and Curry are locks to make the roster. If the Birds keep six defensive ends (a high number, especially considering Cullen Jenkins and Fletcher Cox can play outside), Hunt and Tapp could both make the team.

But more likely, one of them will be cut, or possibly traded.

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Leftovers From LaMonte

Bob LaMonte, agent for Andy Reid and many other coaches and executives around the league, stopped by Eagles training camp Saturday afternoon.

Tim has a story up with LaMonte’s comments about Reid’s future, along with Jeffrey Lurie’s ensuing response.

Here are some of the other things LaMonte had to say.

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Eagles Practice Observations

Philadelphia Eagles undrafted free agent Damaris Johnson.Damaris Johnson was lined up one-on-one with Brandon Hughes and had a step on the cornerback down the left sideline.

Michael Vick let go of the football, but before it arrived, Hughes made contact with Johnson, broke up the pass and landed on the 5-foot-8 wide receiver.

Johnson grimaced and was slow to get up. You could almost see him consider staying down for a moment, but instead, he fought through the initial pain and jogged towards the sideline.

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Kafka Fractures Hand; Foles Steps In

Eagles backup quarterback Mike Kafka fractured his left hand during Thursday night’s preseason game against the Steelers and will not be back at full strength for two-to-three weeks, Andy Reid said today.

“What you’ll see from him, he’ll come out to practice… everything where he doesn’t have to take a snap, he’ll be able to do,” Reid said. “So the 7-on-7, some of the individual work, he’ll do.”

Kafka suffered the injury when he had his hand stepped on in the second quarter.

In the meantime, rookie Nick Foles is your backup quarterback.

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Game Review: Evaluating the Eagles’ Offense

Philadelphia Eagles running back Bryce BrownFrom Demetress Bell to Bryce Brown, here’s a player-by-player breakdown of the Eagles’ offense against the Steelers, after having re-watched the game.

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Eagles Wake-Up Call: One Way To Help Vick

On Michael Vick’s second drop-back of the preseason, he was sacked by Steelers defensive tackle Steve McLendon, who threw him to the ground.

On his fifth drop-back, Vick felt pressure from his front side, stepped up in the pocket, let go of the ball and slammed his thumb against Jason Kelce’s helmet.

A reasonable question to ask is: Why was Vick so close to Kelce when he released the football?