Loss of Kalu a Big Problem
The loss of starting RDE N.D. Kalu could be a bigger problem for Philadelphia than most would anticipate. Not only is Kalu one of the defensive team leaders, he was having a pretty good training camp. His potential replacements, Jerome McDougle and Derrick Burgress, have had injury-plagued careers.
McDougle missed half of his rookie season (2003) due to hip, ankle, and foot injuries. He is also just getting back to practice after offseason shoulder surgery. Burgress missed all of last season due to a torn Achilles tendon.
What looked to be a deep group of ends just took a big blow and the Eagles can't afford another injury at the position.
Jones Making his Move
Rookie running back Julius Jones not only ran well against Houston last week, he did well in his pass blocking assignments. While most rookie backs struggle with blocking, Jones has shown willingness to go and do it from the first day of practice.
It was first thought that veteran back Eddie George would get the majority of carries this season. However, Jones out performed him against Houston and if he does so again, the carries distribution could get start to shift toward Jones. His big test will come when the Cowboys give him a chance to run against a first-team defense of an opponent.
Harrington Could be Headed For Big Season Due to Solid Receiver Corps
Starting quarterback Joey Harrington struggled to find consistency last season from game to game with the Lions. Much of that could have been attributed to his group of receivers, which were largely injured. This training camp, Harrington seemingly has more depth than most teams have at the position and it's pretty solid talent at that.
Second-year receiver Charles Rogers has put together a very solid camp and he showed during last week's game against Pittsburgh that he was all the way back physically from last year's injury. Rogers had no problems getting down field or over the middle. Meanwhile, first-round pick receiver Roy Williams has done a nice job in camp picking up the offense. He and Rogers will form one of the better young starting tandems in the league.
Even their depth is solid. Veteran Az-Zahir Hakim is one of the better slot receiver's in the league and he works very well in space. Former 49er Tai Streets can rotate in for Rogers or Williams if need be. Then there's Scotty Anderson who really came on last year before getting injured. Also vying for a roster spot is former Charger and Falcon Trevor Gaylor who is a very big target who can also get down field.
Harrington may have the best group of young receivers in the NFL--which is certainly a switch from last year.
Rookie Linebacker Closing in on Starting Job
New Orleans' second-round selection in this year's draft Courtney Watson has come on in recent weeks and looks to have the upper hand for the starting middle linebacker job. The coaches really like the intelligence that he plays with and his pursuit to the ball shows up after they review the practice tape. Many teams had Watson graded as a first day talent and the Saints thought so as well and believe he will be their starter at the position for a long time to come.
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