With No Distractions, Eagles Put On The Pads

The Philadelphia Eagles took the field on Tuesday morning for the first time in pads. While the tone of this camp is much quieter than last season's when they had to deal with various distractions (ongoing issue with WR Terrell Owens and his contract and the holdout of RB Brian Westbrook), there are some interesting developments taking place.

Although he's being held out contact drills, backup RB Correll Buckhalter (knee) ran well in non-team work. Buckhalter, who has missed three out of the last four seasons due to knee injuries, looked noticeably thinner (about 10 pounds or so from us usual playing weight). Buckhalter, team sources say, actually looks to be faster than he was before suffering the latest knee injury prior to last season. In fact, he's not running with any hesitation.

"When you have a lot of faith in God, when you are out there you don't have the tentativeness or the feeling of being nervous. You just go out there and play. That's something that I never thought about whenever I would sustain injuries. Getting out on the field and thinking negative - because when you think negative, negative things happen to you so I'm a positive thinking person. I work hard and it pays off," the former Nebraska Cornhusker said earlier in the week.

Buckhalter ran with the second team offense in the non-contact work while second-year RB Ryan Moats ran with the second team during contact drills.

Also offensively, new number one WR Reggie Brown had a mostly impressive session. Brown took a double reverse 40 yards around end for a score and also got loose on a few plays across the middle.

Brown was targeted by the team two years ago and he impressed practice observers during Senior Bowl practices with his ability to run after the catch. That and a good work ethic has impressed his head coach.

"He's a real smart kid. He'll work as hard or harder than anybody on this team at what he does. He's hard to tire out, man. He'll keep going. When [Tampa Bay Bucs head coach] Jon Gruden had him in the Senior Bowl, that was the thing he told me, 'You can't wear this guy out. He just keeps rolling.' And that's how he is. He just pushes, pushes and pushes every play. So, with that, I don't think he's too worried about the other things. He's concentrating on his job and doing it the right way. He tries to improve every practice and he seems to do that," Andy Reid said after Tuesday's morning session.

Second-round pick OT Winston Justice had up and down practice. He lost his balance a few times and on one play, second-year DE Trent Cole beat him badly off the edge and got to the quarterback.

Defensively, second-year WLB Matt McCoy had a very good morning practice and clearly looks to be the starter. He was able to shed blocks pretty well and was able to get to the ball carrier. McCoy a fast linebacker but is still a little undersized.

Other Notes:
Backup S/KR J.R. Reed is rebounding nicely coming back from a freak injury suffered two years ago which nearly ended his career. He's still running third string as a safety but the very fact that he hasn't had a setback in his comeback is news......Rookie WR Hank Baskett ran with the second team offense during the morning session due to the injuries to number two WR Todd Pinkston (Achilles) and rookie WR Jason Avant (knee). Veteran WR Jabar Gaffney worked in Pinkston's slot. Still, Gaffney is destined to play inside once Pinkston is healthy...First-round pick DT Brodrick Bunkley remains unsigned. Sources say the team is remaining steadfast on wanting him to sign a straight six-year deal with no voidables...UDFA OT Patrick McCoy has been one of the pleasant surprises so far early on...TE L.J. Smith looks noticeably bigger in his upper body...C Jamaal Jackson, fresh off of his contract extension, is working with the first-team offense...


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