Training Camp Impressions-Philadelphia Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles had their first set of two-a-day practices on Saturday and's national NFL reporter Adam Caplan was there to take it all in.


Saturday marked the first time that the Philadelphia Eagles practiced in pads. It was also the first time that two-a-day practices were held.

Here's a look at some quick impressions from what we saw from both sides of the football during Saturday morning's intense practice.


KOLB-LEWIS HOOK UP FOR PLAY OF THE DAY: Philadelphia's second-year QB Kevin Kolb is continuing his maturation process as he continues to learn what's expected of him from his coaches. Kolb has taken over the No. 2 role at the position and showed good poise in the pocket during today's early practice.

On one play, the former University of Houston signal caller hooked up with veteran WR Greg Lewis on a deep passing play down the right sideline. Kolb dropped the ball in over double coverage about 40 yards down field into Lewis' outstretched hands.

BOOKER GETTING HIS CHANCE: When the team traded for Lorenzo Booker earlier this year, some didn't see why the move was made. But watching practice, it's easy to see why head coach Andy Reid wanted to add the speedy back his already deep roster of running backs. As noted during the team's OTAs, Booker and starting RB Brian Westbrook were used in a few packages were both backs are on the field on the same time. As a team source noted, the coaches want to give the defense something more to think about in preparing for the team.

We saw another split backfield formation Saturday with veteran RB Correll Buckhalter moving to fullback with Booker playing the halfback role. The source notes the team is very high on Booker and expects him to be on the field for at least 15-20 plays each game.

CELEK MOVING UP?: If today's first practice was any indication, another second-year player is moving up the depth chart at his position. Former fifth-round pick Brent Celek was the first tight end off the bench in team drills. Celek looked to put on at least 10 pounds on his body frame in the off-season which was clearly needed.

JACKSON SHOWING VERSATILITY: One of the reasons why rookie WR DeSean Jackson fell to the second round of the draft was because of his size. After he weighed in at 169 lbs. at the NFL combine, scouts were skeptical if he would physically hold up to the rigors of the NFL. To help alleviate that, Jackson is being moved around the offensive formation to the slot and in motion. This way, it's hard for the defender to get a good jam on the undersized receiver.

Jackson burned veteran FS Brian Dawkins in a one-on-one drill where he jab stepped one way and went another leaving the defensive back helpless.

DUNLAP LOOKS LIKE THE KING: There may be one player who actually makes starting RT Jon Runyan small. Rookie LT King Dunlap, who is a shade above 6'8", is said to be the tallest player to participate in training camp during the Andy Reid era. The seventh-round pick is seen more as a developmental prospect but the team believes he has the upside to possibly have a much larger role down the line.


COLE SPEEDS BY: Starting RDE Trent Cole is known as a speed rusher. That never was more evident in one-on-one drills as he breezed by rookie LT King Dunlap. Cole, who has a tremendous first step, got by Dunlap so quickly that the coaches stopped the play almost immediately.

GRAHAM GETS PICKED ON: Second-year CB Nick Graham had a tough go of it during one-on-drills. The former undrafted free agent, who did well in limited playing time last season, was picked on constantly during Saturday's morning practice session. Rookie WR Frantz Hardy third-year WR Jason Avant beat Graham badly on consecutive plays. But to Graham's credit, he didn't seem to lose confidence.

In team drills, Graham's coverage was solid and he covered his man so well that the defense was able to record a sack on one play.

MIKELL HOLDING STEADY: As expected, fourth-year SS Sean Considine is running with the second-team defense. The oft-injured but talented defensive back is backing up veteran S Quintin Mikell.

Mikell, signed as an undrafted free agent in 2003, ran with the starters during the team's OTAs as well and isn't showing any signs of giving up the job.

Other Notes: Starting RG Shawn Andrews remains on the reserve/did not report list after missing practice for the second straight day. Head coach Andy Reid with the typical response said he would only talk about the players were in camp. Two team sources said they're not quite sure why Andrews isn't in camp. One thing is for certain, Andrews isn't being excused from camp so he's eligible to be fined $15,000/day. Third-year G Max Jean-Gilles filled in again for him...Every veteran player practiced Saturday except Andrews. Missing from practice were rookies: DT Trevor Laws (laws-PUP), DE Bryan Smith (hamstring), and CB Jack Ikegwuonu (knee-PUP). Laws and Smith remain day-to-day while Ikegwuonu is not expected to play this season as he recovers from ACL surgery...Starting CB Astante Samuel grabbed his hamstring during one-on-one drills and was held out of the rest of practice with what the team is calling a hamstring strain. The team should be updating his status on Sunday...There was a CFL scout seen watching practice perhaps scouting bottom-end talent on Philadelphia's roster.

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