Saturday, May 13, 2006

McNabb Attempts to Soften The Blow

Donovan McNabb softened his original comments when asked about his controversial statement that he made during Super Bowl week on ESPN about former teammate and adversary Terrell Owens.
McNabb spoke to the Philadelphia media for the first time on Saturday since those comments were made.
The comment that got McNabb going was when Owens was asked (also on ESPN) if the Eagles would be better off if Brett Favre was the quarterback.
Owens' response was "Yes."
When asked about this during Super Bowl week, McNabb blurted out this statement about Owens' remarks.
"It was definitely a slap in the face to me.," McNabb said. "Because as deep as people won't go into it, it was black-on-black crime."
Sure that is a figure of speech, but with all the people who have to live through seeing crime on a daily basis, it was not the most advised sentence that McNabb could have uttered.
Finally when asked about the comments on Saturday, McNabb replied.
"Everyone heard exactly what I said, they understood what I said. If they didn't like it, I'm sorry." he said.
That's not a retraction, but it was better than his original statement which basically suggested that if people didn't like what he said, that was their problem.
Either way, McNabb's interview during Super Bowl week or his work today at the podium weren't two of his finer moments.

All But Four Practice In Opening Workout

The Eagles reported to their minicamp in relatively good shape. Coach Andy Reid said only four players were sidelined from the opening practice.
The four are cornerbacks Sheldon Brown and Lito Sheppard, running back Correll Buckhalter, and wide receiver Todd Pinkston.
Brown had shoulder surgery on Feb 13 and Sheppard had ankle surgery for a high ankle sprain that caused him to miss the last six games of the season.
Both players said they will be ready for training camp.
Buckhalter has missed three of the past four seasons with knee injuries and nobody knows for sure if he will be able to hold up, but he's also not being counted out either.
Pinkston is being caution after undergoing Achilles surgery following a training camp injury last August.
"Besides those four, everybody else practiced and did well," Eagles coach Andy Reid said.
It's true that the hitting doesn't begin until the third week of July, but for a team that had 13 players put on injured reserve and another four on either the physically unable to reserve list or the NFL reserve list, seeing so many healthy is a positive sign.

Brown Down For Mini-Camp

One surprise announcement after the first mini-camp practice was that Eagles cornerback Sheldon Brown won't be available these next three days as he recovers from shoulder surgery. Brown had the surgery Feb. 13 on his right shoulder.
To demonstrate the toughness that Brown displayed, he injured the shoulder last preseason and didn't miss a start. In fact Brown hasn't missed a game in his first four seasons.
Brown says by the time training camp starts on July 23 that he should be on the field, if not sooner.
When asked if will be 100 percent by training camp, he replied, "I definitely expect to. If I'm not, then there is something I'm not doing right."
Brown played like a Pro Bowler the first half of last season and his play admittedly dipped off in the later part of the year. To his credit, he never complained about the injury and just keep playing.
And when 100 percent, he is among the top corners in the league and one of the players the Eagles could least likely afford to have sidelined.

McNabb Looks Sharp Physically

It's only mini-camp, with repetitive drills that consist of throwing balls to receivers, but Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb looks to be in good shape physically.
After last year's sports hernia that hampered McNabb for the nine games he played and the seven he didn't, the health of the Eagles quarterback is the No. 1 item on the Birds' priority list for this season.
Later McNabb will speak to the press and tell us how he felt, but for now, all looks sharp and he is throwing the ball with plenty of zip. Of course he won't have to take any hits in mini-camp, but seeing McNabb healthy and not wincing is at least a positive sign after a season where there weren't a whole lot of them around.

Eagles Re-sign Mahe, Mikell

In two moves that weren't surprising, the Eagles signed running back Reno Mahe and safety Quintin Mikell each to one-year contracts. Both were restricted free agents who are entering their fourth year with the Eagles.
Mahe led the NFL in punt returns, averaging 12.8 yards, although seven of his 21 returns came in the 42-0 loss to Seattle.
He rushed for 87 yards on 20 attempts. He will have plenty of competition to retain his job as a punt returner, with fifth round pick Jeremy Bloom expected to make the biggest challenge. Even if he doesn't return punts, Mahe is a valuable special teams performer.
Mikell is also entering his fourth season. He led the Eagles with 28 special teams tackles. Mikell also had 13 tackles as a reserve safety, but his main use is on special teams.
The Eagles had some inconsistency on special teams last year, but Mahe and Mikell were two of their dependable performers and should add some much needed stability to the unit.