Thursday, June 07, 2007

Eagles' Mini Camp Report

The Eagles finished day 3 of mini camp today at the NovaCare Complex as the veterans continue to work with rookies before next month's training camp in Lehigh.

With L.J. Smith and Matt Schobel already inactive for camp, the Eagles are thin at tight end. Today, fifth-round draft pick Brent Celek limped off the practice field in pain after a 7-on-7 drill. He called over a trainer as he walked toward the locker room, saying "It's my hip," and pointed to his right side. The injury did not appear serious, but the Eagles were left with only rookie Lee Vickers at TE for the remainder of practice today.

Today, wide receivers Jason Avant and Kevin Curtis both appeared ready to step into starting roles. Avant made two spectacular catches in tight coverage, while Curtis showed speed and talent throughout the drills.

Cornerback Will James almost came up with an interception in traffic. Key word: almost. Secondary coach Trent Walters called James over to the sideline and told him, "You were just one step too slow." James, who is the lone veteran who voluntarily attended rookie camps for extra practice, acknowledged his mistake and dropped down for 15 push-ups. Dedrick Roper didn't miss his opportunity. Roper picked off a pass in heavy inside traffic during the 7-on-7 drill, drawing whoops and cheers from his teammates and coaches alike.

New linebacker Takeo Spikes continued to spend time learning the Eagles' defense. Defensive coordinator Jim Johnson was complimentary after the practice, calling the 10-year veteran "a pro's pro."

Aside from the linebacker drills, Spikes has been spending a lot of time learning and working with fellow linebacker Jeremiah Trotter, also a 10-year veteran and past pro bowler.

After spending his entire career with bad teams in Cincinnati and Buffalo, Spikes is impressed with the attitude of the Eagles, top to bottom.

"They expect to win," Spikes said. "It all starts at the top with Andy Reid and it goes all the way down to the very last man."

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