Frank: 25 more observations from Eagles camp

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Frank: 25 more observations from Eagles camp
August 9, 2011, 8:54 pm

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- Hey, it went well last week. Lets do this every week! Here are 25 more random observations, this time after two weeks at Lehigh:

1) Ill be shocked if Ryan Harris isnt the Eagles opening-day right tackle. Winston Justice is making progress, but Harris is locking down the job with his outstanding play. If he keeps it up in the first couple preseason games, itll be very tough for Justice to reclaim the job.

2) Alex Henery. Huge leg. Can kick the thing a mile. They dont always seem to go straight. Keep a close eye on the rookie kicker Thursday night. Andy Reid would love to give him a nice challenging 47-yarder. See where hes at. The kid scares me a bit.

3) Limas Sweed has seven career catches. DeSean Jackson has seven career catches that went for touchdowns of 68 yards or more. Sweed (809,583) makes more per year than Jackson (769,960).

4) The Eagles 2010 opening-day defensive line finished last season with 15 sacks. The first-team D-line Jim Washburn had out there this week had 31 12 sacks last year.

5) Ronnie Brown has the highest career passer rating on the Eagles at 91.3. Seems more accurate so far than Vince Young.

6) Word on draft day was that Eagles third-round pick Curtis Marsh was a long-range project. He only played two years of D-back at Utah State after starting out as a tailback. Watching him cover at practice he looks nothing like a long-range project. Kind of like a young Bobby Taylor. Tall, rangy, athletic and very smart. Watch him Thursday night. Think he might be a player.

7) The more I think about it, the more unbelievable it is that the Eagles teams with Reggie, Clyde, Seth, Andre, Wes, Eric Allen, B&E, Randall, Keith Byars and Keith Jackson won just one playoff game. Omar Gaither won more playoff games as an Eagle than Reggie White. How overrated was Buddy Ryan? One TD in three playoff games.

8) So far, I count 10 guys who started at least one regular-season game for the Eagles last year who are already gone. And that doesnt include scrubs who started the year-ender against the Cowboys. Nick Cole, Max Jean-Gilles, Kevin Kolb, Garrett Mills, Brodrick Bunkley, Ernie Sims, Stewart Bradley, Omar Gaither, Ellis Hobbs and Quintin Mikell. Doesnt include David Akers and Sav Rocca, either.

9) Its interesting to watch how this new coaching staff works. Weve seen a lot of offensive coaches out on the field working with or talking to defensive players and vice versa. Almost seems like the traditional job titles are irrelevant. A lot of these young guys are so far behind, it just seems like everybody is chipping in trying to teach whenever the opportunity comes up. Vastly improved group of position coaches.

10) The difference between T.O. and DeSean? T.O. was a bad guy who systematically tried to destroy every team he went to. He was only concerned with himself, at the expense of all else. T.O. was starting the second year of a seven-year contract that he willingly signed when he started creating trouble here in 2005. Theres a reason hes now trying to find his sixth team in the last nine years. DeSean? Hes a good kid who wants to be an Eagle and wants to spend his career here and win a Super Bowl here, and hes on the final year of a slotted four-year rookie deal that makes him the most underpaid player in football. The only similarity is Drew Rosenhaus.

11) The Eagles allowed 31 passing touchdowns last year (and three more in the playoff loss to Green Bay). What does that number drop to this year? Thirteen? Fourteen?

12) Jamar Chaney is the Eagles best coverage linebacker since Carlos Emmons. Not even close.

13) They can call Vince Young the No. 2 QB all they want. If something happened to Michael Vick on opening day, Mike Kafka would have to come in the game.

14) Tough to imagine the Eagles will start Jason Kelce at center. With a healthy Jamaal Jackson available? Jamaal is a top-10 center in the NFL and doesnt even have a prohibitive salary (1.575 million in 2011) or cap figure (1.675 million). They cant start Kelce. Can they?

15) Temples Jaiquawn Jarrett might have suffered from the lockout more than any other Eagle. His whole thing is blasting people. And its tough for anybody to go out and make big, physical plays when youre not quite comfortable in the defense. For now, the safeties are Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman, but Jarretts time will come.

16) Speaking of Jarrett, cool moment at practice Monday when Dan Klecko walked up to Jarrett and introduced himself. Owl pride. I started looking around for Jason McKie.

16) Eagles record for interceptions in a season is 11 by Bill Bradley in 1971. Ive got Asante with 10 this year. Asante already has 42 regular-season INTs (49 including playoffs). Only 16 more picks get him into the all-time NFL top-10. He just turned 30. See ya in Canton.

17) Asante, by the way, is an absolute blast to watch at practice. Funny as hell. The other day, when the second-team offense failed to get a field goal attempt off on fourth down during a two-minute drill, he yelled out across the field to the offense, That's terrible clock management. Who's coaching over there?"

18) Danny Watkins. All-rookie team in 2011. Pro Bowl by 2013.

19) Starting middle linebacker? That decision hasnt been made yet. But Casey Matthews will get every chance to keep the job. Hes been very good at practice. Lets see what he does in the games.

20) The David Akers I-95 billboard? Only one of the classiest things any former Eagle has ever done.

21) It will be worth the trip to Lehigh to watch DeSean and Asante square off for the first time Saturday morning. Their battles are a blast to watch. See ya at 8:05 a.m.

22) By the way, the reason weve seen more 1s vs. 1s than ever before at training camp is because of the new CBA. Why? The CBA limits the amount of time teams can go live at practice. When the Eagles are live, they go 1s vs. the 2s and 3s vs. 3s. But when theyre not live, the 1s usually work against the 1s.

23) I count 13 offensive linemen whove worked with the first offense at some point at camp: Jason Peters, Todd Herremans, Jamaal Jackson, Mike McGlynn, Jason Kelce, Danny Watkins, Julian Vandervelde, A.Q. Shipley, King Dunlap, Fenuki Tupou, Ryan Harris, Evan Mathis and Austin Howard. Who hasnt? Dallas Reynolds. And Winston Justice. Anybody miss Nick Cole yet?

24) Glad we dont have to call players by stupid folksy nicknames like the Phillies writers (Polly) and Flyers writers (Hartsey, Cartsy, Bettsy).

25) With the Dolphins, Ronnie Brown played with Sage Rosenfels, Gus Frerotte, Cleo Lemon, Joey Harrington, Daunte Culpepper, Trent Green, John Beck, Chad Pennington, Chad Henne and Tyler Thigpen. No wonder he hasnt stopped smiling since he got here.
E-mail Reuben Frank at rfrank@comcastsportsnet.com

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