Eagles QB tracker: Cooper, Avant to the rescue

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Eagles QB tracker: Cooper, Avant to the rescue

July 29, 2013, 4:45 pm
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Riley Cooper is expected to fill the void left by the injured Jeremy Maclin. (USA Today Images)

Before Michael Vick and Nick Foles took the practice field to resume their competition at quarterback, the Eagles honored the best quarterback in team history, Donovan McNabb.

McNabb officially retired as an Eagle (see story), and the team announced it will retire his number during a ceremony on Sept. 19 when the Chiefs come to Lincoln Financial Field.

Before Sunday's practice at the Linc, McNabb was among numerous former Eagles to be recognized. Flanked by current players during the introductions, he walked on the field, and when he reached Vick, and stopped to give him a big hug.

"My relationship with Donovan is a great friendship that I think will extend for a long time outside of football," Vick said Monday after practice. "The information and the things he's been able to give me and instill in me throughout our time in 2009 was invaluable. Those were the things I'll never forget. I watched him closely. I watched him on the film room, watched him in the field. I felt like I was finally playing with a guy I admired and a potential Hall of Famer."

When Chip Kelly looks at the film of Monday's practice, he'll see that both Vick and Foles were on target early -- although both, for the most part, were conservative with their throws. He'll also like what he sees from receiver Riley Cooper, the prime candidate to replace Jeremy Maclin.

During 7-on-7s, each completed their first set of passes (they generally work in sets of four). Foles on one play was helped by a diving Cooper and, on the next play, by Jason Avant, who fought off safeties Colt Anderson and Patrick Chung to make a tough 40-yard reception between the hash marks. Think Avant's job's in jeopardy (or was before Maclin's injury)? Who else would you trust to make a catch on 3rd-and-10 in the fourth quarter of a close game in late December?

Cooper near the end of practice also made a nice one-handed snag on a cross.

During goal-line 11-on-11s, Vick made a play he should ask the video editor to digitally erase. He rolled left, turned right, threw across his body off his back foot into the end zone to Cooper for the TD. Pretty play in practice. In a real game, Vick is either flattened, or the pass is picked for a TD, or both. Later, Vick took a sack.

All in all, the routine remained the same. Vick and Foles again split reps with the first and second teams. According to CSNPhilly.com's unofficial count, each took 31 reps. Vick took 17 with the first team, and Foles 19. Vick completed 17 of 22 passes, and Foles 17 of 23. Many of the 11-on-11 snaps were running plays.

Matt Barkley took 19 snaps, completing 7 of 11 passes.

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