Welcome back to football season. Rookies and selected veterans such as Brian Westbrook are in the house, with the rest of the roster expected to report on Wednesday. With practices about to be underway, business is picking up and there is some actual news to kick things off.
- Noticably absent from the incoming throng of players at Lehigh is Jeremy Maclin who, like 95% of the league's first round picks, remains unsigned. My gut feeling was he would sign tonight and be ready for work tomorrow, but according to Lew Bowen, a source says that premise is unlikely. Missing a day or two is no big deal though, and as soon one or two players agree to terms, the rest of the pack should fall in line very quickly, including Maclin.
- Also via Eagletarian, the Eagles have Todd Pinkston back in camp, this time as a coaching intern (along with Brandon Whiting). Young receivers will receive frees lesson in "I lost the ball in the lights" 101.
- In an interview with Bob Ford, Joe Banner admitted he believes the Eagles have "the best roster in the league." Unlike many people, I actually feel what Banner does for this team is not only completely necessary, but he's extremely good at it. Having said that, I don't consider him a football guy as much as an NFL financial guru, and I don't think it's his job to put those kinds of statements out there.
- Andy Reid revealed in his opening press conference that Victor Abiamiri will miss the first few weeks of camp with a strained pectoral muscle, and is expected back sometime in mid-August. Abiamiri was supposed to compete with Juqua Parker at left defensive end, and this is obviously another setback for the third year player, who also missed time last summer due to a wrist injury that kept him off the field until late in the season.
- Reid was asked about his contract status and whether or not he had the drive to keep coaching. The coach responded by saying he hadn't thought about it, and he is only "focused on tomorrow."
- One of the questions we intended to ask on Friday as part of our ongoing season preview is whether or not you were excited for the start of camp. We felt it was inappropriate to discuss only an hour or so after we learned Jim Johnson would not return, but it's still relevant.
The sports talk has been dominated by the Phillies, and rightfully so. Does it really mean people are less enthusiastic than usual about the Birds though? Probably some aren't as interested in the mundane practices and meaningless preseason games, but a buzz lingers from an offseason of rapid change even if it's much quieter than usual. Let's face it: summer football has never been terribly interesting, and having a championship baseball team, and one that is potentially involved in a blockbuster trade, makes it a lot easier to ignore the plethora of non-stories that typically bombard us throughout June and July.
- And don't forget to check out The700Level store for your Camp Lehigh apparel.