Postcard from camp: Eagles
On the hilly (no, mountainous) campus of Lehigh University, an hour north of Philly in Bethlehem, Pa., for Eagles camp. It's a broiler here, 90 degrees with what feels like 95 percent humidity for the afternoon practice of a two-a-day deal. It was so oppressive Tuesday morning, though slightly cooler, that disoriented defensive end
This is always a good spot to gauge fan reaction in what's always an enthusiastic, bleachers-filled environment. "Love you Brian!'' one fan yelled to
McNabb is entrenched as the starter here and will not be challenged for the starting job unless he gets hurt again, which, of course, is always possible. This is his 10th season. He turns 32 this year. He has missed two, six, seven, one, zero, and six games due to injury in the past six seasons, so it's no lock he'll make it through 16 games.
In his absence, backup
The Eagles have three back-to-back road tilts in 2009, along with bookend away games to start and finish the season (at Carolina, at Dallas). They also have a rugged intra-divisional three-pack against Washington, the New York Giants and Dallas beginning in Week 7. On a positive note, Philadelphia opens the season with four non-divisional games, including three straight winnable home dates with New Orleans, Kansas City, Tampa Bay, starting in Week 2.
This is the kind of day both receivers need to have to show Reid and McNabb they can be trusted in the third quarter at Dallas. Avant made a great one-handed catch on a nine-route, causing the crowd to oooooooh. He generally caught everything in sight.
Ate lunch at the usual sandwich place in town, Deja Brew, and had an interesting experience. The owner,
Perfect for me, because I don't exactly get a lot of roughage on the ol' training-camp trip. The topper, of course, was the peanut-butter ball for dessert. Jeff's mom makes these classic balls with a hint of chocolate, things that look like big marbles but are the perfect smallish cap to a great lunch.
I noticed that as a tribute to Eagles play-by-play man
"We had the Dalai Lama here on campus this year,'' Jeff told me, "and so we made a Dalai Latte in tribute to him. It was a chai drink. People loved it. And one day, we had some monks come in here to eat. They were big eaters. Imagine this -- one day the monks, and the next day