Postcard from camp: Eagles
The Eagles, garrisoned for the 15th straight offseason in bucolic Bethlehem, Pa., appear to have studied at the Hansel and Gretel School of Navigation. A trail of laminated green arrows, all optimistically pointing north, dot a path through the turns and hills of the leafy Lehigh University campus all the way to Murray H. Goodman Stadium -- a facility which is, despite said leafiness, somehow only 1 hour, 30 minutes west of Canal Street in Manhattan (by most aesthetic measures, it must be said, the exact opposite of the Lehigh Valley).
I arrived here Monday morning, just about when the digital sign standing sentry outside the parking lots read 95 degrees. One team employee later told me -- as I attempted to imitate another reporter and literally squeeze myself into the shadow of a telephone pole -- the heat had been hovering in the 70s and 80s just a day prior. And yet the crowds still came out in full force, packing the bleachers and lining up behind the ropes ringing the two practice fields between which
1. Shall we be blunt? Trading
Philly brass liked what they saw of him in limited action last season -- he threw for 718 yards and four scores in his only two starts, when McNabb was tending to cracked ribs -- and Reid has noted the adjustments Kolb's making on the fly in Bethlehem. On Saturday, for instance, Kolb tossed two picks -- one to cornerback
Kolb already has the arm, his team's confidence in the huddle and the talent to succeed; here's hoping he gets those mistakes out of the way before fans start glancing longingly in the direction of D.C.
2. Then again, maybe the defense Kolb is facing in camp is just that good. Defensive coordinator
Buckley alone has been legitimately trucked by both Bradley and his partner in crime,
3. Bradley, by the way, is 26. Jackson, 23; McCoy, 22. The team's excellent tight end,
Sims -- whom the Eagles got from Detroit for a fifth-rounder in a three-way trade with Denver last April -- is all of 25 himself. And though he racked up only 49 tackles in an injury-marred campaign last season, the fire he brings to practice has at once impressed and unsettled his teammates. That massive hit on Buckley came when the back had gone airborne to try to reel in a catch on a screen play in a passing drill; fullback
Bradley is a huge fan of Sims, for one thing; the ever-vocal Samuel essentially went into a seizure of pleasure at the sight, and seems all too thrilled to foster an offense-defense turf war; the same goes for another former Patriots cornerback,
Graham, taken 13th overall out of Michigan, has already drawn national raves. It's easy to see why the bandwagon is filling up: Graham, 270 pounds and an alleged 6-foot-2, is constructed like a squatter version of Optimus Prime. And on top of having the motor to match, Graham has been busy perfecting his technique (recently the chop-and-swipe made famous by the late, great
1. The third-string quarterback in camp is none other than Northwestern's
2. Defensive tackle and Notre Dame product
3. DeSean Jackson no longer wishes to verbalize thought to the media, it seems. "I just don't want to talk," Jackson said to the press this weekend. "I have nothing to talk about." (He's said to be frustrated by his contract situation, or something.) Personally, I can't decide if it's better to have a player be up front about his general immaturity and/or disdain or have him simply
4. If you've been confused as to why some notable former players have been roaming the sidelines this summer while sporting team-issued paraphernalia, wonder no longer: The NFL's admirable Minority Coaching Fellowship Program is what brought erstwhile Eagles tailback