With one day of training camp under their belts, the rookies and selected veterans took the field yesterday for day number two of Eagles training camp. Despite a great day of practice sans injuries, the mood changed drastically that evening with the announcement that defensive coordinator Jim Johnson had passed away after a long battle with skin cancer. Johnson was one of the game's greatest and will sorely be missed by every Eagle, both player and fan.
Here is a brief rundown of who's stock is on the rise and who's stock is falling:
Stock on the Rise:
Brian Westbrook- Westbrook demonstrated yesterday that he is progressing rapidly on the road to recovery. As reported earlier by JasonB, Westbrook was seen running and performing flexibility drills at Lehigh during afternoon practice in addition to kicking around a soccer ball with head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder. Throughout the day, #36 showed no ill effects from his surgery. While he will still likely miss most of training camp, a few preseason snaps now look like a definite possibility.
Cornelius Ingram- The redzone star of the day, Ingram showed that he can perform again after being injured during his senior year. His size and speed make him a great endzone target, and he proved so with multiple touchdown catches thrown by both Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb.
Jack Ikegwuonu- Ike lit up the defense yesterday morning with his closing speed and jamming techniques. He is another player progressing nicely after injuries.
Brandon Gibson- Gibson made the highlight reel yesterday morning with a fantastic one-handed, over-the-shoulder catch from a deep pass by Kolb. His performance thus far has garnered praise from Harold Carmichael, who has said that the rookie reminds him of former Eagle Chris Carter. With Jeremy Maclin still out, Gibson should continue to enjoy increased playing time and work on making a name for himself. Remember when Brodrick Bunkley missed 16 days in 2006? LaJuan Ramsey stepped up, impressed the coaches and earned a spot on the team. The same could happen here with Gibson.
King Dunlap- Yesterday morning, Dunlap admitted to PhiladelphiaEagles.com's Chris McPherson that he had reported to camp underweight:
"I actually lost a little more weight than I wanted to," Dunlap said. "I'm slowly gaining it back. Hopefully, I'll be back up to 320. Most guys don't gain weight during training camp, but I've gained two pounds already. I lost a little more than I wanted to when I was at home. That's all right, I'll put it back on easily by working out and eating everything in sight."
While this is not yet a major area of concern, the 7th-round pick has already demonstrated an inability to show up in shape at the beginning of the season, which is why he lost his starting job at Auburn during his senior year. Dunlap will have to get back on track quickly if he expects to make the team's opening-day roster.
Moise Fokou- Our 2009 7th-round draft pick failed to stand out yesterday, letting several balls go over his head. Added to the mix is his early-morning verbal altercation with LeSean McCoy, which might spell trouble down the road. Fokou needs to develop team chemistry and raise his awareness out on the field if he expects to crack the final roster.
Jeremy Maclin- It's day number two of the holdout. I'm keeping Maclin on this list until he shows up for camp.