Today wasn't your average day of Eagles training camp. That's because the New England Patriots are in town and the Eagles had a joint-practice-scrimmage with them. It was a cool sight to see, and unlike something I've ever experienced before. Here was my view of today's practice [video].
• Patriots HC Bill Belichick held a presser before practice started. Here are all the interesting quotes I got: "_____________________". Yeah, that's it. Vintage Belichick.
• The big news of the day prior to today's practice was... *drumroll* Eagles WR Riley Cooper returning to practice. He was visibly accepted by teammates on the field during practice. Jason Avant gave him a chest bump and DeMeco Ryans patted him on the head. Even more, Cooper had a great practice. There were 3 specific plays where he beat the Patriots coverage deep (40 to 50 yards) and made a great catch for a TD.
• On one of those Cooper TDs, Vick rolled out to make the throw. The ball wasn't thrown well: it wobbled in the air as it traveled down the field. I thought it was easily going to be an interception. But it wasn't, thanks to the effort of Cooper. He jumped up high to snag the ball out of reach from the defender in front of him. Great catch. Cooper received cheers from the crowd after these plays.
• You may have heard this somewhere already, but Tom Brady is freaking amazing. Seriously. Watching him in person was quite the experience. He's a machine. The Eagles and Patriots did a 1 on 1 drill (WR vs DB) where Brady just annihilated the Eagles DBs. It was humiliating. Brady effortlessly made great throw after great throw. There's a reason the Patriots are so damned good each year, and along with Bill Belichick, it's no secret Brady's a big reason why.
• TEBOW! [picture] He didn't look good.
• FIGHT! And hey, it's Cary Williams who was involved. Surprised? You shouldn't be. Williams wouldn't return to practice.
• EAGLES QB UPDATE: Foles got off to a bad start. His first throw was nearly a pick 6 to Aqib Talib, who simply dropped the sure interception. After that, he rebounded quickly and made some quality deep throws to DeSean Jackson and Damaris Johnson for touchdowns. I'd say Foles had more impressive plays than Michael Vick today. Matt Barkley threw an interception that was a real headscratcher. Either he forced the ball or there was miscommunication, because there was nothing there when he made that throw.
• DeSean burned the Patriots secondary a few times today. When he's going deep, he's been uncoverable.
• Misc: DE Vinny Curry stuffed the Patriots RB for a loss on one rep. CB Trevard Lindley knocked down a pass.
HC Chip Kelly - (Full presser courtesy of PhiladelphiaEagles.com)
• On why Cary Williams didn't return to practice after getting in a fight, Chip said that if a player fights they're done for the day. Bill and Chip agreed they don't want further escalation.
• Chip wanted his players to get reps against the Patriots starters in practice because he's not sure how much the starters will play in the first preseason game on Friday.
• On Matt Barkley not getting starting reps: "Camp's not over."
• Chip lauded Chris Polk and feels he's really stepped his game up.
WR Riley Cooper - (Full presser courtesy of PhiladelphiaEagles.com)
• On when he knew he was ready to return: "It took a few days to be honest with you. It took a few days. It's been a tough, tough ride. I talked to Chip (Kelly) last night and this morning. He asked me. He said, 'How do you feel? Are you ready to come back?' And I said, absolutely. I love being out there on the field. I love being out there with my guys. I wanted to be out there today, the sooner the better."
• On whether any players said that they would never forgive him: "No. No."
• Riley said he apologized to all of his teammates individually and face to face.
• Chung was asked about Aaron Hernandez but didn't want to talk about it.
• Chung said the scrum that happened with Cary and a Patriots player wasn't anything too serious. "It's part of the game."
• Arrelious Benn left practice with an injury and it was announced after practice that he tore his ACL and will be done for the season. Dave Ball had been dealing with a quad injury and was cut today.
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