The stands were packed as Saturday was the first time the fans were able to come watch their team practice. If you weren’t there, here are some of the players who stood out.
Dion Lewis- Lewis has clearly been hitting the books with LeSean McCoy. One of the hardest things for rookie running backs to do- especially in the Eagles system- is to learn how to pick up the blitz. One two occasions, Lewis did just that. Despite being perhaps the smallest player on the field, the former Pittsburgh running back stepped up and stopped Daryl Tapp from getting to Mike Kafka.
Lewis also had a good day catching the ball. His small size should help him at the next level, as on screen plays it was almost impossible to see him as he stood between the huge offensive lineman. Lewis showed speed and good hands on multiple occasions.
Marlin Jackson- Eagles fans won’t want to hear this- but Marlin Jackson has a good chance of making this team. Jackson has missed the last two seasons with injuries, but the Eagles must see something in him to keep him on the roster. He showed some flashes of what the Eagle see in him today, as he broke up multiple passes and was in other other plays. Whether or not he makes the team will have a lot to do with his health, but his veteran presence in an otherwise young secondary could be used if he can keep making plays.
Trevard Lindley: The pressure on Trevard Lindley to make a jump this season dropped significantly when the Eagles added Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Nnamdi Asomugha. If the Eagles do in fact hold on to Asante Samuel, then Lindley is now battling with Joselio Hanson to see who will be the 4th corner on this team. What Lindley showed flashes in limited action last season was on display today, as he was all around the ball. A few times Lindley got his arm in front of a receiver to break up a pass. On one play, Lindley jumped a route and got both hands on the ball, only to drop it. Although that is a play he has to make to take the next step, Lindley still showed signs today that he is ready to contribute to this defense.
Chas Henry: Perhaps no player got more “oohs and ahhs’” from the crowd today then Chas Henry, the rookie punter from Florida. During special teams drills at the end of practice, Henry boomed the ball on multiple occasions what seemed like 60-65 yards. When Henry really connects on a ball, it is a thing of beauty, as the ball hangs in the air without even moving, only to drop what seems like a mile from when he punted it. Henry also had some nice placement punts, getting it to the sideline and deep in the 20 on one drill. But like most rookie kickers, Henry had some shanks in-between the bombs.
Jerrod Johnson: With Vince Young still in street clothes, Jerrod Johnson was running the 3rd team offense. Johnson, a undrafted free agent rookie quarterback out of Texas A&M towers over almost every player on the field other then King Dunlap. Johnson looks the part, as he is fast and has the height to see over the offensive line. While he showed flashes today, extending multiple plays with his legs and taking a few up the middle when his coverage broke down, he also showed why he was not drafted. Johnson threw a ton balls of that no where near resembled a spiral, and over threw his receivers multiple time down the field. Still, Johnson has been impressive enough that he could end up on the practice squad.