The Eagles 2010 Training Camp has concluded, and there was a much different feel then in years past. Many long-standing veterans were no longer around, and the new face of the franchise emerged. Overall, it seemed that Andy Reid and his staff were happy with the outcome of this years camp.
Here are five things I learned from this year’s Training Camp.
1. Kevin Kolb is going to be just fine
The Kevin Kolb era officially begun at Lehigh University this year, and all eyes were on the young quarterback. He has big shoes to fill and high expectations.
What we saw out of Kolb this year in Lehigh is exactly what we expected. Kolb has a great understanding of the offense, keeps a lot of poise on the field, and delivers the ball with pinpoint accuracy. I think we may have seen a few instances in the Jaguars game of the “growing pains” everyone is expecting. However, I have a good feeling that there will be more ups than downs with Kolb.
It’s early and you can still debate the kid’s abilities as much as you want, but I believe Kevin Kolb is going to be just fine.
2. The 2010 draft class wasn’t just big, it was good
The Eagles went into draft weekend with a lot of picks and I expected them to trade up often to go after some big name players. This didn’t exactly seem to be the strategy the Eagles used. When the weekend past, I was left wondering why they did what they did. However, it looks like a good number of their 13 draft picks have a legitimate shot at playing in 2010.
You already have Nate Allen as a starter. Brandon Graham will be a starter by the beginning of the season. If he’s not listed as a starter by then, he will still see more time than any other end besides Trent Cole. I expect to see Daniel Te’o-Nesheim see significant time, both secondary picks, Trevard Lindley and Kurt Coleman, have an opportunity to make an impact as well. Riley Cooper will obviously see the field and Mike Kafka will hold the third string quarterback position. As for the rest of the picks, there’s not any one left I can single out and say with certainty, “he won’t make the team.”
This was a great draft class.
3. The center position is as much of a question coming out as it was going in
Coming into Training Camp, we knew the biggest question mark on offense was clearly the center position. Our star center, Jamaal Jackson, is still rehabilitating his knee, and the time table for his return is still pretty much up in the air. His replacement, Nick Cole, is a guy who wasn’t on Jackson’s level but did have some experience at the position.
Now that Training Camp is over, neither of them will be playing tomorrow against the Bengals. Mike McGlynn will play the first half with the ones and could potentially be the starter for the opener against the Packers.
It seems that McGlynn is doing a pretty good job, but we will have to keep an eye on him as the preseason continues.
4. There’s still questions in the secondary
Taking the last topic and applying it to the defensive side of the ball, the secondary definitely was the biggest question marking heading into Training Camp.
We’re putting a lot of faith in Nate Allen, our second round pick, who will be starting at free safety. I think Allen is going to be a great player. Like Kolb, I think he may make a mistake here or there but will learn quickly and be a solid player. Behind the starters at safety are Quintin Demps and Kurt Coleman. Demps is looking to redeem himself while Coleman is looking to make a name for himself.
At corner, Ellis Hobbs has stepped up in Training Camp to show us he’s ready to play at a high level opposite Asante Samuel. I’m happy with what Hobbs has shown, but I’m still waiting for someone to prove themselves as a legitimate nickel corner. Our backups were burned last Friday and they all have a lot to prove.
5. The old Michael Vick is back
There has been talk about this topic all Training Camp, and I think we got to see Vick live up to the hype last week. Focusing on just the way he was running the ball, Vick looked very good. When he scored his touchdown, you knew he was getting in as soon as he crossed the line of scrimmage. He’s a menace to bring down in the open field and I can’t wait to see him making plays with his feet this year.
Also, on his first ball to Riley Cooper, it reminded us that he’s more than just a pair of quick feet. We saw some nice throws from him in the 2009 season, and the fact that he can run or throw when he’s in the game makes it difficult for the defense to know how to react.
What did you learn from this years Training Camp?