Eagles Notebook: Vick still out; Mathis moves to center
It’s official — if it wasn’t already obvious — Mike Vick won’t be playing Sunday night in Dallas. The Eagles quarterback still hasn’t passed an imPACT concussion test, with the results not at the normal baseline. A medical update on Vick and LeSean McCoy is expected Friday, according to the Eagles.
With that news out of the way, Thursday was coordinators day at the NovaCare Complex. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg addressed the state of his offensive line. He indicated that starting center Dallas Reynolds would be a stretch to play Sunday. Reynolds (ankle) sat out Thursday’s practice, with Evan Mathis filling in at center. Danny Watkins, who had been nursing a sore ankle himself, slid over to left guard.
“I will tell you that he’s comfortable on the left side,” Mornhinweg said of Watkins. “It was a little bit of an adjustment when he came here going to the left guard spot. I have discussed that with him and he is comfortable on the left side there, at the left guard spot.”
Mornhinweg also praised the play of rookie Nick Foles. The coach said he’s seen marked improvement in practice and expects big things from Foles.
“He’s come and he’s getting better every day. It’s clear in practice,” Mornhinweg said. “Certainly, in the past couple of games there have been a handful of plays that he would like to have a little do over. There are no do overs. You learn from your mistake, you correct it and you move on to the next time.”
Bowles ready to insert young guns
Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles was supposed to save the Eagles’ defense. That just hasn’t happened. Instead, the unit has regressed mightily since Juan Castillo was fired. Bowles insisted he has the right players, but went on to spread the blame around.
“It’s not about me. It’s about a team as a whole,” Bowles said. “Everybody has their part in it, me included. I’ll take my share of the blame as well. We just have to play better and we haven’t been.”
With Jason Babin out of the picture, Bowles will go full throttle with his younger players. Brandon Graham will start opposite Trent Cole in Dallas, with Vinny Curry seeing increased snaps. Bowles said he’s seen better work ethic out of Graham, a player who has struggled with injuries after the team traded up to grab him in the first round of the 2010 draft.
“I think he’s gotten better mentally. I think he was a little immature and then coming back from injury he was probably a little hesitant,” Bowles said. “His work ethic has picked up. He is an intelligent football player and this is kind of learning the tricks of the trade as you go.”
Casting call in the secondary
The safeties have been blamed for a bunch of blown coverages in the last two Eagles losses, specifically on those first two plays last week vs. Carolina. And with a new coaching staff set to swoop in 2013, players are being evaluated and jobs are on the line. But the players say they can’t concern themselves with that. Their approach and preparation isn’t going to change just because they might be auditioning for next year.
“I’m not worried about that. Regardless if Andy is still here, if he’s not here, if I get traded, I got to put out good film,” Kurt Coleman said. “I got to be able to play to the best of my ability, and I’m trying to get this team in a position to end on a good note.
“So my work ethic isn’t going to change. It’s actually gotten increased just because I want to see us succeed and I’m sick of losing. I’m sick of seeing us walk with our heads down after every game saying, ‘If we would’ve done this, if we would’ve done that, we could’ve won the game.’ I want to win games, bottom line, and that’s all I care about.”
Update: Injury report
Updating Thursday’s injury report … DT Fletcher Cox (tailbone) was excused from practice for a personal reason; RB LeSean McCoy (concussion); QB Mike Vick (concussion); RB Chris Polk (toe); C Dallas Reynolds (ankle). T King Dunlap (knee), a limited participant in Wednesday’s practice, was back at full speed.