Mike Kafka was the only Eagles quarterback throwing today, when a group of locked-out players reconvened at a sports complex in Burlington County. The workouts moved from an artificial surface to a "real grass" field, which seemed to be in good shape but was cut much higher than the manicured NovaCare pastures.
The group of receivers and throwers has shrunk or expanded as people have checked in or out over the past few weeks. Michael Vick has returned to Virginia, Kevin Kolb to Texas. Kafka said he was glad to see LeSean "Shady" McCoy, who drove in from Harrisburg; this meant Kafka could throw screens.
Former Eagles receiver Greg Lewis, now of the Minnesota Vikings, stepped in and threw a few passes at one point so Kafka could take a break. Kafka, a rookie last season from Northwestern, clearly was working harder than anyone else on the field, his gray T-shirt soaked with sweat. But Kafka said he didn't mind the work.
"I needed these reps," Kafka said after throwing what he estimated were 100 to 150 passes in a scorching late-morning sun. "I need all the reps I can get, to be honest with you."
McCoy has been working out on his own in Florida, but he flew home to Harrisburg over the weekend and decided to join the South Jersey group, which today included Brent Celek, Jason Avant, Eldra Buckley and safety Jamar Adams, along with a few friends McCoy brought along, one of whom reporters briefly mistook for Eagles draftee Dion Lewis, a McCoy protege.
"We've got good leaders," McCoy said, singling out Avant, who has been a constant at the workouts, along with Celek and Kafka.
McCoy, who caught 78 passes last season, mainly worked on his routes. With no linemen, there wasn't much point to trying any running drills, though McCoy did take one handoff from Kafka at the end of the session.
"It is different, the o-line being there, the speed of it, the timing," McCoy said. "Just getting out here, getting in shape, running and catching -- that's big, too."
McCoy was asked if he is where he would normally be, in terms of conditioning, at the end of May.
"Nah," he said. "I'm a couple pounds heavier than I want to be. You work out every day, but it's not the same. (Normally you would have) guys pushing you. It isn't quite the same. I think everybody is affected a little bit. I'm still in good shape, but I was fatigued a little bit."
Look for more in Wednesday's Daily News.
Interesting column in Monday's Inquirer from Ashley Fox about Kevin Kolb, though I respectfully disagree with its conclusion. True that Andy Reid will do what's best for the Eagles, ahead of what's best for Kolb, if it comes to that. But I'm pretty sure Kolb knows this, as he awaits the end of the lockout and a hoped-for trade.
Kolb often mentions his faith in Reid to do right by him. Naive? No, I think his words are calculated. Kolb has little real leverage to force a trade, but he does have a close relationship with the coach who drafted and developed him, and he knows Reid feels bad about how last year went down, -- Reid vehemently asserting Kolb would be the starter, over and over again, then changing his mind in a flash after Kolb got hurt.