A year ago, Stacy Andrews wasn't part of this.
While his teammates were going through off-season practices, Andrews was still rehabilitating from a torn anterior cruciate ligament. It wasn't until part way through training camp that he fully participated in practice, and he started only two games.
This year, on the other hand, Andrews has participated in both mini-camp and off-season training activities, and feels far more confident in his repaired knee. He is no longer wearing a brace on it, he pointed out after practice Wednesday.
"I got here early, I feel real comfortable with the offense, the knee’s feeling good and I’m ready to rock," Andrews said after a session at the Eagles' indoor facility.
As for the difference of getting repetitions in with the team before training camp begins: "it feels 10 times better, man, it feels a whole lot better."
Andrews, who signed a $39 million contract with the Eagles in 2009 but had to take a pay cut in March, said he is out to prove something this year.
"I want to prove to myself first and foremost and then to the organization that I’m going to get out here and ball and show them that they didn’t waste their money," he said.
Other practice observations:
With LeSean McCoy sitting out, Mike Bell was running pass routes out of the backfield and speeding up the sidelines, drawing several hoots from his teammates. “I see you two-six!” one yelled, referring to the back’s jersey number.
David Akers had a tough day from long distance, even though he was kicking indoors. He missed at least two 40-yard plus field goals, and one made kick glanced off the upright on its way in.
New defensive ends Darryl Tapp and Daniel Te'o-Nesheim got a taste of the kind of versatility the Eagles ask of their defenders. The two linemen each dropped into pass coverage, chasing running backs and receivers, as the team practiced blitzes.
Wide receiver Pat Simonds nearly ran over team President Joe Banner, who was watching practice from the sidelines. There is little room to maneuver on the tight indoor field, but when a pass brought Simonds racing toward the sideline, Banner scooted to his left, telling reporters, “still got a little quickness.”
Team owner Jeffrey Lurie was here for practice, and greeted Ernie Sims, one of his newest players, with a warm handshake.