BETHLEHEM — Brent Celek left practice early Thursday with what the Eagles described as a "mild" right knee sprain. Celek later walked briskly to the parking lot, waving off reporters' concerns with "I'll be good. I promise." He was wearing a wrapping on his right leg.

Just a day earlier, the Eagles seemed to be done with their tight-end flirtation. Visanthe Shiancoe had signed with the Patriots, and the Eagles hadn't opted to bring in four-time Pro Bowler Jeremy Shockey for a physical, after reports said they might. Does this change anything?

There's no reason to think Celek will miss any game time, but even if he misses a week or two of Lehigh workouts, that's a lot of reps for the backup group led by Clay Harbor, Brett Brackett and Chase Ford. At the very least, these guys will get a better basis for evaluation. If they don't look so hot, then we could see Shockey or somebody.

A source close to the situation said Thursday there is "mutual" interest between Shockey and the Eagles, but nothing is close to happening now.

"There's always competition. I'll be surprised when there's not," Harbor told reporters Thursday, after the first full-squad workout of training camp, which was closed to the public. "Another guy or two added into the mix just makes it better. As players, you see the competition, you see what other guys do, you welcome them and you just push each other... It helps you grow as a player. You do things right, if things don't work out with a certain team, you're a good player, you'll wind up somewhere else."

Harbor was OK last season as Celek's second-year backup. It's probably fair to say he didn't make the leap forward the organization had hoped to see. It's also probably fair to say the NFL lockout kept that leap from happening for a lot of 2010 rookies, who didn't get the time in the facilities, going over their rookie game video, that a second-year player normally gets.

"I felt like I played pretty well," Harbor said. "I probably had about 15 balls thrown to me all year." Actually it was 19, with 13 catches. "I do need to improve, show the coaches I can do more things, gain their trust a little more, maybe be a little bigger part of the offense. It's hard to get on the field when you have three great wide receivers like DeSean [Jackson], Jeremy [Maclin] and Jason Avant."

Prez, this 1's for you

Michael Vick was asked about Nnamdi Asomugha's story, how he met President Obama and Obama asked him to "tell Vick to slide."

"I was stunned," Vick said. "I didn't believe it. It was awesome. It was one of those things that you hear that's just hard to believe, but at the same time when you let it all soak in, you think to yourself, 'Man, he's got a point. If he's saying it, then I've got to do it.' So, the first run of the year, I'm sliding, and you'll know it's for him."

Lewis mum on incident

Running back Dion Lewis won't face any charges in that July 8 incident at a Hampton Inn in Albany, N.Y., if he stays out of trouble for the next 6 months. The Albany County district attorney sounded almost apologetic in court Monday, blaming the pepper-spraying of Lewis and his brother Lamar on the call that summoned police to the motel. An employee gave the impression the Lewis brothers were armed and were breaking in, instead of intoxicated guests who couldn't get the door to work.

"It was a tough experience," Lewis said Thursday. "It's in the past now. I'm just going to leave that in the past and look forward to camp and helping my team."

Asked whether he had considered suing, Lewis said: "I'm not here to talk about that right now. I'm just here to talk about football and getting better… I'm happy that's all done with, and ready to move on."

A vote for Jose

Nnamdi Asomugha was asked Thursday whether he thinks rookie Brandon Boykin — or anyone, really — has a good chance of unseating Joselio Hanson as the Eagles' slot cornerback.

"I think it would be difficult. He's done it for [7] years, and it's always been his thing. To the point where people don't even think of him as an outside corner," Asomugha said. "He understands the game so well from the inside. He's similar to Jason Avant on the offense. He's got all the mental intangibles, everything you need for playing that position."


The Eagles officially announced the hiring of their six coaching interns, through the Bill Walsh Minority Coaching Fellowship. They will assist through training camp. Former Eagles Correll Buckhalter, William Fuller, Greg Lewis and Montae Reagor join Corey Peoples and Don Holmes… Cornerback Curtis Marsh got some reps with the starters … This afternoon at 2:45 is the first public full-squad practice.