HERE IS YOUR CHANCE to give Byron Maxwell and Kiko Alonso an extended, heartfelt welcome back to Philly.
The Eagles will hold joint NovaCare practices with the Miami Dolphins leading up to their Aug. 24 preseason game at Lincoln Financial Field, the teams announced Thursday. Maxwell and Alonso were disastrous Chip Kelly additions to the 2015 Eagles, whom Howie Roseman traded away last year as part of the maneuvering to move up to draft Carson Wentz.
So now we'll presumably see Maxwell, a cornerback, and Alonso, a middle linebacker, defending Wentz's receivers, in more than just a cameo preseason game appearance.
Eagles coach Doug Pederson said he and Dolphins coach Adam Gase have "had a good relationship over the past couple of years" and both had been thinking about trying to set something up. The Eagles talked to Gase about becoming head coach here in January 2016, before officially hiring Pederson as Kelly's successor. Pederson was said to be the Eagles' top candidate from the beginning, as was the case with Miami and Gase.
"I think it's good at that time of year, in training camp, specifically," Pederson said. "(Your players have been) beating on each other for a few weeks, and then you get a chance to practice against somebody else in a controlled environment. It's good. Then you have an opportunity to play a game a couple days later."
The Eagles also announced that quarterbacks, rookies and select veterans will report to training camp at NovaCare on Monday, July 24, with the first full-squad practice scheduled for Thursday, July 27.
Open practices at the Linc are scheduled for July 29 and Aug. 6, with free admission.
Middle linebacker Joe Walker, who underwent ACL surgery last August, said he will be cleared for full contact by the time training camp opens. Ditto undrafted rookie center Tyler Orlosky (MCL strain).
Doug Pederson said wideout Jordan Matthews, who has missed much of the past two weeks of OTAs with patellar tendinitis, will "be fine heading into training camp."
Pederson said the team's medical staff will get a chance to assess the recovery of second-round corner Sidney Jones (Achilles') at next week's minicamp.
Doug Pederson said he expects "all our players," including disaffected defensive end Marcus Smith, to show up for mandatory minicamp, Tuesday through Thursday. Smith's agent, Kennard McGuire, has said Smith will be present. Left tackle Jason Peters and punter Donnie Jones also skipped OTAs . . . Near-fight during Thursday's unpadded OTA work when Jason Kelce seemed to collide accidentally with defensive tackle Gabe Wright, who took exception and smacked Kelce's helmet hard. The center didn't like that a bit, and said so . . . First-round rookie defensive end Derek Barnett did very well at Lane Johnson's expense Thursday - Johnson playing left tackle, with Peters absent - but Johnson suggested reporters wait until the pads go on before taking such encounters too seriously . . . Defensive tackle Tim Jernigan seemed fine after leaving Tuesday's workout with an ankle sprain . . . Overall, the defense seemed really honed in on what the offense was doing, particularly during a red-zone drill, where it seemed Carson Wentz never had an open receiver.