The first three days of training camp are in the books and what have we seen so far? Honestly, not much. First round pick Brandon Graham still has yet to sign a contract, and contrary to his words from a couple of weeks ago, he’s a camp no- show. While I am still confident that this isn’t going to be an issue beyond the next few days, bear in mind that there are only two first rounders that have signed with their respective teams.
Nate Allen, the other draft pick who was still unsigned, agreed to a 4-year deal late yesterday with the team. He arrived in camp late Tuesday night, and with just four hours of sleep, he was up at 6:15 am and on the field ready to practice. According to coach Reid, Allen is the team’s starting free safety.
Being that he was chosen in the second round at #37, otherwise known as the Donovan McNabb pick, there’s some added pressure. Despite being a bit behind, he’s ready to work with his only objective is to “come in and produce right away and [show] that I was a good pick for them.”
By all indications, Allen spent Wednesday getting acclimated to the system and his teammates, working out, getting involved in 7×7, and spending some one-on-one time with secondary coach Dick Jauron.
To make room for him on the 80-man roster, OLB/DE Alex Hall got the axe. You might remember him as being a throw in from the deal that sent Chris Gocong and Sheldon Brown to Cleveland.
Sticking with the defense, it seems that Reid has been impressed with rookie Daniel Te’o-Nesheim. His play over the first two practices has really stood out, especially in the offensive line / defensive line one-on-ones.
Another guy that has been getting a ton of ink is wide receiver Riley Cooper. Reid likes his speed and his play within the red zone. Right now he’s fighting for the #4 spot with Hank Baskett, and may have an edge with his 6’3″ 222 pound frame. While he’s just duking it out rookies and selected vets, the real test comes Saturday when the starters arrive.
There is still some concern over left guard Todd Herremans’ foot, which was operated in on last year. He missed OTAs with this issue, and he will likely be out the first preseason game as well. While the team insists this is all precautionary, if the injury is bigger than they’re letting on, the domino effect it causes will be damaging.
To end on a good note, according to CSN Philly, center Jamaal Jackson is “a little bit ahead of schedule,” according to coach Reid. You may remember that he tore the ACL in his left knee against Denver last season, which exposed an already weak offensive line.
Photo courtesy of the Inquirer (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)