Owens returned to the team on August 17 after being sent home from training
camp for a week following an argument with head coach Andy Reid. The argument
stemmed from Owens' unhappiness over the Eagles' refusal to renegotiate his
Owens reported to training camp on time, but then refused to communicate with
Reid and offensive coordinator Brad Childress and refused to communicate with
most of his teammates, including quarterback Donovan McNabb. At one point, he
warned Childress not to speak to him unless he addressed him first.
After Reid threw him out of camp, Owens went on ESPN and called McNabb a
hypocrite and said he was not going to change his attitude when he returned to
camp. But the fact that Reid allowed him to return clearly indicates Owens had a
change of heart.
Before he came back, the Eagles sent Owens a letter, documenting their
unhappiness with the way he had been behaving and making it clear that if he
continued down the same path, they would consider reclaiming a large chunk of
the signing bonus money they gave him last year. McNabb has said he and Owens don't have to like each other or even talk to
each other to be successful on the field this season.
"He's part of this team," McNabb said. "Understand that he is our teammate.
For whatever happened last week and whatever happened while we were preparing
for Pittsburgh, we knew he was coming back to be part of this team. He is still
under contract here. He still has a locker in our locker room and he still wears
"So when he came out to practice, it wasn't like I wasn't looking to throw
him a pass or send a statement. When I'm on that football field, if you're open,
you're getting the ball."
Owens hasn't played in either of the Eagles' first two preseason games. He
sat out Saturday's game against Baltimore so that he could rest his injured
groin. He and McNabb likely will play together for the first time outside of
practice Friday against Cincinnati.
- Rookie running back Ryan Moats had a nerve-wracking weekend last week. On
Monday, the third-round pick played in his first NFL game. The day before, he
proposed to his girlfriend, Tamishia Collinsworth. All in all, things went very
well for Moats. Collinsworth accepted his marriage proposal and then he scored a
pair of TDs in the Eagles' 38-31 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. "(His NFL
debut) was more nerve-wracking," he said. I know what I want (in a marriage).
But the other one (the game) was harder to prepare for. This, I've been doing my
whole life. No playbook for that. You don't do that every day. That's like, a
once-in-a-lifetime thing. If you're doing that too many times, something's
- Eagles vice-president of player personnel Tom Heckert is very good at
finding diamonds in the rough. Two years ago, he had six undrafted free agents
make an Eagles team that went to the NFC Championship Game. He appears to have
found another one this year in linebacker Martin Patterson. Patterson, out of
TCU, wasn't drafted mainly because he was clocked at no better than 4.9 at the
scouting combine and his personal workouts before the draft. But he's definitely
caught the coaching staff's eye in camp. "For a free-agent young guy coming in,
I think he's done an extremely good job," defensive coordinator Jim Johnson
said. "He's ahead of a lot of guys we've had. Johnson called the 6-1, 243-pound
Patterson, "a very physical linebacker. He shows, in between the tackles, that
he can play middle linebacker. He can take on a lead block. He takes on linemen
well. He's still working on his pass coverage. That's probably his weakness
right now. But he's had an excellent camp, no question about it."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "You fix it like you do anything else. It's a process. We're
in the process of putting our units together. We've got a lot of work to do on
some things. Other things, we're further along on." -- Special teams coordinator
John Harbaugh after the Eagles got burned for two special teams TD in their
preseason opener against the Steelers.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
BATTLE OF THE WEEK: Mike Labinjo v. Martin Patterson for backup middle
linebacker job. Patterson, an undrafted rookie free agent, continues to turn
heads with his strong play against the run. Labinjo, who came into camp as the
likely backup in the middle to starter Jeremiah Trotter, has been slowed by a
knee injury that has allowed Patterson to close ground.
OTHER BATTLE FRONTS:
Billy McMullen v. Justin Jenkins for No. 4 WR job:
McMullen played well in the Eagles' first preseason game against Pittsburgh and
leads that battle. Jenkins injured his knee on the first play of Saturday
night's preseason game against the Ravens... Adrien Clarke v. Steve Sciullo for
backup G job: Sciullo started five games last season and played pretty well. But
Clarke, who spent his entire rookie season on IR, is having a solid camp and
preseason... Mike McMahon v. Koy Detmer for backup QB job: McMahon has played
well in the preseason, but Detmer's experience as PK David Akers' holder
probably is insurmountable.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: WR Reggie Brown. The rookie second-round pick caught five
passes for 52 yards in the Eagles' first preseason game against the Steelers. He
has not been overwhelmed by Andy Reid's complicated offensive system and appears
to have a lock on the No. 3 WR job.
- First-round DT Mike Patterson has played well and looks like
he'll win a job in the club's four-man DT rotation... Second-round WR Reggie
Brown caught five passes in the Eagles' season-opener against Pittsburgh...
- Second-round LB Matt McCoy has struggled to learn the Eagles' defense and has
not done much to grab the coaches' attention...
- Third-round RB Ryan Moats had
two TD runs against the Steelers and has played bigger than his 5-8, 200-pound
- Fourth-round OT Todd Herremans has started the Eagles' first two
preseason games at LT while Tra Thomas has recovered from a blood clot in his
leg. With Thomas expected to be ready for the season-opener, Herremans will be
the top outside backup at both tackle spots.
- RB Correll Buckhalter (knee), who has been sidelined for nearly three
weeks, will fly to Alabama to have his knee examined by Dr. James Andrews
- WR Justin Jenkins injured his knee in Saturday's preseason game. The
extent of the injury isn't known yet
- CB Dexter Wynn, the club's top punt returner, injured his knee and ankle in the second quarter of the Ravens game.
The extent of his injury still is undetermined
- DE Jerome McDougle still is
out after suffering a gunshot wound to the abdomen before the start of camp. He
likely won't return until the first or second week in September, and probably
won't be ready to play until Week 4 or 5
- OT Tra Thomas, who has been out
while recovering from a blood clot in his leg, returned to practice this week.
He'll likely play in the Eagles' final preseason game on September 1 against the
- DT Paul Grasmanis (toe) sat out the game against the Ravens and could be
hard-pressed to earn a roster spot because of the depth at the position
Sam Rayburn also missed the Baltimore game with an elbow injury
- Other Eagles
who didn't play against Baltimore: WR Terrell Owens (groin), DE Trent Cole
(chest), DE Jamaal Green (foot), C Jamaal Jackson (triceps), CB Matt Ware (toe)
and S Sean Considine (shoulder).
Barring another flare-up in the Terrell Owens soap opera -- which always is a possibility -- it appears that the Eagles will have the five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver when they line up for their season-opener against the Atlanta Falcons on September 12.
Various tidbits about the Eagles.