His contract expired after the season, but no one was interested in a
one-legged tight end. The Eagles indicated that they'd like to have him
back once he rehabbed.
"The thought always crosses your mind (that your career might be
over), especially when you turn 30 in the NFL," said Lewis. "You're an
old man, and this is a young man's game. You have to have a passion to
play it, to compete, to prepare, and I still have that. That has driven
me every day through this long offseason."
Until the emergence of tight end L.J. Smith last season, Lewis was
one of quarterback Donovan McNabb's favorite targets. He caught 223
passes for 2,285 yards and 23 touchdowns in four-plus seasons with the
Eagles, including a career-high 69 receptions in 2000.
"(Donovan) is one of the best guys I've been around, on or off the
field," Lewis said. "I feel like he knows what I'm going to do before I
do it. He knows what I am thinking and how my body moves, so I feel very
comfortable with him."
Lewis will be the club's No. 2 tight end, behind Smith. But he will
be on the field a lot because the Eagles use lot of two-tight end sets.
--WR Terrell Owens' grievance hearing in front of arbitrator Richard
Bloch is scheduled for Friday in Philadelphia. The Eagles suspended
Owens without pay for four games for conduct detrimental to the team.
They've also told him they don't want him back for the remainder of the
season. The NFLPA claims that the suspension is improper. The union also
says that not allowing him to play again this season is an excessive
punishment. It's possible that the Eagles could be forced to either
allow Owens back after his suspension or release him.
--QB Donovan McNabb's leadership ability has been frequently
questioned in the last few weeks. But he said he is not concerned what
others say. "Leaders can't worry about the way people feel about them,"
he said. "You continue to lead your team in the right direction, first
by showing by example. I'm not a big rah-rah guy. I'm not a guy that's
going to get out in front of everybody yelling and screaming and
kicking. I believe in showing by example."
--K Jose Cortez probably will continue to handle kickoffs for the
Eagles for a few more weeks while David Akers' injured hamstring
continues to heal. Akers is handling field goals and PATs since
returning two weeks ago.
--LB Matt McCoy, who was a second-round pick in the April draft, has
dressed for just one game so far this season. McCoy was inactive for the
--C Hank Fraley was placed on injured reserve on Nov. 10 after
suffering a torn rotator cuff in his shoulder. Fraley has been replaced
by Jamaal Jackson, who made his first NFL start Monday night against
Dallas, just five days after being signed off the club's practice squad.