PHILADELPHIA -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Philadelphia Eagles training camp.
Safety Keelan Johnson, who was arrested in Arizona just before the start of training camp, practiced for the first time Thursday. Head coach Chip Kelly had excused Johnson from the opening days of camp so he could tend to his legal situation, which includes charges he shoved a policeman outside a bar in Tempe, Ariz. “I was a little nervous,” Johnson said. “Once you face something like that, this is game where they can get rid of you and find somebody else at your position. I spoke with Chip, and that gave me a little bit of insight. I got support from the guys. They support me 100 percent of the way.”
Hall of Famer Michael Irvin attended practice Thursday. Irvin, who is now an analyst for the NFL Network, was talking to wide receiver Riley Cooper after practice. Running back LeSean McCoy walked over to meet Irvin. Before he did, McCoy looked back at a group of Eagles fans and told them, “I own Dallas.” The fans liked that one.
Cornerback Cary Williams had an interesting practice. While covering a kickoff, Williams was able to catch returner Darren Sproles and shove him out of bounds. It was hard not to remember the Eagles’ playoff loss to New Orleans, when Sproles broke through the coverage team and Williams, in a desperation move, made a horse-collar tackle to stop the shifty running back. Later, in a passing drill, Williams dropped wide receiver Jeff Maehl to the ground as Maehl tried to break press coverage.
The defense had the upper hand early in the red zone drill near the end of practice. Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez led drives that fizzled out and ended with field goal attempts. Alex Henery missed wide right on one of the kicks. Matt Barkley got the offense going, finding Damaris Johnson in the end zone behind linebacker Casey Matthews. On his final possession, Foles threw a 10-yard touchdown to tight end Brent Celek, who got behind linebacker Brandon Graham in the end zone.
The Eagles will practice at 11:35 a.m. Fridayat the NovaCare Complex. Invited guests only are allowed to attend. NFL officials will work the practice, as they did Thursday. After a day off Saturday, the Eagles will have their second open practice at Lincoln Financial Field Sunday at 12:15 p.m.