- Phil Sheridan, ESPN Staff Writer
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PHILADELPHIA -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Philadelphia Eagles training camp:
Tuesday’s practice ended with a pretty energetic red-zone exercise. You could almost feel the preseason opener, set for Friday night in Chicago, getting closer with each play. Nick Foles led the first team to a touchdown, firing an 18-yard touchdown strike to tight end Brent Celek. The defense won the next session, as Brandon Boykin intercepted a Mark Sanchez pass intended for Josh Huff. After Foles found Brad Smith for a touchdown, the defense held against the second team again. Sanchez threw the ball away through the back of the end zone. On Foles’ last try, safety Nate Allen broke up what would have been a touchdown for Jordan Mathews.
Starting wide receivers Jeremy Maclin (legs) and Riley Cooper (foot) did not practice. That gave Foles a chance to work with Mathews quite a bit. He found the second-round pick on consecutive plays in the red zone at one point. Others not practicing: center Julian Vandervelde, wide receiver Jeff Maehl, cornerback Nolan Carroll and running back Chris Polk. With Polk out, Matthew Tucker was the second-team running back.
Dick Vermeil, one of the two head coaches to take the Eagles to a Super Bowl, was a guest at practice. Vermeil came to the Eagles straight from coaching at UCLA. The next head coach to make that jump, from college to the Eagles, was Chip Kelly. Vermeil chatted with Kelly for a few minutes after practice, which did not much resemble Vermeil’s legendary two-a-day meat grinders. Vermeil later won a Super Bowl as coach of the St. Louis Rams. Kelly’s predecessor, Andy Reid, was the other coach to take the Eagles to a Super Bowl.
Cornerback Curtis Marsh has started drawing some attention for his play during the last few days of camp. A third-round pick in 2011, Marsh has never really earned serious playing time as a corner. His rookie year, the Eagles signed Nnamdi Asomugha and traded for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. “Asante [Samuel] and Nnamdi, they might end up in the Hall of Fame,” Marsh said. “DRC’s still one of the best corners in the NFL. There were so many guys in front of me my first two years.” Marsh feels he has improved each year and has added some weight and strength this year. “Every year is a make-or-break year in this league,” Marsh said. “Every practice is a make-or-break practice for me.”
The Eagles will have one more practice Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. ET before the preseason opener Friday against Chicago. They will work at the NovaCare Complex with only invited guests allowed to attend. On Sunday, fans will get their last chance to attend an open practice. This one will be at Franklin Field, beginning at 12:15 p.m.