A look into the Eagles' first practice at Angel Stadium in Anaheim

A look into the Eagles' first practice at Angel Stadium in Anaheim

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Eagles kicker Jake Elliott missed the first field goal he attempted at Angel Stadium on Wednesday afternoon in Southern California. 

Foul ball. 

It was a pretty unusual scene on Wednesday afternoon, when the Eagles took to the makeshift practice field in the middle of the Angels' stadium. The Eagles' offense was at the field for its walkthrough on Tuesday, but Jim Schwartz's unit got its first look at it on Wednesday, when the whole team practiced there beginning at 2:40 p.m. local time. 

The sod field in the middle of the empty stadium actually looked pretty good. It actually looks better than the fields at the NovaCare Complex, although the dead-looking grass in Philly is apparently just the type of grass. There was noticably the absence of video boards at the stadium; they're being worked on. By the time the afternoon practice rolled around, much of the field was already engulfed by shadows. 

"Gracious for the Angels for allowing us to practice there, and our grounds crew has done an amazing job over there when you see it today, with putting some sod down in the infield and just a great job," Pederson said this morning of their home for the week. "The field's awesome, yeah. Field's great. Great shape."

The Eagles have been planning this trip for a long time and even asked the league to schedule two of their three West Coast trips back to back so they could stay out here. 

The plan is to keep everything as normal as possible (see story). So as practice kicked off on Wednesday, the Eagles stretched, did special teams and went into individual drills, followed by team drills. That's their normal schedule. 

The quarterbacks worked out in the outfield. The running backs were in left field down the third-base line. The defensive backs were on the third-base line in the infield. Linebackers were just around where first base normally resides. Home plate was covered by a white circular tarp. 

At one point, as the defensive backs were working on a drill that had them backpedal before driving forward, safety Corey Graham ran past the edge of the green sod and onto the rock-hard dirt beyond the infield. He slipped but was able to keep his balance, avoiding disaster. 

"Don't run on that!" he yelled. 

Where the running backs were going through drills down the third-base line, they were joined by running back Darren Sproles, who has been on the IR since getting hurt in Week 3. Sproles, who lives in San Diego, spent the first portion of practice chatting with his position coach Duce Staley and teammates. 

He then held the giant orange dummy for drills, as his teammates went through them. 

The Eagles will practice at Angel Stadium again on Thursday and Friday, and will have their walkthrough there on Saturday as well. During the week, the team is staying at a hotel in Costa Mesa, about a 15-minute drive from the stadium.

They will play the Rams at the Los Angeles Coliseum on Sunday afternoon. 

More money might not be enough to keep Chris Long in Philly

USA Today Images

More money might not be enough to keep Chris Long in Philly

The Eagles have given veteran defensive end Chris Long a raise, but according to one report, Long is concerned enough about his playing time with the Eagles that he's mulling his options regarding his future.

What is certain is that at some point before March 15, Long signed a new contract with the Eagles that increases his 2018 base salary from $1 million non-guaranteed to $2½ million fully guaranteed.

However, NFL Network's Michael Silver reported Monday that Long may decide he doesn't want to accept the new contract — which he already signed.

According to Silver, Long is concerned about how many snaps he would get as a third-down rusher following the addition of Pro Bowl pass rusher Michael Bennett.

The Eagles officially acquired Bennett on March 14, although the deal was reported a week earlier. Long's new contract was filed with the NFLPA on March 15, but there is a good chance he agreed to it and signed it before the Bennett acquisition.

Whether or not Long knew Bennett was coming to the Eagles when he signed the restructured deal is unknown. But at some point Long knew about their interest in Bennett and even gave Bennett a "glowing recommendation" when the Eagles asked, according to an interview Long gave to SBNation.  

Long wouldn't appear to have many options. He could retire, in which case he would have to return the $500,000 bonus he received from the Eagles last week.

He could request a trade, which would be bizarre for someone who signed a contract extension just a few days earlier.

Or he could simply play under the terms of the contract restructure and pay increase, which was first reported by Field Yates of ESPN and confirmed by NBC Sports Philadelphia with a source familiar with the renegotiation.

As for the contract itself, including that $500,000 roster bonus — which was also in the previous version of the contract — Long would receive $3 million guaranteed this year instead of $1.5 million non-guaranteed plus $750,000 in easily achieved roster bonuses.

Long had five sacks and forced four fumbles last year as a rotational defensive end. He wound up playing 496 snaps, 10th-most on the defense and only about 10 per game fewer than starter and Pro Bowler Brandon Graham and five per game fewer than starter Vinny Curry, who the Eagles released.

Long, who turns 33 next week, has 63½ career sacks. His 5.0 sacks last year were his most since 2013. He's won back-to-back Super Bowls the last two years with the Eagles and Patriots.

What happens next?

Long has demonstrated that the money is secondary to him. He donated his entire 2017 base salary to charity.

At some point very soon, the Eagles will need him to decide whether he's even going to have a 2018 base salary.

Terrell Owens digs deep to find his Hall of Fame presenter

AP Images

Terrell Owens digs deep to find his Hall of Fame presenter

A day after we found out that Brian Dawkins picked Troy Vincent to introduce him at the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony this summer, Terrell Owens has picked his presenter. 

No surprise: It's not Donovan McNabb.

After alienating many people in the league throughout his tremendous career, Owens picked a name from his early days. Longtime NFL assistant coach George Stewart, who was Owens' receivers coach in San Francisco, will introduce T.O. at the 2018 induction. 

In a video released by the Hall of Fame, Owens said Stewart "knew what to get out of me."

Now special teams coordinator and assistant head coach for the Chargers, Stewart has been an NFL coach for three decades. He began his time in San Francisco in 1996 (Owens' rookie season) as a special teams coach but was their wide receivers coach from 2000-02.

"Things that George Stewart may say, it may be shocking to a lot of people, but not to him because he knows who I am," Owens said. "... To know who Terrell Owens is, you really have to spend some time with him. Fast forward, George Stewart became a father figure to me."

The first season Stewart became the 49ers' receivers coach, Owens went to his first of six Pro Bowls and was named an All-Pro for the first of five times in his career. Owens was a Pro Bowler and an All-Pro in all three of the seasons that Stewart held the position in San Francisco. 

Of course, Owens' growth under Stewart led to his becoming one of the biggest stars in the NFL.

Eventually, Owens forced his way out of San Francisco and got to Philadelphia. With the Eagles, Owens had a short and tumultuous two seasons, but was also dynamic on the field and nearly helped them pull off a Super Bowl win over the Patriots. 

Owens averaged 93.5 receiving yards per game during his time in Philadelphia, the highest average in franchise history. It wasn't his play that led to his downfall in Philly. It was his beef with McNabb, along with his attempt to strong-arm the Eagles into a new contract. 

Owens was a divisive personality for his entire career. It's likely the reason it took him three tries to make it into the Hall of Fame. Because his numbers don't lie: He's one of the best receivers of all time.