Eagles

Brent Celek nominated for Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award

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USA Today Images

Brent Celek nominated for Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award

Brent Celek doesn't complain. 

The 32-year-old tight end and longest-tenured member of the Eagles used to put up numbers. He used to be a receiving tight end and nearly had a 1,000-yard season back in 2009. 

But as Celek has aged and after Zach Ertz was brought in, his role has changed greatly. He has become a backup and a blocker. And his attitude hasn't changed one bit. 

That's exactly why he has been named the Eagles' nominee for the 2017 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award. All 32 teams nominate a player. The award, which recognizes players who "exemplify outstanding sportsmanship on the field," will be handed out on Feb. 3. 

"He's a team player, ultimate Philly guy," tight ends coach Justin Peelle said last week. "Brent's the best. Ever since Zach got here, he's welcomed him with open arms, he's taken him under his wing and has shown him little things here and there. It's never been a competition. Brent's whole thing is he just wants to win. Brent understands that it takes all 53 guys to win. Brent has been a really good role model for Zach and Trey so that's just who Brent it. He's the ultimate team guy and that's what you love on him."

This is the fourth year for the award, named after the late owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Frank Gore (2016), Charles Woodson (2015) and Larry Fitzgerald (2014) have won before. The Eagles nominated Darren Sproles last season. 

Coming into the Denver game, Celek had just four catches for 33 yards on the season. Against the Broncos, with Ertz out, Celek caught three passes for 39 yards. 

After the game, Celek admitted it felt "great" to be involved in the passing game, even if it was just for one week (see story).

Celek still has some ability as a pass-catcher, as he proved against Denver, but he's not going to take opportunities away from Ertz, who has been the most productive receiving tight end in the NFL this season. 

And Celek probably won't take away many opportunities from Trey Burton, who has also proven to be a viable option in the passing game. 

But Celek doesn't complain and his attitude has rubbed off on all of the tight ends. 

"I think that whole room has that mindset of it's all about the team," Peelle said. "There's no individual. Whatever the tight ends can do to help the team win, that's what they're going to do. They all buy into that and they all believe that. That's the great thing about coaching those guys."

Eagles training camp observations, Day 15: Training camp comes to an end

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Dave Zangaro

Eagles training camp observations, Day 15: Training camp comes to an end

It’s over. After 15 long and grueling days, the Eagles’ 2018 training camp officially came to an end this morning. 

The work isn’t over, but when they get back to the NovaCare Complex next week, it’ll be more like preparing for regular season games. 

Today was a light 10-10-10 practice, so it makes observations extremely tough. We won’t have any that are too specific because, as Doug Pederson says, the two sides of the ball “service” the other. 

But we’ve done 14 days of observations and I’m not about to not do one on the last day. I’m digging deep today: 

1. Ahh. The last day of training camp. It doesn’t quite have the same feel as it did when the Eagles would pack up their dorm rooms an leave Lehigh. All it means now is a little schedule change and slightly shorter days for the players. 

2. The following players didn’t practice today: Nelson Agholor, Corey Clement, Donnel Pumphrey, Josh Adams, Markus Wheaton, Mack Hollins, Asantay Brown and Chandon Sullivan. (I didn’t mention the guys on NFI/PUP.) 

Agholor and Clement have lower-body injuries that don’t seem to be too serious; no rush to get those guy back on the field. 

Sullivan and Adams got hurt during yesterday’s indoor practice. Sullivan came down really hard on his head after a great interception and Adams pulled up a little lame on the tail end of a run. It’s a shame for Adams, who has looked good when he’s out there and was making a strong push to make the roster. 

3. During one of the 10-10-10 practice’s defensive sessions, we finally got our first real look at Christian Hackenberg. In these drills, you have to take everything with a grain of salt, but Hackenberg didn’t look good. His first pass was intercepted by Rasul Douglas. His second pass was intercepted by Kamu Grugier-Hill. His third pass was overthrown by about 20 yards. 

4. I don’t have a specific Bryce Treggs observation, but I haven’t mentioned him enough. After coming off the NFI with a knee injury, Treggs put together a really nice training camp. Some of that might have been fresh legs, but Treggs has been getting some first-team work thanks to multiple injuries and is making a push for the roster. He could be the last guy in. 

5. I’ve been kind of disappointed by Billy Brown this summer. Remember how much buzz there was about him in the spring? Well, since then, the team drafted Dallas Goedert and Richard Rodgers came as a free agent. Brown has sort of vanished into obscurity. He did have a great catch today, though. He reached out his right hand down the seam and was able to knock the ball back into his arms. 

6. One scary moment today came when Rasul Douglas and LaRoy Reynolds collided at full speed. Reynolds was OK, but Douglas was down on the ground for about 30 seconds. Tough kid, though. He eventually got to his feet and was back in the practice two plays later.

7. The most encouraging scene of today didn’t happen on the active practice field. On the side field, Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Graham continued their rehab. Graham pushed a weight sled and Jeffery ran routes and caught passes. 

8. In the defensive portion of practice, Nigel Bradham had great coverage on Wendell Smallwood about 25-30 yards downfield to tip a ball away. That’s great for a linebacker on a running back.  

9. Didn’t see what happened to him, but Jalen Mills left practice early and Sidney Jones took over his LCB spot. Avonte Maddox got first-team reps in the slot again. 

10. A quick swing pass to Darren Sproles today and the 35-year-old was off. That’s been the most impressive thing this training camp for me. Sproles is in his mid-30s, coming off two serious injuries, and looks as quick as I’ve ever seen him. He’s a physical freak. 

Stupid Observation of the Day: Every day during training camp, the Eagles have Rita’s water ice for fans, but reporters partake as well. While my gluttonous colleagues eat the water ice for selfish reasons, I’m all about reporting my results. Remembering that I'd look really stupid with weird colored lips while still at work, here’s how I rank the flavors they had at camp: 

  1. Mango
  2. Lemon
  3. Juicy pear
  4. Swedish fish
  5. Blue raspberry
  6. Cherry 
  7. Eagles Bleed Green Key Lime  

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Eagles Injury Update: Carson Wentz back in 11-on-11s next week

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NBC Sports Philadelphia

Eagles Injury Update: Carson Wentz back in 11-on-11s next week

Carson Wentz hasn’t participated in 11-on-11 drills since Saturday, July 28, the third day of training camp. 

That’s likely going to change next week. 

The coaching staff had backed off from Wentz in full-team drills because they were happy with what they saw from him during those early 11-on-11s and wanted to minimize any extra risk that having him out there in those situations would create as he recovers from ACL and LCL surgery. 

According to the plan — as secretive as the Eagles have kept it — Wentz expects to be back in 11-on-11s next week, an obvious good sign as he continues to keep his goal of being ready to play in Week 1. 

Doug Pederson said that he would ideally get to see Wentz in 11-on-11s for a week before he plays in a game. This new revelation would give Wentz three weeks in full-team drills before the opener on Sept. 6. 

Still, as Wentz said on WIP Tuesday morning, it’s “going to be close” as to whether or not he starts Week 1. 

“That’s what I felt really offseason,” Wentz said after today’s practice. “We’ve talked about it a ton. That’s been my goal. It’s no secret that it’s going to be close. We’ve seen where I’m at in camp and hopefully next week doing 11-on-11. I think, naturally, it’s going to be close. Ultimately, it won’t be my call, the coach’s call, ultimately, it’ll be up to the doctors.” 

Wentz said he’s no more or less optimistic than he was at the start of training camp about his chances to play Week 1. That’s probably a good sign, that things are progressing according to plan. 

Even though Wentz will be back in full-team drills next week, he still won’t be cleared for contact. That will be the last hurdle to get over. Wentz said his knee has responded well all training camp. 

What does he want to show Pederson during 11-on-11s next week?

“I think hopefully just show him that I look comfortable and I look confident,” he said. “And I know I will. The reps I have gotten, I feel confident in both my knee and this team and the offense and everything. Hopefully, I can just jump back into where I left off.”

In other injury news, Pederson said he wasn’t going to comment on a report that Alshon Jeffery could possibly start the season on PUP. Then he commented that the team is monitoring Jeffery and is happy with where he’s at.

“Not sure where that came from,” Pederson said of the report. 

Nelson Agholor, Corey Clement, Donnel Pumphrey, Josh Adams, Markus Wheaton, Mack Hollins, Asantay Brown and Chandon Sullivan all missed practice. 

Pederson said Agholor and Clement are dealing with “lower body” injuries and they are resting them as they get ready for Week 1.

I asked Agholor if there’s a chance he’d miss one. After laughing, here’s what he said: 

“I’m gonna let coach answer that, but you know me. I do what I need to do.” 

All those guys listed above aren’t expected to play in Thursday night’s preseason game, but Nick Foles should make his 2018 preseason debut. Foles has been back at practice this week after some neck spasms kept him out for the preseason opener.

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