Sunday, July 31, 2005
Simon update: Jim Johnson is keeping his plans flexible when it comes to what he intends to do in the matter of disgruntled defensive tackle Corey Simon.
Johnson, the Eagles' defensive coordinator, said Saturday he will put together the rotation for the defensive line on Monday, when it is known for sure whether Simon will sign his $5.1 franchise player tenure and report to training camp at Lehigh University.
"I'll know nothing until Monday," Johnson said. "As far as I know, he could be here. He might not be here . . . So we'll see what happens."
It would be considered a major surprise if Simon does show up Monday with the remainder of the veterans who are supposed to report at that time. Head coach Andy Reid all but conceded on Friday that he doesn't expect Simon to appear on time.
Even if Simon doesn't appear, Johnson believes he is well stocked at defensive tackle, a position the Eagles bolstered with the addition of No. 1 draft pick Mike Patterson from USC. He mentioned Sam Rayburn, Darwin Walker, Hollis Thomas and Keyonta Marshall as those who will vie for playing time this season.
"Right now we'll just wait until Monday," Johnson said. "Then we'll address that."
Considine impresses: Johnson spoke glowingly about safety Sean Considine, a fourth-round draft pick, who made the team at the University of Iowa as a walk-on.
"He showed us from the first minicamp that he has a knack for finding the football and he also has good football knowledge," Johnson said. "We knew coming out of college that he was a team leader and he's a really intelligent young man. We're going to teach him both safety positions, because we think he can handle it."
The Eagles are pretty well set in the strong safety position where Michael Lewis will be coming back for his fourth season after making the Pro Bowl last year. Free safety Brian Dawkins, however, may be coming to the end of his career with the Eagles at the end of this season. At some point soon, the team is going to have to search for a way to replace Dawkins.
Douglas returns: The Eagles are looking for a resurgent season out of defensive end Hugh Douglas, who looks trim and quick off the ball, following his return from offseason shoulder surgery. Douglas injured his shoulder early last season, and never lived up to expectations.
In 16 games, including three starts last season, he had only 19 tackles (13 unassisted) with three sacks. But Johnson said he believes the former All-Pro is about 90- to 95-percent healthy, and he thinks Douglas will contribute this season.
"I'm sure it was tough for him last year," Johnson said. "I'm sure people expected more out of him and he expected more out of himself. I think he's going to be a different player this year - I really do." - Don Benevento