PHILADELPHIA -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Philadelphia Eagles training camp:
Cornerback Cary Williams laughed at the question, but it had to be asked. Over the weekend, Williams said he didn’t like joint practices such as the ones the Eagles have scheduled with the New England Patriots next week. On Sunday afternoon, Williams stood alone on the sideline during full team drills at Lincoln Financial Field. The official word, from the Eagles and Williams, was that Williams was given a day off because of soreness in his legs. “I couldn’t practice to the standards of what Chip holds or myself,” Williams said. “I haven’t discussed anything with Chip. I’m sure we’ll have a conversation.” As for standing off to the side, alone? “I was looking at the plays,” Williams said. “I was trying to envision myself on every play. I was going through my alignment, my assignment, my responsibilities. I wanted to have a mental day.”
The other injury-shaded bit of intrigue in the secondary concerned safety Earl Wolff. He missed two days because of soreness in the knee he injured last season. Kelly said he expected Wolff to practice Sunday, but added, somewhat ominously, “We’ll see. It’s his call.” Not only did Wolff practice all the way through the session, he was still running with the first team ahead of Nate Allen. “I feel really good,” Wolfe said. “My thing is, if I can go, I go. All I know is one speed. I play full speed all the time. If I can’t play that game, then I can’t play. They know I love the game enough, if I can go, I’ll go. I hate missing practice.”
The highlight of Sunday’s practice came late, during an 11-on-11 session. Tight end Brent Celek, his pants stained with blood, caught a touchdown pass over tight coverage from outside linebacker Connor Barwin. Celek had to dance to keep his feet inbounds as he gathered in the throw. A few minutes earlier, Mark Sanchez threw a pass down the right sideline and safety Keelan Johnson elevated, reaching out to slap the ball away.
Johnson missed the first few days of camp to deal with his arrest in Tempe, Ariz., on charges stemming from a late-night incident outside a bar. Johnson was charged with assaulting a police officer. He returned to camp Thursday. “He knows he made a mistake,” Kelly said. “He hasn’t been to court and hasn’t been through that whole process. The only thing we know right now is Keelan’s version of what went on. The process is truly out of our hands and it should be. Since he’s been here, it was the first mistake he made. There’s potential there, but he’s in a battle for a backup secondary role.”
The Eagles drew nearly 25,000 fans for their second and final practice at the Linc during this camp. There were fewer here last week, but that practice was on a Monday. Next Sunday, the Eagles will practice at Franklin Field, where they won their last NFL title back in 1960. Otherwise, the team will practice behind the fences surrounding the NovaCare Complex. A couple hundred suiteholders and season ticket holders are invited to watch those practices.