Training camp opens today. Bob Ford writes in today’s Inquirer that we have questions surrounding both McNabb’s mobility and the receiving corps:
Donté Stallworth has been replaced by Kevin Curtis, tight end L.J. Smith is coming back from surgery to repair a sports hernia, and the rest of the receiving depends on one’s opinion of Hank Baskett and Jason Avant.
For starters, I don’t think Curtis replaces Stallworth. He’s not as good. But we’ll see. A lot of preseason chatter has been focused on whether Curtis – as a 2 – will be able to break out of tight coverage (he lined up in the slot in St. Louis, where Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt were 1 and 2). Says Curtis himself:
“I think the coaches will address that more in minicamp,” Curtis said at June’s OTA regarding how exactly he’ll be used. “Up to this point it’s been more a focus on learning one position, and that’s the outside. I’ve been playing inside the last four years so I think they know I can play the inside too and it wouldn’t surprise me to see them use me in that way as well.”
Also, memo to Mr. Ford: Number 86 is Reggie Brown, who’s probably the best receiver we have. At least according to Adam Schein over at FoxSports.com, who lists Mr. Brown as one of the 9 players he expects to become breakout stars in 2007:
Sure, Brown helped your fantasy team with eight receiving touchdowns last year. This season, he will help out the Eagles even more in reality. The rapport between Brown and Donovan McNabb was really humming when the quarterback got hurt. In two seasons as a pro, Brown has totaled 43 and 46 catches respectively. He’ll shatter those numbers this year. Book him for 75 receptions.
Schein’s colleague at FoxSports, Peter Schrager, thinks highly of Hank Baskett:
10. Hank Baskett, WR, Eagles: Baskett saved his best game of the year for the regular season finale, hauling in seven passes for 177 yards and ripping off an 89-yard touchdown versus the Falcons in Week 17. He’s got the size, the hands, the skills and the awareness to be a formidable NFL receiver. He could be much more than that. With Donte Stallworth gone to New England, the wideout situation is still up for grabs quite a grab in Philly. Kevin Curtis and Reggie Brown should be the first two options, but Baskett could be the big-play guy.
Now for the exciting part of the day. How is 5’s knee? Here’s a video, taken two weeks ago, of Donovan McNabb working out in Arizona.
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Oh, and let me toss in a Bonus Obligatory Swipe at the Falcons: Schein (and I) expect Big Things from Matt Schaub:
I’ve been saying it for a long time. If you give Matt Schaub 16 games, he’ll automatically be a top 16 quarterback. The Texans are giving him more than a full season. Houston is giving him $40 million and the keys to the franchise. Schaub is a quick study and has had a great off-season under quarterback guru and Texans coach Gary Kubiak. Schaub gets to work with one of the elite receivers in the game in Andre Johnson. Owen Daniels is an emerging threat at tight end. And the Texans offensive line, while not great, is improved. Schaub will put himself and the Texans on the map with a big season.