There is all of a sudden a lot of chatter about how the Birds were dumb to take a chance on Cornelius Ingram. Or that they were dumb to work him hard in the OTAs and Training Camp. Wrong and wrong.
The Eagles didn't just take a flier on Ingram in the 5th because he was good value. I heard from a source that the Birds coveted Ingram back in March. I knew he was someone they really liked. I'm sure the Eagles had concerns about his ACL, but apparently someone (Big Red probably) really wanted him. They liked his hands and athletic ability. Ingram showed why they liked him in the spring and early summer. He looked like a gifted, natural receiver and athlete.
The team was smart to work Ingram hard in practice. People are using flawed logic in relation to his ACL. Mike Mayock of the NFL Network reported that multiple teams had concerns about the ACL. They didn't like the repair job done by the surgeon. If an injury hasn't been properly fixed, then the problem is structural. Taking it easy on the player won't help him at all. The Eagles worked Ingram hard. That is the way to test the repair job. Would the Eagles have been better off taking it easy on Ingram only to have him re-tear the knee in Week 2?
I think the smart thing was pushing him to see if the knee could hold up. Clearly the repair job wasn't good enough. Now the Eagles can send him to a top shelf surgeon and get it properly repaired. Ingram will then have 11 months to rehab before the 2010 TC. I do believe that Ingram will be able to come back. Again, the knee was not repaired well. This injury is a result of poor surgery and not a chronically troublesome knee. My only hedge is that the doctor could have screwed the knee up with his sloppy work. If that is true, then Ingram could always be at risk. I have not heard that this is the case.
The Eagles are at fault in this situation for keeping Matt Schobel around and having him backed up by a project (Eugene Bright). Andy Reid is a really smart man and gifted coach, but I cannot understand why Schobel is still on the roster. It literally defies logic. Obviously Reid or someone feels that Matt is a viable backup, but that is where they lose me. He's come up small every chance we've given him. I'm not sure how the coaches see the situation differently. Unfortunately, they do.
One thing I think we do need to remember...we're better at TE this year than last year. Celek is a better starter than LJ Smith was in '08. We do need help behind Brent and that will be addressed. You may think I'm being presumptuous to say we're better at TE with the current situation, but I really had little faith in LJ and I do trust Celek.
I'll let you guys know if I catch wind of any possible moves. I haven't heard a word to this point.
MISC CAMP NOTES
* I was recently told that Big Red has been running a "strict", tough TC. The players aren't real thrilled with it, but players generally hate all training camps. My theory is that there is so much change that Andy felt like he needed to be tough and by the book.
There has always been an "Eagles way" of doing things. With guys like Tra Thomas, Jon Runyan, and Brian Dawkins gone and so many new and young faces, I think Reid wanted to make sure everybody was on the same page and does things the way he wants them done. Reid did a similar thing back in 2006 after the tumultuous 2005 season. That team managed to win the division and played well in the postseason. The '09 team looks better on paper. Will the results be even better than '06?
* Shawn Andrews remains sidelined with a bad back. He missed most of TC last year and then was fine for the beginning of the year. I wonder if we'll see a similar dynamic this year. Might Shawn get healthy when camp comes to an end this week.
* One player who hasn't gotten a ton of notice, but I'm told is playing lights out is DE Chris Clemons. Last year he struggled with learning the scheme and handling the grueling nature of Reid's practices. This year those are not issues at all. He is flying around the field and looks like he's ready for a big year. That's great news.
* I've heard mixed things about Winston Justice. It certainly sounds like he's having the best summer of his NFL career, but I get the feeling that he is this year's version of Jerome McDougle. Remember that J-Mac was really good last year at Lehigh and the preseason games, but didn't even make the team. The Giants claimed him, but he played very little for them.
RE: Training Camp injuries for other teams?
All teams lose guys in camp. Football is a tough game in that sense. In order to practice you have to know that guys will be getting hurt. Practice is crucial. Guys need tough camps. You can't focus on injuries. Coaches don't want to be stupid, but they can't try to be too easy on their players. This is football, after all.