"We'll be exchanging reps, I'm sure," Allen said, when asked about Page and the Cleveland game. "We'll take it for what it is, and [I'll] take advantage of the chances I get."
On his radio show last night, Eagles coach Andy Reid was asked about the safety situation. He referenced Allen's surgery, and said: "We've kinda eased him back in and given Page some reps. They're both playin' back there and doin' their thing."
Saturday, when Reid spoke for the first time since the game, he was asked about Allen and said: "Yeah, his knee's OK, his knee's OK. We gave him time, cautious time, and that was on our part, during training camp. But his knee is fine."
Sunday, defensive coordinator Juan Castillo was asked if Allen is completely healthy, in light of his alarming performance in Pittsburgh.
"I think part of it is just getting comfortable being back out there, and having confidence in his knee," Castillo said.
Yesterday, Allen said: "On the bad days, it feels like my tendon is real tight. My motion gets a little tight, and it's hard to explode off of it. Gotta get my quad back. My quad isn't fully developed yet, where it needs to be. It went [down] to nothing" following his Dec. 21 patellar tendon surgery.
Page, who turns 27 in October, is a 5-year veteran with the Chiefs and Patriots, who has 40 NFL starts under his belt. He signed with the Eagles Aug. 2 and hasn't been featured all that prominently until this week, perhaps because he is learning a new defense.
"It's tough when you get to a team and you're behind the eight ball a little bit, learning the defense," Page said after yesterday's practice. "I think my years in the league help me a lot. Defenses are somewhat similar, it's just terminology . . . I felt like I did a good job of being able to pick that up and grasp the concepts. I'm still learning. I think it's a new defense in general [under Castillo], so we're all out here learning. I feel like I've picked up a majority of it."
Page, 6-0, 225, was like a lot of non-marquee free agents who did not strike gold in the hectic aftermath of the lockout, when 2 years worth of free-agent talent suddenly glutted the market as camps opened.
"It was a grind," he said. "I've got plenty of friends who are still looking for jobs. You've got to be grateful for an opportunity, and you've got to understand that, and work hard."
Allen acknowledged that his leg was "pretty sore" yesterday.
"I thought I was maybe farther along than I am," he said. "I've been going like I've been 100 [percent]. So, 95-90? Somewhere in there, 90 to 100. There's good days and bad days. It gets sore on me. But it is what it is, and I just have to work through it and get it back to where you want it to be.
Allen was asked about the effect of the lockout, during which he couldn't rehab with the Eagles' trainers. And, obviously, there were no spring practices.
"Nothing can simulate those practices and OTAs," Allen said. "It might've set me back a little bit, but who knows?"
Radio free Andy
Several nuggets of information emerged from Andy Reid's radio show last night.
* Reading between the lines of what Reid said, it sure seems like a healthy Winston Justice will be the Eagles' starting right tackle.
"He's getting close to coming back," Reid said. He added that, "I always know, if things don't work out. Todd Herremans has played tackle, so I can make a move there if I had to do that. I've got enough guards who can step in and play [Herremans' spot] and do a nice job."
* Reid did not emphatically declare that fourth-round rookie Casey Matthews will be the starting middle linebacker on opening day.
"We're giving him a shot," Reid said of Matthews. "Casey's a smart kid. Juan [Castillo] has thrown a lot at him, and he's picked it up pretty well."
Reid then said that if the young linebacking corps was to be compared to Pro Bowl players from the past, they are "not there yet."
* Reid said defensive tackle Mike Patterson, recovering from a scary brain arteriovenous malformation episode, "wants to give it a whirl" Thursday against the Browns. Reid indicated Patterson wouldn't play long. But overall, he said he expects to play his starters into the third quarter. Asked if recovering from the 136-day NFL lockout might entail playing the starters a little in the fourth preseason game this year, for a change, Reid said he wanted to see how Thursday goes before deciding.
* Reid said he wasn't going to get caught up in what anybody says about the Eagles, specifically about the way Vince Young's "dream team" remark has been interpreted.
"If he's feeling the dream, he can do his little dream thing," Reid said of Young.
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