Eagles Notebook: Eagles rookie punter Henry looking up

Posted: September 15, 2011

NOBODY LOOKS too hard at the league stats after just 1 week, which is a good thing for Chas Henry.

The Eagles' rookie punter ranks 29th in the NFL, with a 36.3-yard gross. That would be a dozen slots behind last year's Eagles punter, Sav Rocca, who managed a 43.0-yard gross for the Redskins in their Week 1 victory over the Giants. Henry's net, also 36.3, ranks 15th; Rocca is ninth, at 38.5.

"I didn't feel like I played personally very well," Henry said yesterday, as the Eagles began preparations for Sunday night's game in Atlanta. "The main thing is just to try to stay in rhythm, move fluid and move quickly. It's a faster game" than Henry experienced in college, at Florida. "You just have to move quick . . . stay in the same stroke and same swing."

Henry said he felt he got the ball away quickly enough in St. Louis, but in focusing on that, he didn't hit the way he needs to.

Henry punted only three times against the Rams. He said he thought he hit the third one pretty well, but it bounced backward after traveling 39 yards, instead of adding yardage on the roll.

Page turner

One of the underappreciated plays from Sunday's opening win was safety Jarrad Page's second-quarter stop on ex-Eagles wideout Brandon Gibson, on third-and-7 from the St. Louis 24. Sam Bradford completed the pass to Gibson but Page dropped him at the 30, a yard shy of a first down. The Rams, who trailed 14-10, had just gotten the ball on a Michael Vick fumble off ex-Eagle Quintin Mikell's blindside sack. They had to punt, and the Eagles began their drive that resulted in an end-of-the-half field goal.

"Before the play, you always look to see where that first down marker is," Page said yesterday. "I knew he caught it below the sticks, and he never got a chance to turn around. The only question was whether they were going to try and go for it on fourth-and-1, but they punted."

Graham targets Dallas

Eagles 2010 first-round draft pick Brandon Graham, recovering from microfracture surgery, says he is certain he will be ready to roll when he is eligible to come off the physically unable to perform list following Week 6.

"I'm very confident I'll be ready," Graham said. Week 6 is the Eagles' bye, followed by a visit from the Cowboys. "I'll be playing Dallas."

Graham, a defensive end, said he has no doubt he is a good fit for new defensive-line coach Jim Washburn's "wide-nine" alignment. Graham said he played that style Senior Bowl week, because the Detroit Lions' staff coached the North team. Lions head coach Jim Schwartz was Washburn's defensive coordinator at Tennessee before taking over Detroit in 2009.

"I feel like that's what got me here - that's what coach [Andy] Reid and [the rest of the staff] saw," Graham said. "They saw me come off the ball. I just can't wait to go out there and show 'em."

Birdseed

Rookie nickel linebacker Brian Rolle didn't quite get the snaps he expected in Week 1, because the Rams ran so many two tight-end sets, keeping the Eagles in their base defense. Rolle said he expects to have a bigger role this week. Speaking to reporters before practice, Rolle alluded to splitting weakside reps with Moise Fokou, but Rolle said after practice that did not happen . . . Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie sat out yesterday with an ankle sprain . . . Defensive end Darryl Tapp (pectoral strain) and quarterback Vince Young (hamstring) also did not practice . . .

Asked whether Winston Justice will get a chance to start again at right tackle when he is all the way back from knee surgery, Andy Reid said: "I'm not very good at prediciting the future, so I just take it as it goes. Right now, it's Todd [Herremans'] spot to play, and that's all I look at . . . We'll just see how things go down the road."

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