Polk, others press on despite tragedy

Posted: August 08, 2012

BETHLEHEM — Crunch Time is a compilation of notable hits and occasional misses from Eagles training camp.

Corner Brandon Hughes was blitzing from the left, running back Chris Polk was out of position. Looked like an easy sack for the defense — until Polk hustled back, extended his arms and sent Hughes flying through the air.

It was the play of the day Monday, as the Eagles, looking understandably ragged but less subdued than they'd looked a day earlier, worked their way through the tragic loss of Garrett Reid, head coach Andy Reid's 29-year-old son. Andy Reid still wasn't here — and the three successive dead-ball penalties incurred at one point Monday would not have made him happy had he been present — but the Eagles did the required work under offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and defensive coordinator Juan Castillo.

Mornhinweg said the team remained "saddened and quite shocked" at the death of Garrett Reid, who helped with the strength and conditioning staff. Mornhinweg said he and the players have talked about the need to do their jobs while Andy Reid is away.

That was Polk's frame of mind Monday afternoon. Right now the rookie is fourth on the running back depth chart, lacking the smooth grace of No. 2 Dion Lewis or No. 3 Bryce Brown. But Polk, 5-11, 222, can deliver a wallop. If that bad shoulder that led to him not being drafted would hold up, you'd have to wonder if the Eagles wouldn't ask Polk to gain 20 pounds and try fullback.

"I actually messed up on that play. I went to the wrong side. I knew he was coming; I just had to get back there quick," Polk said. "I don't want the quarterback getting hit on my behalf; that's something I try to hang my hat on."

Polk said he did a decent amount of pass-blocking in a pro-style offense at Washington.

"I was always in [to block], but [opponents] weren't as fast as this," Polk said.

Marvin McNutt outwrestled Curtis Marsh for a nice back-shoulder throw from Mike Kafka. It was either a nice back-shoulder throw or a bad underthrow. Let's go with the first choice.

Jason Avant made a snazzy one-handed catch at the sideline against Kurt Coleman, who picked off a pair off passes Monday.

Brandon Boykin tipped a Mike Kafka pass in the air and Brandon Hughes picked it off.

Fletcher Cox picked up Mike Gibson by the shoulders in 1-on-1 drills and walked him backward to where the quarterback would have been.

— Les Bowen

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