Eagles Notes: Eagles' Allen eager to start season at safety

Posted: September 07, 2012

It's a big year for Nate Allen.

He knows it. Coach Andy Reid knows it. And Eagles fans especially know it and will let the third-year safety hear about it if he fails to fulfill the expectations of being a second-round draft pick.

"Yeah, I've heard that - the third year is usually when people come into their own," Allen said Wednesday.

Allen's first two seasons can be graded on a curve because he ruptured the patellar tendon in his right knee in December of his rookie season. Last year, he was hardly 100 percent for most of the season.

But he says he is healthy now, although he has been sidelined for much of the preseason with hamstring strains in his right leg.

"It was just aggravating, because you want to get out there and then a minor hamstring like that will hold you out for a week," Allen said. "That's a lot of practice time you miss."

Many view safety as the Eagles' weakest position on defense. Allen and Kurt Coleman are the starters. Jaiquawn Jarrett, who had a rocky start to the preseason, is the top backup. David Sims, who has not played a down in the NFL, arrived Friday in a trade. And Colt Anderson is primarily a special-teams contributor.

So it's understandable if some are worried about Allen's durability.

"That will be said by people. Not by us necessarily, but by people until he puts a string together," Reid said. "He knows people are looking at him like that, and I understand the question, but I would tell you that I have trust in him and think he can play well."

New deal for Edwards

The Eagles added a year to Trent Edwards' contract and now have the quarterback signed through 2013.

Edwards, who initially faced long odds to make the Eagles' 53-man roster, signed a one-year contract in February after he spent last season out of the NFL.

He opened training camp low on the depth chart but made the most of his opportunity when Mike Kafka suffered a broken hand in the first preseason game. Edwards, 28, completed 54 of 80 passes for 489 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions in the preseason.

He beat out Kafka for the third quarterback spot and will back up starter Michael Vick and rookie Nick Foles. Reid confirmed Wednesday that Foles would be the backup Sunday against the Browns, although all three quarterbacks are expected to dress.

Vick and injuries

Just for emphasis, Vick assured reporters for the umpteenth time that he is completely healthy.

"I don't really have any nagging injuries. I think I'm fully recovered," Vick said. "The last two weeks have really helped me get there. I'm just ready to go."

Vick bruised the thumb on his throwing hand on Aug. 9 in the preseason opener against Pittsburgh. Eleven days later, he suffered bruised ribs in a game against New England. Vick plans to wear a compression shirt with rib pads for protection on Sunday, not a flak jacket.

Reid said that wide receiver Riley Cooper (collarbone) and Anderson (knee) would not play Sunday. Cooper did not practice Wednesday; Anderson did.

With Cooper out, the Eagles will go with four wide receivers. Rookie Damaris Johnson is expected to field punts and be the fourth receiver.

Extra points

Dennis Kelly said he split second-team repetitions at left tackle with Demetress Bell heading into the last preseason game, against the New York Jets. The rookie has played primarily at backup right tackle, but his versatility - he also has practiced at guard - could make him the first offensive lineman off the bench Sunday, if necessary. . . . Reid confirmed that Jamar Chaney moved from weakside to backup strong-side linebacker.


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