Eagles Notebook: Maclin, Fletcher join the fray

LeSean McCoy poses for selfies during Military Appreciation Day at Eagles training camp Monday, July 28, 2014. DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer
LeSean McCoy poses for selfies during Military Appreciation Day at Eagles training camp Monday, July 28, 2014. DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer
Posted: July 30, 2014

PUTTING THE pads on for the first time this year didn't really lead to a whole lot of contact, overall, but there was enough for Jeremy Maclin to take umbrage at something Bradley Fletcher did.

The Eagles' top wideout flung haymakers at the starting corner, as teammates rushed to the fray. At one point Fletcher, his shoulders in the grasp of someone, started trying to work Maclin's body with uppercuts. Order was finally restored after team security chief Dom DiSandro hustled onto the field.

This was just a few snaps from the end of the first public practice of training camp, at Lincoln Financial Field, and when reporters were allowed past the restraining ropes, Maclin strode past them toward the locker room, impassive as he was asked for comment. Fans gathered around the tunnel cheered wildly, as they would an ejected hockey tough guy.

"It's football," said Fletcher, who did not seem nearly so perturbed. "Emotions get going and things happen, but we're all just working every day. We're always working to get better."

Fletcher and Maclin had seemed to exchange words after a play a few minutes before their fracas.

This was the second camp fight in as many days, both featuring prominent Eagles. Sunday, LeSean McCoy went back at Trent Cole after a hard bump in a noncontact situation. Eagles coach Chip Kelly, speaking to reporters before practice yesterday, laughed that one off.

"Their emotions got the better part of them. Those things happen," Kelly said. "It's no different than, sometimes little kids don't get along very well and throw Tonka trucks at each other . . . The fact that it made 'SportsCenter' must have meant it was a real slow sports day, I can tell you that. The fact that two kids push each other in practice, not a real big deal."

For a slightly different perspective, as usual, reporters went to corner and frequent gridiron pugilist Cary Williams, who never disappoints.

"I'm glad, to be honest with you. You're not supposed to be friendly. When you come out here to camp, it's no friends," Williams said. "Although you try to look out for your brother. But, you know, you're fighting for jobs. You're fighting for opportunities. When those situations arise, especially defenders, man, we want to let them know that we ain't having that. We want to be the most physical defense we possibly can. That's been showing up these last two days. If it was up to me, I think that's normal. I don't think you're supposed to go through camp with no fights, in my opinion. Those are supposed to happen. Guys get frustrated . . . That's part of camp."

Two fights and Williams hasn't been in either? What the heck?

"Oh, mine's coming," he said with a smile.

Williams added that "you can't take this into the locker room or the next day."

Might be good that the Eagles are off today, though.

Winds of change

Fans probably noticed the bigger, sharper Linc HD screens first yesterday, but for Eagles kicker Alex Henery, the biggest difference from the renovation is the seating that filled in the Northeast and Southwest corners.

"It was pretty windy out there today, but it really wasn't affecting the ball flight too much," Henery said after he and Carey Spear, working with the wind, put several kickoffs out of the end zone.

Henery said that with three of the four sides now enclosed (leaving only the Center City view through the Northwest corner), there's "more of a swirl" than straight-on wind at field level. This is something he'll want to study during the preseason.

"Now it's more like most other stadiums," Henery said.

Birdseed

Safety Earl Wolff made a leaping, crowd-pleasing breakup of a Mark Sanchez pass to Arrelious Benn . . . B.J. Cunningham had the catch of the day, reaching over Davon Morgan for a Matt Barkley throw, which Cunningham then took to the house . . . Riley Cooper sat out much of practice . . . Chris Polk was an observer, as was Bennie Logan. The Eagles have not issued any injury reports . . . Asked about Barkley's throws looking better so far in camp than in the spring, Chip Kelly said he would not agree that Barkley threw poorly in the spring . . . Kelly said safety Malcolm Jenkins has been "real decisive in terms of what he's doing," not showing hesitation or uncertainty. "I think he's done a great job with our staff of asking a lot of interesting questions, in terms of 'Hey, maybe we can fit it this way,' as opposed to the way we're fitting it. I think he's really fit in, maybe better than anybody on our staff thought he was going to fit in, just because we were not familiar with him."

Daily News sports writer Jake Kaplan contributed to this report.


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