Eagles Notebook: Marsh resurfaces with Eagles

DAVID MAIALETTI / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Dick Vermeil and Chip Kelly chat it up at camp yesterday.
DAVID MAIALETTI / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Dick Vermeil and Chip Kelly chat it up at camp yesterday.
Posted: August 07, 2014

WITH 90 GUYS to watch at training camp, reporters make choices, sometimes subconsciously. There are players you know are just out there to take preseason reps, guys who absolutely will not be around when the 53-member regular-season team takes the field. Why waste your time? Unless they happen to be married to Nobel Prize-winning scientists who also sing Karaoke, or grew up in caves after having been adopted as infants by grizzly bears, they are unlikely fodder for an engaging story.

There was a time when reporters really watched Curtis Marsh, were curious about the development of the third-round pick from Utah State who'd moved to corner from running back midway through college. That time was 2011, the year Marsh was drafted, maybe 2012, when he figured to move up the depth chart, play a lot on special teams. Not so much 2013, when Chip Kelly and Bill Davis arrived. Marsh, a remnant of a failed regime, was released before the season opener. That move seemed to complete the 2011 Eagles draft trifecta, with first-rounder Danny Watkins, second-rounder Jaiquawn Jarrett and Marsh all gone.

Marsh was picked up by the Bengals, got in a couple games, was cut. The Eagles brought him back in November, dressed him for one game. Nice knowin' ya, Curt.

Strange thing, though. The last couple days at Eagles camp, No. 31 in white has been making quite a few plays. He has good size - 6-1, 199 at his most recent weigh-in, he said. He seems quick and decisive. Look, there he goes again, diving in front of that pass Josh Huff was about to catch. Hey - that's Curtis Marsh, still. Son of a gun.

Like the plague victim in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," Marsh is not ready to be tossed onto the cart and wheeled away just yet.

"I think it's just consistency . . . at this point in my career, I'm able to do things well all the time," Marsh, 26, said yesterday. "I've always competed, but I feel like the consistency, the habits, the constant reps, it's just getting there. My game's at an all-time high. I feel really good."

Marsh said he ramped up his strength and speed training in the offseason, and embraced Kelly's emphasis on nutrition, cutting fat and adding muscle.

Marsh said he feels he was stuck behind some pretty good players there for a while - Asante Samuel, Nnamdi Asomugha, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Joselio Hanson. (But by the stretch drive of that 4-12 2012 season, then-defensive coordinator Todd Bowles was willing to try just about anything to turn things around. He didn't try playing Marsh.)

"I've just continued to get better," he said. "Don't get discouraged, just get better."

Marsh still probably needs somebody to get hurt to make the team, but if he plays the preseason games the way he's practiced lately, he'll make Davis' decision difficult, and maybe impress another team with his film.

Hands down

Rookie receiver Jordan Matthews has a habit of raising his hand as he runs his route, telling the quarterback he's open, even if he really isn't. This was something Matthews got used to doing at Vanderbilt, when he was just about the only offensive option, and he wanted the QB to just toss it up there, he'd find a way to fight through the coverage somehow. In the NFL, though, quarterbacks don't really relish being waved at. They see you, kid.

"It's something I'm actually trying to take out of my game," Matthews said. "I don't need that here. I got a great group of guys around me. Some of the other guys get open, I know [Nick Foles is] going to make the right decision all the time."

We're guessing corners don't really appreciate this, either?

"I don't think Cary [Williams] has gone 1 second in practice without saying something," Matthews said.

Maclin update

Jeremy Maclin put on all the equipment but didn't practice yesterday, after breaking off his participation early in Monday's workout. Maclin said afterward that his legs are sore, as he works his way back from last year's ACL tear.

"I probably could have gone, but I just wasn't 100 percent," he said. He said he expects to practice today and tomorrow and to play in the preseason opener Friday in Chicago. "What you do in rehab's not what you do on the field. No matter what you do, you can't get ready for what you've got going on on the field . . . It's just a little soreness. It'll be knocked out."

Camp sights * 

Really nice back-shoulder connection from Nick Foles to Brad Smith, victimizing Bradley Fletcher.

* Mark Sanchez threw a perfect long pass down the middle, reeled in by Damaris Johnson, working against Roc Carmichael.

* Beau Allen's bulk was no match for Evan Mathis's veteran wiles in a 1-on-1 blocking drill.

* The Eagles practiced a Hail Mary, with Matt Barkley throwing to the back of the end zone. Quron Pratt caught the ball in a crowd, but dropped it as he was shoved out.

* Jordan Matthews faked out Nate Allen and was all alone for a long catch.

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