Parkey succeeds in winning Eagles over

Posted: September 04, 2014

WHEN CODY PARKEY left Indianapolis and set out for South Philly midway through the preseason, he brought with him everything he had packed in his suitcase at the start of training camp. His mindset, he said, was that he wouldn't be leaving and was "going to give them every reason to keep me."

Parkey did that in the form of field goals of 54 and 53 yards in Thursday's preseason finale. Following his first practice yesterday as the Eagles' Opening Day placekicker, the undrafted rookie who beat out Alex Henery said he feels "this is just the beginning."

"I was super excited," Parkey said of his reaction to learning he made the 53-man roster. "[Special-teams coach Dave Fipp] called me and he said he was fired up to have me. I told him likewise and I told him, let's go out and get it this year. I'm really excited to be here."

Parkey, acquired Aug. 20 via trade from the Colts, was 5-for-5 on field goals in the preseason, 3-for-3 with the Eagles. In his time with both Indianapolis and Philadelphia, he combined for eight touchbacks on 16 kickoffs, averaging 68 yards per kick.

Parkey, an Auburn product, understands questions about him will persist, given his lack of NFL experience. Though he kicked in the SEC, he has yet to prove himself at this stage in anything other than an exhibition game.

"Regardless if I'm a 10-year starter or a rookie, there's always going to be questions and thoughts and concerns," he said, "so I'm just going to go out and do the best I can."

Two preseason games in Philly were enough for Parkey to get a feel of the Lincoln Financial Field surface ahead of Sunday's season opener against the Jaguars, he said. He certainly looked comfortable there Thursday night against the Jets.

"They didn't tell me anything [after the game, regarding the competition between him and Henery], so I had the mindset of, 'I did all I could in terms of what I'm capable of, and, if they take me, they take me, and if not, hopefully, I get another chance,' " he said. "But they liked what they saw, and that's kind of just the start for me. I feel like I can make every kick I'm out there to do, so that's my goal."

Now that he's made the team, another order of business for Parkey is to expand on his mere suitcase of clothes and find a more permanent residence than the hotel he's been calling home the last couple weeks.

"I'm currently in the market for an apartment," he said.

Smith 'still developing'

Marcus Smith said he worked as Connor Barwin's backup and played on several special-teams units yesterday, as the Eagles began preparations for Sunday's season opener.

Before practice, coach Chip Kelly conceded that his 2014 first-round pick is "still developing" and is more effective in pass coverage than in rushing the passer or setting the edge against the run. Had Travis Long not torn his right ACL in the preseason finale against the Jets, Long probably would have served as a backup both to Barwin and to inside linebacker Mychal Kendricks. Smith noted that Long, previously an outside linebacker, worked mostly inside in this training camp, and that Smith has pretty much practiced as Barwin's backup all through camp.

"I felt like it went very average," Smith said when asked how his preseason went. "It was on and off. I had one bad game, against the Patriots, but I bounced back against the Steelers, bounced back against the Jets. I feel like coaches are gaining more trust in me each week."

He said NFL-style pass rushing has been his biggest challenge.

"When you're in college, you can just be an athlete," said Smith, who came to Louisville as a quarterback. "Being in the NFL, you have to have a lot of technique. Mostly, that's what I'm trying to get better, my technique and fundamentals, because I can't just go out there and out-athlete people."

Smith said he doesn't know how much or even whether he'll play in the opener.

"I'd hope they'd want to put me out there, put me in the midst of things," he said.

Reynolds back to work

When he was informed Friday he had not made the 53-man roster, rookie safety Ed Reynolds said the Eagles made it clear they wanted to bring him back on the practice squad if he cleared waivers. That's exactly what happened and, come yesterday, Reynolds, a fifth-round draft pick in May, was back to work at the NovaCare Complex.

"They did spend a draft pick on me and so, in the end, they wanted me to develop here," said Reynolds, who fell behind after missing OTAs because of Stanford's late graduation date. "But in the end for the 53 for this first week, it just didn't work. They took four safeties instead of five."

Reynolds said "the next step is just to continue to go out there every day and get better, hone my craft, because at any moment I can either get moved up on the 53 here [or] I can go somewhere else. It just depends on what the situation is. So for me, [the goal is] just to become a better player every day."


Reserve offensive lineman Matt Tobin said the injury he suffered in Thursday's preseason finale was diagnosed as a high ankle sprain and he expects to be out 2 to 3 weeks. He and rookie receiver Josh Huff (shoulder) were the only players on the active roster to not practice yesterday . . . Yesterday's was the first practice without second-year right tackle Lane Johnson, who's working out in Dallas while serving his four-game suspension . . . Teddy Williams, the CB/WR who was reported to be joining the Eagles' practice squad by his agent, David Canter, in fact has not signed, the Eagles say. They still have one opening on the 10-member unit . . . The Jaguars feature two former Eagles in defensive end Chris Clemons and tight end Clay Harbor, though Harbor is likely to miss Sunday's game because of a calf strain . . . Andrew Catalon, Steve Tasker and Steve Burlein will call Sunday's action for CBS.

On Twitter: @jakemkaplan

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