Chad Hall is one of the most popular Eagles players. That includes fans, teammates and coaches — remember, the ovation he got after lunging into the stands for a “Lincoln Leap” in last season’s finale? Hall is a ball of energy, on and off the field.
The third-year receiver was having a good time once again at Lehigh Wednesday while helping out a great cause. Hall, who attended the Air Force Academy, had his shaggy head shaved after practice by members of the armed forces who were there as part of the Eagles’ annual Military Day festivities.
Hall’s haircut raised money for the Wounded Warriors Project, which aids injured veterans of foreign wars. His teammates took turns clipping his head with a razor.
“They’re over fighting for our freedom every day,” Hall said. “We’re fighting on the field, but it’s so miniscule to what they really do.”
Hall spent two years fixing airplanes after leaving Air Force. Once his military obligation was fulfilled, he looked to make his NFL dream come true. Mission accomplished. He has made it past coach Andy Reid’s final cuts two years in a row. And this year is no different, with so many talented youngsters on the Eagles’ offense.
“I know I have to prove myself every time I come out here,” Hall said.
Reid himself was also in a good mood on Military Day. The head coach praised the troops while sporting a camouflage Eagles cap.
“We are all going to wear these hats in tribute to the military,” Reid said. “I’ve said this before but without the military we aren’t able to do what we do as professional athletes and coaches and as a country. Our hats off to them, literally, and the great work that they do to protect us.”
Cole, Jenkins added to injury report
On Wednesday, two more Eagles joined the walking wounded.
Defensive end Trent Cole is out “anywhere from a day to a week” with a shoulder problem, while defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins left practice with a hamstring injury. They join Pro-Bowler Jason Babin (calf) who is expected to miss about three weeks and potentially the entire preseason. Cole was set to undergo an MRI late Wednesday night.
Brandon Graham, Darryl Tapp, Phillip Hunt and rookie Vinny Curry will see extended snaps as the trio rehabs and rests. No one likes losing camp bodies, but Andy Reid admitted it presents competition for guys that might not have seen the field as much.
“Those guys now have an opportunity to get more reps,” Reid said, “and each rep you get is an opportunity to show what you can do and to better yourself as a football player.”
For Tapp, it could be a chance to snag a coveted roster spot along a crowded defensive line.
“Reps are reps,” he said. “No matter who it is you have to go out there and put your best foot forward.”
New punter in town
Mat McBriar finally arrived at Lehigh after signing with the Birds July 25. The 33-year-old veteran punter was waiting to obtain his work visa from Australia. McBriar, a former Cowboy, will compete against second-year punter Chas Henry.
“Any time you can upgrade, you’re going to do it,” special teams coordinator Bobby April said. “That’s just football.”
McBriar is coming off a nagging foot injury caused by a cyst, but put himself at about 90-percent. He’s rooming with Henry at Lehigh.
“Competition brings out the best in everyone,” McBriar said.