Andy Reid didn’t come out and say anything too shocking after the Eagles’ walk-through Wednesday morning, but what he didn’t say spoke volumes.
When the coach didn’t list left tackle King Dunlap on the injury report, he was asked if it would be Dunlap or fill-in Demetress Bell starting there Sunday in Pittsburgh.
“I’ll cross that bridge when we get there,” Reid said.
Bell started last week against the Giants and played “very well,” per Reid. The coach wouldn’t say who would take the first-team reps in practice, adding that he would see how Dunlap was doing.
In other injury news … DT Derek Landri (knee inflammation) and LB Akeem Jordan (hamstring) didn’t practice, while WR Riley Cooper did participate in practice.
Eye on special teams
After getting torched last week on kickoff returns by Giants rookie David Wilson, the Eagles made a roster move Tuesday. The team cut LB Brian Rolle and added LB Adrian Moten. Reid admitted the move was made to bolster special teams, something Moten thrived at in the preseason.
“It shows that I gave it my all when I was here, so I’m going to come in and be on special teams a lot, and I know that’s the biggest thing they brought me in for,” Moten said. “But, you never know, this is the NFL, it’s a business — you could be playing linebacker one week, you just never know. I came in to do whatever they need me to do.”
Bobby April’s unit should get another huge boost with the return of special teams superstar Colt Anderson, who has been rehabbing a bum knee. He expects to play Sunday.
“I feel no pressure, I’m just going to go out there and do what I do, and I know the other 10 guys are going to do the same,” Anderson said. “Special teams is just an attitude and we have to get the right attitude, and have confidence in what we’re doing and we’re going to get that fixed.”
Kendricks not playing like a rookie
As soon as rookie Mychal Kendricks was drafted, it was assumed he’d be the starter at strongside linebacker. He took over the spot on the first day of OTAs and hasn’t relinquished it. In fact, one could argue that he’s made the biggest impact on the defense.
Kendricks has 23 total tackles in four games, all starts. He’s been stout against the run and has looked even better in coverage. Against New York, he was in on 65 snaps (96-percent of the time). Kendricks says he’s still learning.
“It’s my first year and I still have so much to get better on, and that excites me,” Kendricks said. “Say what you want but it excites me to know that I have so much to work on. I’m learning stuff every day.”
It’s hard to believe that Kendricks is still a rookie. When asked if he felt like a first-year player, the linebacker struggled to find the right words before deciding on “no.”
“No, expectations are higher and that whole rookie thing is, I would say, I kind of want to say … is out the window because I am still a rookie,” he said, “but a lot is expected, so I don’t tend to lean on that anymore.”