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Carson Wentz lunged to his right and then backpedaled to avoid a rush. After darting forward again Matt Milano Jersey , he quickly rolled to his right and took off down the sideline at full speed.
The only reminder Saturday that the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback was returning from knee surgery was the brace attached his left leg.
"Obviously he's got some of that Kobe Bryant (stuff) in his knee," defensive end Michael Bennett said with a smile, referring to the offseason knee treatment in Germany the NBA great used to receive. "He probably went to Germany or Switzerland or some (stuff), because he's looking really good out there."
How upbeat were the Eagles after Wentz went through 11-on-11 drills with the starters at the first padded practice of training camp? Coach Doug Peterson interrupted new offensive coordinator Mike Groh's press conference with the key question for the Super Bowl champions.
"I know you don't want to put a timetable on Carson, but what's your timetable?" Pederson asked, smirking.
"Great question," Groh said.
Wentz sure looked close to ready, if not already there, during a humid morning practice. Barely seven months removed from tearing the anterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments in his left knee, Wentz participated in full team drills without limitations. While he tossed two interceptions, he drew rave reviews from his teammates and coaches for his arm strength, accuracy and mobility.
"He's in the right frame of mind. He's making some good throws," Groh said. "As you can see, we're pretty good on defense. Those guys are making it challenging for us on offense, particularly early, first day in pads."
Wentz dazzled in 13 games last season http://www.greenbaypackersteamonline.com/ty-montgomery-jersey , throwing for 3,296 yards and 33 touchdowns with just seven interceptions. The Eagles led the NFL in scoring and were 11-2 after Wentz went down on Dec. 10.
Behind backup Nick Foles, the Eagles went on to win their first NFL title. But it's clear that even though Foles was the Super Bowl MVP, Wentz will become the starter again when he's ready.
"When you're rehabbing something, it's not an exponential line. It's not you're slowly getting better and then you rapidly accelerate," tight end Zach Ertz said. "There's going to be times in training camp probably where he doesn't feel great or his knee doesn't feel great and they'll back him off."
Because of that, the Eagles remain tight-lipped about whether they expect Wentz under center for the season opener Sept. 6 against Atlanta. It's also uncertain if he'll appear in a preseason game. Wentz didn't speak to reporters after the 2 1/2-hour workout.
"To have everybody out there, Carson there, in some people's minds is ahead of schedule," Groh said. "But I know this was his target date. So we're happy to have him out there working. It's only going to make everybody better."
NOTES: With several receivers banged up and not practicing, including Alshon Jeffery and Bryce Treggs, the Eagles signed WR DeAndre Carter. The move gives the Eagles the maximum 90 players. ... The team displayed the Lombardi Trophy in a glass case outside the practice fields, allowing fans to snap pictures while standing next to it.
That’s the norm on the playground, where a team playing pickup ball remains on the court until it is beaten.
And that’s the way Ice Cube insisted it had to be in the BIG3.
Win a championship, come back the next season with the team intact to defend the title.
”To me it goes back to the essence of 3-on-3, king of the court mentality http://www.chicagobearsteamonline.com/devin-hester-jersey ,” Cube said.
The question is whether it’s fair to Trilogy, the undefeated champion from the inaugural season of the entertainer’s 3-on-3 league of former NBA players.
It wouldn’t work in major professional sports. But in the BIG3, back come Kenyon Martin, Al Harrington, Rashad McCants, James White and Dion Glover, who guaranteed themselves a job for this year by winning the title. They have the chance to defend their title against rivals that have bolstered by an influx of former NBA champions, All-Stars or Olympic gold medalists.
”We are at a disadvantage because we have kind of been exposed to what we have and what we’re capable of, going 10-0, so everybody’s done their homework,” said the 33-year-old McCants. ”They know who we are. There’s a scouting report now, so it’s going to be a lot more difficult this year than it was last year.”
All the players in the league – other than those on Trilogy – who weren’t captains or co-captains went back into this year’s draft pool, with no promise of getting picked with the added talent that was available this year: Amare Stoudemire, Ron Artest, Carlos Boozer, Baron Davis and Nate Robinson signed on. It is unclear what players’ salaries are; the league has not publicly disclosed that information.
The only move for Triology coach Rick Mahorn was the addition of Dahntay Jones when rosters were expanded to six players. The 6-foot-4 McCants Charles Leno Jersey , last year’s No. 1 overall pick and leading scorer in the championship game, was promoted to a co-captain.
Cube doesn’t know if job security for the winners was a motivating factor for players who came aboard when he founded his league with entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz. McCants, who played four years in the NBA, a few more overseas and knows how hard it is to have a career playing basketball, takes pride in the gimmick even while acknowledging that it doesn’t work in his team’s favor.
”It’s a refreshing aspect to the league where you have bragging rights to say, `Hey, you guys got to go back into the combine and go through the draft all over again because you didn’t win, and the winners prevail,”’ he said.
And then in pro sports sometimes they then break up practically the moment the victory celebration is over. Free agency is a benefit for players but at times a detriment to teams.
”We felt like fans are weary of, you get behind a team, they win it, and you don’t know if that same team is going to come back or not,” Cube said. ”You don’t know who’s going to leave, and I just think fans are sick of that. So to me, fans are not really getting into teams as much as they’re getting into players. So that’s the reason why I think there has to be a happy medium between what exists now in sports, which is free agency kind of run rampant Reggie White Jersey , and a balance of what the fans really want.
”So there’s got to be something, so in our league we just eliminate that.”
Cube envisions a 12-team league playing twice a week in NBA arenas next season if the BIG3, trying to capitalize on the popularity of 3-on-3, which debuts in the Olympics in 2020 – is successful. That would make even more teams to beat for whoever wins this season’s title. But he believes not changing up the champ is the best approach.
”Like yo, if you win it, you’re the champion, there’s no reason for you to make any changes,” he said. ”And the rest of the league has a measuring stick to draft because everybody goes back to the draft pool pretty much if you don’t win the championship, so you have to reorganize your thinking of your team to figure out how to beat this standard. So it just, to me, works better.”
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