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Ex-Bull Allen has Eagles impressed

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Eagles rookie free safety Nate Allen has solidified his position as a starter with his play during training camp.

Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said Wednesday the second-round draft pick from USF is unshakable and has earned his peers' respect.

The Eagles, who open the preseason Friday against the Jaguars, struggled last season to find a capable free safety after Pro Bowl player Brian Dawkins signed with Denver as a free agent. So they used nine of their 13 draft picks on defensive players.

"I feel good with how everything's going so far," Allen said. "There have been nights where I get frustrated with how I've practiced, but I tell myself to keep going and you've got to learn from your mistakes. … No matter how tired and frustrated you are, if you keep working, everything will work out for you."

Allen said the biggest challenge has been learning the complex defense. There were predraft questions about whether he would be physical enough for the NFL. McDermott said he couldn't recall Allen missing a tackle in camp.

Browns: The team was awaiting further test results on starting inside linebacker D'Qwell Jackson, who sustained his second chest muscle injury in 10 months during practice Tuesday. The Browns open the regular season against the Bucs on Sept. 12.

Colts: Owner Jim Irsay said Pro Bowl center Jeff Saturday could miss two to six weeks after arthroscopic knee surgery to remove what the team described as a "loose body."

49ers: Defensive end Kentwan Balmer, a 2008 first-round draft pick who has been a disappointment, missed his third consecutive day of practice, but it was an unexcused absence after two were okayed for a "personal issue." Said coach Mike Singletary, "I don't know what he's doing."

Jets: Coach Rex Ryan has a plan to get holdout cornerback Darrelle Revis back on the field. "We'll call off practice. We'll have our whole team there and meet. That way there's no, 'he said, she said' or whatever. Just get the thing done, and let's work it out that way. … Absolutely serious," Ryan said, not smiling. When asked if he'd actually ask Revis' agents for an organizationwide meeting, Ryan said: "I'm making it right now." The All-Pro has missed 11 days since of camp. He wants to be the league's highest-paid cornerback.

Raiders: In a rare radio interview, owner Al Davis said this year's team reminds him of the 1980 Raiders, who, led by quarterback Jim Plunkett, won that season's Super Bowl with Plunkett named MVP. He also said he sees some Plunkett in Jason Campbell, his new starting quarterback. "(Campbell) has everything. … He can throw up the field, he can run, he's big, he's smart," Davis told Sirius NFL Radio. "I really predict great things for him. I hope he doesn't let me down. I don't think he will." Campbell, acquired from the Redskins in the offseason, started 52 games for Washington after being a first-round pick in 2005. The Raiders open their preseason tonight against the Cowboys.

Redskins: Quarterback Donovan McNabb will make his team debut Friday and conditioning-challenged tackle Albert Haynesworth also will play in the preseason opener against the Bills, coach Mike Shanahan said.

Saints: Running back Reggie Bush returned to practice after missing one session with cramps, but No. 3 running back Lynell Hamilton had to be helped off the field after tearing his right ACL and most likely ending his season during the second of two days of practices with the Patriots in Foxborough, Mass. The teams play their exhibition opener tonight.

Ex-Bull Allen has Eagles impressed 08/11/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 11, 2010 8:29pm]
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