2005 Training Camp: News and notes

Jim Mora

FLOWERY BRANCH - News and notes from Atlanta's practice today.

GET THAT OUTTA HERE: Observing Terrell Owens' bizarre offseason with the Philadelphia Eagles makes Atlanta quarterback Michael Vick glad that his team has no detracting personalities strong enough to overshadow the locker room.

Owens, an All-Pro receiver who helped the Eagles advance to their second Super Bowl last season, began demanding a new contract a few weeks ago. Philadelphia head coach Andy Reid sent Owens home from training camp Wednesday and told him not to return for a week.

"I think my guys in the locker room keep things in perspective," Vick said. "There is no need for all that. We are trying to build a team camaraderie around here and we don't need any distractions. Me, personally, I won't let that go on. Those situations have to be handled."

Vick, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, believes close friend Donovan McNabb, the Eagles' star quarterback, will manage fine with or without Owens. The Falcons host Philadelphia in the Monday night season opener Sept. 12.

The Eagles beat Atlanta in the NFC title game seventh months ago.

"They'll make it happen regardless," Vick said. "There still feel like they're a team that can win football games. It's just an unfortunate situation, and I hope things get better over there."

DEPTH CHART SHUFFLES: Ike Reese may have moved past Williams as the starting strong-side linebacker. He worked a lot with the first-team defense in base schemes Thursday and said afterward that he's the starter, at least for now. ...

Though starting defensive ends Patrick Kerney (groin) and Brady Smith (neck) will not dress against the Ravens, Mora is very pleased with what he's seen from rookie Chauncey Davis, a fourth-round pick, and veteran backups Junior Glymph and Gabe Nyenhuis.

Khaleed Vaughn, a former Clemson standout, started on the right side last week, but he's sidelined with turf toe.

"Whenever there is an injury, it enables somebody to step up, and Gabe stepped up," Mora said. "That's been impressive."

The team also has worked backup nose tackle Antwan Lake at end to provide depth at the position.

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