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News » Eagles Notes: A new chance for Eagles' Booker

Eagles Notes: A new chance for Eagles' Booker

Eagles Notes: A new chance for Eagles' Booker
Eagles Notes Lorenzo Booker doesn't care whether he's already been declared a bust by some Eagles fans.

"If it's not inside this room, why would I care?" the Eagles running back said before practice yesterday. "Why would I care about somebody that doesn't know? If you're not in here, you don't know. That's the bottom line."

If coach Andy Reid "or anyone in this building" isn't telling him that he's doing something wrong, Booker said, "it's in one ear and out the other."

In fairness to Booker, he hasn't had much of an opportunity to prove to anybody in Philadelphia that he can play. Through 11 games, he has 16 carries for 32 yards and five catches for 10 yards. He hasn't even dressed for the last three games.

Another chance awaits Booker tomorrow night. With Correll Buckhalter out because of a knee injury, Booker will be back on the field for the Eagles' game against the Arizona Cardinals at Lincoln Financial Field.

He believes this is a good time for him to heed the advice of his close friend Leon Washington , the New York Jets running back who was his teammate at Florida State.

"Leon's words will always stick with me in these times: Control the controllable," Booker said. "We talk every now and then, and I express my frustration. He always tells me the same thing: When you get a chance, take advantage of your chance."

Booker, acquired by the Eagles from Miami for a fourth-round pick in this year's draft, actually did that a year ago about this same time. After not dressing for nine of the Dolphins' first 11 games, he got a chance to be part of the offense in the final five games. He ran 28 times for 125 yards and caught 28 passes for 237 yards, which meant he averaged 72.4 yards of offense the last four games.

"I know I'm capable of a lot more than that," Booker said. "I know how good I am. That's all that matters to me. I know what I'm capable of doing because I've done it over and over and over again. I've even done it in this league. That same defense we lost to Sunday, I had a pretty good game against last year. I went head up with Ray Lewis and won. It was fourth and 1, and I went head up and won."

Booker was referring to a fourth-and-1 play in the third quarter of a game against the Ravens when he got a first down, which helped set up a Dolphins field goal.

Protecting the quarterback against the blitz was one of Booker's acknowledged weaknesses when he dressed earlier this season. He has worked on improving that by taking on rookie linebacker Joe Mays every day after practice this season.

Words of encouragement Safety Brian Dawkins was asked whether he thought struggling quarterback Donovan McNabb has been pressing.

"Yeah, I think he has," Dawkins said. "We've talked."

And the advice?

"Just make sure that he understands that he doesn't have to do everything by himself."

Injuries Running back Brian Westbrook (ankle and knee), defensive end Darren Howard (neck), and cornerback Asante Samuel (neck) sat out practice yesterday. Howard, who injured his neck Sunday on a fourth-quarter touchdown run by the Ravens' Le'Ron McClain , sat out yesterday after taking part in practice Monday.

Westbrook is expected to play, but Samuel's status is questionable after he twice suffered stingers in the loss to the Ravens. Samuel's loss would be costly against an Arizona team that has the league's second-ranked passing offense and three receivers - Larry Fitzgerald , Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston ? ranked among the top 15 in the league.

- Bob Brookover

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 26, 2008

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