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  1. #1
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    Hank Baskett: Rookie receiver winning big fans

    Posted on Wed, Jul. 26, 2006

    [size=18px]Rookie receiver winning big fans[/size]

    Hank Baskett has drawn kudos from Donovan McNabb for his hard work and professionalism.

    By Shannon Ryan
    Inquirer Staff Writer


    BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Hank Baskett showed up at the Eagles training camp yesterday with new digits on his jersey. But as long as he has a number, Baskett is a man with no complaints.

    Switching from No. 80 to 84, after fellow receiver Jabar Gaffney claimed his original number, the undrafted free agent was a happy - and, more importantly, still employed - man yesterday at the Lehigh camp, where he worked with the first team at times.

    "As long as I've got a jersey," said Baskett, a 6-foot-4, 220-pounder from the University of New Mexico. "Being a rookie, especially an undrafted rookie, you can't afford to have a bad day. Eyes are really upon you. You have to prove you're a value to the team."

    He had a good day yesterday, catching a nice pass from Donovan McNabb and earning compliments from his teammates.

    On the Terrell Owens-less receiving squad, there is an open window for someone to move up.

    Yesterday provided another reminder why the Eagles could use some reinforcement at the position. Todd Pinkston, who missed last season with a torn Achilles tendon, sat out with inflammation in the opposite tendon.

    Reggie Brown, in his second season, looks like the top receiver at the moment, followed by a healthy Pinkston and Greg Lewis or Gaffney. Baskett likely will fight with Justin Jenkins, Darnerien McCants and other rookies for the final spots.

    Baskett appears to be proving his worth to some important Eagles.

    McNabb has been high on Baskett since the off-season. The receiver was originally picked up by the Minnesota Vikings, who traded him for Billy McMullen.

    McNabb invited Baskett to his annual workout session in Arizona and was immediately impressed by Baskett's professionalism.

    "He comes out and says, 'I'm going to get better, I'm going to train hard and I'm going to learn to prepare going into the NFL,' " McNabb said yesterday. "He made big strides and continues to improve each day in camp."

    Baskett is always asking McNabb questions about running routes and making adjustments, which has earned him McNabb's respect.

    "It's not to take away from the other guys who came in because everyone wanted to work and put in that extra time," McNabb added, "[but] his whole attitude, is 'I want to help this team win and have a good season.' "

    Working out with McNabb, Baskett said, is paying off for him now.

    "That's like one of the CEOs asking me to go on a weekend trip," he said. "I knew it was going to be hard work, but when we got out there we got after it. It helped me so much in getting me prepared for this camp."

    Baskett's approach to the game stems from his disciplined family.

    His mother Judy and father Henry each worked for the Air Force for three decades. His brother Randall served in the Army for more than 10 years.

    Baskett took his family's advice, which was to wear shoulder pads instead of fatigues.

    "They told me, 'Our family's done enough military time,' " he recalled yesterday. "There was a little time when I felt like maybe I needed to do that, too. My brother's friends were calling him from overseas in Iraq and saying, 'We got to see your [brother's] game.' He said, 'You're serving your country in that way. You're taking those guys' minds off what's going on around them.' "

    Baskett still applied the values of the family profession to help make a gig for himself.

    "It definitely taught me discipline," said Baskett, who turns 24 Sept. 4. "That's why at meetings I'm always early. I was taught, when you're early, you don't get in trouble."

    At times, Baskett still has the rookie glare and even catches himself looking at McNabb in disbelief at meetings. But he appears to be finding his way nicely.

    The rangy receiver has proven leaping ability as an outdoor high-jump champion in the Mountain West Conference, where he cleared nearly 7 feet. He also has proven smarts as a four-time all-academic conference member in college and 4.0 grade-point average in high school.

    "He's definitely picked up on the offense pretty fast, though," tight end L.J. Smith said. "I think he's going to be a big target for Don. He's working in with the ones and that's pretty good for him coming out of nowhere."


    Contact staff writer Shannon Ryan at 215-854-5503 or [email protected]

    Rookie receiver winning big fans

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #2
    Prophet Guest

    Re: Rookie receiver winning big fans

    Hmmm, that was one of the moves that had me scratching my head.

  3. #3
    Del Rio Guest

    Re: Rookie receiver winning big fans

    He is a stud. I was wondering why we let him go as well.

  4. #4
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    Re: Rookie receiver winning big fans

    he will be a good player and a great teammate

  5. #5
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    Re: Rookie receiver winning big fans

    He will be good, wish we still had him.

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    Re: Rookie receiver winning big fans

    "Prophet" wrote:
    Hmmm, that was one of the moves that had me scratching my head.
    That goes double for me.

    I've had this uneasy feeling ever since we let him go that we will regret it big time.

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  7. #7
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    Re: Rookie receiver winning big fans

    Who cares about an Eagle W.R?....and why whine about someone that was undrafted and traded?.....what good does it do?

    It seems some of you are just sitting back and waiting to say ....I told you so!!!!

    Besides....it's easy for the Eagles to be impressed with a possibility of having a good wideout.....a good WR on Eagles is kinda like a sighting of the T-Rex......nonexistent :wink:

  8. #8
    Prophet Guest

    Re: Rookie receiver winning big fans

    "jdvike" wrote:
    Who cares about an Eagle W.R?....and why whine about someone that was undrafted and traded?.....what good does it do?

    It seems some of you are just sitting back and waiting to say ....I told you so!!!!...
    Are you a sports journalist for the Mpls Star Tribune? If you want to stay undercover stop giving obvious clues.

  9. #9
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    Re: Rookie receiver winning big fans

    You found me out LOL

  10. #10
    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: Rookie receiver winning big fans

    "Prophet" wrote:
    "jdvike" wrote:
    Who cares about an Eagle W.R?....and why whine about someone that was undrafted and traded?.....what good does it do?

    It seems some of you are just sitting back and waiting to say ....I told you so!!!!...
    Are you a sports journalist for the Mpls Star Tribune? If you want to stay undercover stop giving obvious clues.
    Yet one has to wonder how many times he's posted about Moss since he's been gone. :wink:

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

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