Rookie sensation Hank Baskett of Clovis will start tonight’s nationally televised game against the Oakland Raiders in the NFL’s annual Hall of Fame contest in Canton, Ohio, according to a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer. The game is on NBC at 6 p.m. (MDT).
“I’m definitely excited, coming in the first game and being out there with the first guys going in,” said Baskett, a 2001 Clovis High graduate, after Saturday’s practice.
Eagles coach Andy Reid said starting quarterback Donovan McNabb and the first unit will play a quarter.
Source: Allentown Morning Call
Something to prove
Baskett has left a big impression at the Eagles’ training camp, but fans, coaches and even Baskett want to see how all of his strides on the practice field translate onto the playing field.
So what does Baskett want to prove?
“That it’s not just the hype,” he said.
Baskett, who was undrafted out of the University of New Mexico, has been embraced by the fans at training camp for consistently hauling in outstanding catches, and he has been praised by quarterback Donovan McNabb and the coaches.
“He’s a big, strong, physical receiver that’s had a solid camp,” said offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg. “We’ll see if he can bring what he does from practice into a game.”
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Baskett is a big, strong kid who has caught just about everything thrown his way in camp.
He’s quick in and out of his cuts and he uses his body very nicely.
There are expectations now for Baskett, who is battling the inevitable rookie wall, the heat, and first-team cornerbacks who are savvy enough to take away his strengths.
In their words
Baskett on becoming a fan favorite: “It’s definitely been cool,” he said. “I was not expecting it to be like this. Just as long as they’re for you and not against you… . It takes some of the stress off.”
What they’re saying: “Baskett is making catches all over the place,” All-Pro free safety Brian Dawkins said earlier this week. “Anytime the ball gets close to him, he’s making catches.”