Baskett impressive again in Eagles’ win

Philadelphia Eagles rookie Hank Baskett makes a diving reception in the first quarter to set up a field goal during Thursday’s 20-7 preseason win over the Cleveland Browns in Philadelphia. (Philadelphia Inquirer photo: Ron Cortes)

By Bob Brookover: The Philadelphia Inquirer

PHILADELPHIA — Rookie Hank Baskett of Clovis made another strong showing Thursday in the Philadelphia Eagles’ second NFL preseason game, catching two passes for 39 yards in a 20-7 win over the Cleveland Browns.

For the second straight game, the Eagles’ first-team offense came away with some points on its opening drive. Quarterback Donovan McNabb took the team from its own 20 to the Cleveland 1-yard line, thanks in large part to a sensational 33-yard diving catch by Baskett.

That play gave the Eagles a first and goal from the 2-yard line, but Reno Mahe’s bid to get into the end zone was stopped just short of the goal line on first down. Browns linebacker Leon Williams tackled Mahe for a 3-yard loss on the next play, and the Eagles had to settle for a 22-yard field goal by David Akers after McNabb’s scrambling third-down throw was too low for Mahe to handle.

Baskett’s catch was without question the play of the night for the first-team offense.

“My heart started racing and it was just awesome to catch a deep ball out here in the game instead of just doing it in practice,” Baskett said.

The Eagles’ second drive was stalled by a holding penalty on William Thomas.

McNabb finished 7 for 9 for 78 yards and left with the Eagles leading 3-0.

“Overall, we’ve still got some work to do, but it’s still a great beginning,’ McNabb said. “It’s good for us to establish that tempo early.”