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5 Things To Know Today: August 2

Posted Aug 2, 2014

Saturday is an off day for the Eagles before the team's second Open Practice at Lincoln Financial Field. There are still plenty of Eagles-related news and notes to get caught up on in our 5 Things To Know Today ...

1. Headed To The Hall

Tonight, defensive end Claude Humphrey will be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2014 along with Derrick Brooks, Ray Guy, Walter Jones, Andre Reed, Michael Strahan and Aeneas Williams. The third-overall pick in the 1968 NFL Draft, Humphrey spent 11 seasons with the Falcons and retired before the Eagles acquired him with a pair of fourth-round picks in 1979. Humphrey was an instrumental part of the Eagles' 1980 NFC Championship team. Although sacks were not tabbed officially until 1982, Humphrey was credited with 122 quarterback takedowns in his career.

"Claude was a tremendous inspiration for a young coach," former head coach Dick Vermeil said. "Knowing he was a veteran, I would ask him if he wanted a day off from time to time in Training Camp. But he always refused. He never took off a practice or a wind sprint. He had a fantastic work ethic. In fact, Claude made up T-shirts that the guys loved - 'I Survived Dick Vermeil's Training Camp,' or whatever it said, and it was just perfect."

2. Rookies Aren't Treated Like Rookies

A common sight following training sessions is players remaining on the fields to get some extra work in. But this time has become a teaching session for some of the young players with veterans. On Thursday, linebacker Trent Cole was giving rookie tackle Kevin Graf a chance to practice his pass set. Center Jason Kelce hosted a number of young players from both sides of the ball on Friday. Kelce explained that if rookies are going to have a chance to help the team win the veterans must step up and assist with the transition from college to the pro game.

"The new CBA that we signed a few years ago really hindered a lot of younger player development. There's a lot more rules that are strict on meeting times with coaches, players, how much time you are allowed on the field so as veteran players in order to bring some of the rookies and younger guys along, if you want them to get better you have to spend more time with them," Kelce said. "Stout's (Jeff Stoutland) an outstanding coach. He gets everything out of these guys that he can, but the problem is that with how much time we can have they're not going to have the reps. So you can take 'em after practice, get them more reps so that they can feel the actual techniques rather than go out there and try them for the first time in a live situation."

3. Will Sproles Bail The Eagles Out On Third Downs?

Running back Darren Sproles is the NFL's leader in all-purpose yards since 2007 and in each of the past three seasons he's notched at least 70 receptions. He's also been a threat on third downs. Last season, Sproles was second among running backs with 20 third-down receptions. That was more than any Eagles pass catcher. In 2011, Sproles was tied for seventh in the league among all players with 25 third-down receptions.

Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin visited Eagles Training Camp and was in awe of the prospect of Sproles and running back LeSean McCoy on the field at the same time.

"Both of these guys are the best guys in the league at making you leave your jock on your ankles," Irvin said. "The best in the league. And you're sitting there, 'Ohh my God! What's going to happen.'"

4. Help For The Defense?

The Eagles' pass defense could get some extra help this season from an unlikely source. NFL officials met with Eagles players and coaches Thursday and Friday to discuss the new rules and points of emphasis for 2014. The officials also refereed the team's training sessions to allow players to see what they can and can’t get away with.

One of the points of emphasis is the contact between receivers and defensive players prior to a pass. If a defensive back grabs a receiver's jersey, or any part of the uniform, prior to a pass it will be called defensive holding. Officials, however, will be paying closer attention to how receivers use their arms to gain separation primarily at the top of a route. Back judge Tony Steratore told reporters Friday that the amount of defensive vs. offensive pass interference calls were much more balanced during the training sessions.

5. Join Us Tomorrow For The Open Practice

If you're planning on joining thousands of Eagles fans at the Open Practice this Sunday, here is what you need to know. Parking and admission are free. The parking lots open at 9 AM. HeadHouse Plaza welcomes fans at 10 AM with a variety of fan-friendly activities including opportunities to meet Eagles alumni, chances to get an autograph from a current player, interaction with Eagles Cheerleaders, Eagles Pep Band and SWOOP, family entertainment and much more.

Fans can enter the stadium gates at 11 AM. There are no tickets. Seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please make sure you adhere to Lincoln Financial Field's Clear Bag policy. Click here for details.

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