Well, the preseason opener for the NFL didn't go as planned as the Hall of Fame game was canceled due to field conditions. Nonetheless, Eagles fans only have to wait three more days for the exhibition schedule to kick off as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers come to town.
Monday marks the final padded practice for the team ahead of Thursday's game. Head coach Doug Pederson will meet the media at around 11 AM. You can watch it live online or on our app. Until then, here are the 5 Things to Know for August 8, 2016 ...
1. DeFilippo: Bradford's Set The Bar High
Quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo joined Dave Spadaro inside the studio on Sunday's Inside Training Camp presented by Xfinity. Spadaro asked about the performance of Sam Bradford to this point in Training Camp and Coach Flip had this amazing statistic - Bradford has thrown just one interception in nine padded practice. DeFilippo said "that's almost 200 throws."
"I think everyone would agree that Sam's playing at a very high level," DeFilippo added. "He's set the bar high for the rest of the quarterback room."
DeFilippo noted that Bradford is bigger, physically, than he's been at any point in his career. Even though he wasn't with the Eagles in 2015, DeFilippo can see watching the tape how much better Bradford's mechanics are now as compared to a year ago when the quarterback was coming off of knee rehab.
"He's getting his feet down a lot quicker," DeFilippo said. "He's more comfortable planting off of both legs. He's bigger from a physicality standpoint."
2. Watch The Quarterbacks On Thursday Night
If you're not at Lincoln Financial Field for the game on Thursday, you can watch the game in the Philadelphia area on Comcast SportsNet and Cozi TV. Click here for complete listings. Kickoff is set for 7 PM against the Buccaneers. We will have live coverage on PhiladelphiaEagles.com and our app starting with the Kickoff Show presented by Axalta at 6:30 PM. You can listen to the SportsRadio 94WIP broadcast with Merrill Reese and Mike Quick from our site and app.
3. Celek: A Philadelphia Institution
Tight end Brent Celek signed a contract extension this offseason to ensure that he will be an Eagle for life. Entering his 10th NFL season, Celek is a role model for players who weren't invited to the Scouting Combine or selected until the later rounds of the NFL Draft (fifth-round pick).
"Whatever my role is on the play, whether it's blocking, running a route, pass blocking, I'm just going to try to do it to the best of my ability and get my job done for the betterment of this team," Celek said.
"I think it's honestly just the way I was raised. That's how my grandparents are, that's how my parents are and that's how everyone in my family is. It's not all about one person. It's bigger than that. It's about this whole group of individuals that are out here, this organization, this city, and you just have to do what you're told in whatever situation that you're in."
Earlier in his career, Celek was capable of being a focal point of the passing attack. Now, he still has the ability to help in the pass game, but is cherished for his willingness to block. The 31-year-old has also learned how to take care of his body.
"The older you get, you have to do it or you're not going to be in the NFL. I don't care who you are," Celek said. "You talk to guys who get up to eight, nine, 10 years and even beyond like (Jason) Peters and (Darren) Sproles – it's not easy. You really have to do things that you didn't have to do when you were 21 years old. I've got to do a lot more stretching, a lot more soft tissue work. I've got to eat healthier. I've got to get to bed earlier. It's just small stuff to take care of my body."
4. Who Will Emerge At Cornerback?
The Eagles signed Leodis McKelvin and Ron Brooks in free agency, and re-signed last year's starter Nolan Carroll at cornerback. After those three veterans, there are a number of young players who are in contention for snaps and playing time. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz highlighted two of those Eagles on Sunday in rookie Jalen Mills and second-year player Eric Rowe.
"He's very competitive. He comes back and he doesn't shy away from contact. He doesn't shy away from matchups. You need that in a corner," Schwartz said of Mills. "If you're on the edge and you don't embrace being on that island, you're in the wrong business. Philly's had a great history of some corners that were on islands that embraced that. I think Jalen has shown signs that he can do those things."
Rowe started the final five games of 2015, but Schwartz wants the former second-round pick to realize he has plenty to learn.
"Eric has done a good job. Eric has some very good strengths. He's tall. He's hard to throw over the top of. He can be physical. I think we've seen that," Schwartz said. "In (the offensive) backed up (portion of practice), he came up and made a big hit on the flat route – a tight end to the flat route. It might have been the safety. That's what you want to see corners do. You don't want to see corners back down from tight ends going to the flat. Eric has flashed those things."
5. A Challenger In The Defensive End Rotation
With Marcus Smith sidelined with a concussion, Steven Means is making a case to be the No. 4 defensive end behind Connor Barwin, Vinny Curry and Brandon Graham.
Means ended the 2015 season with the Eagles, but was inactive for all four games he was on the roster. Means spent time with Tampa Bay, Baltimore and Houston before arriving in Philly. He's played 11 career games and has six tackles to his name.
"Pun intended, he 'means' business," Schwartz said. "He comes to work. He's physical. He fits the scheme. He's tall. He's got long arms. He can build some power with speed. You might want to ask the tight ends about him because he's been giving those guys some tough situations to handle."