Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur helped assemble the most-explosive offense in franchise history last season. On Tuesday, Shurmur discusses the plans for the 2014 offense with the first preseason game on tap Friday night in Chicago. Shurmur's press conference can be seen live on our site or on our app beginning at 11:15 AM prior to the team's training session. Until then, here are the 5 Things To Know Today for August 5 ...
1. Eagles Are Putting More Trust In Kendricks
The evolution of the Eagles' defense under coordinator Bill Davis will include an increase in the variety of schemes that the team will employ in 2014. One of the packages the Eagles have been working on in Training Camp is the dime where there are six defensive backs and one linebacker. That linebacker is third-year pro Mychal Kendricks, who had four sacks and three interceptions in 2013.
"What's the saying, 'To whom much is given, much will be required,'" said Kendricks, who will have to be more vocal in getting the front aligned in this role. "Anytime you're put into a position of authority or leadership, it forms you into being that guy that they're going to need you to be. We're all renting space here. This isn't a lifetime job. We're only here for a short period of time. I think it's a good thing that they've got me out there making these calls for the years to come."
2. Whispering Sweet Nothings
No, this isn't some love story. It's actually quite the opposite. Former All-Pro and Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist Kevin Greene is spending time this week at Training Camp as a guest of good friend Bill Davis. Greene is working with the Eagles' pass rushers on their techniques and mental approach by, in his words, "whispering sweet nothings" into their ears.
"He wants us to be violent in our movements and I like that," said first-round pick Marcus Smith II. "That is something that I can incorporate into my game every day. I feel like I play that way. It came quickly to me after playing quarterback for my entire career. It's part of what I do."
3. Jason Kelce's Ubiquitous Belly
When first-time attendees to Training Camp at the NovaCare Complex arrive, one question gets asked more often than any other. It has nothing to do with the pace of practice or the volume of the music or even the flavors of the Rita's Water Ice. Instead, the answer everyone wants to know is "Why does Jason Kelce keep his belly out during practice?"
It's a reasonable question. The third-year center is the only offensive lineman whose midsection has been on constant display during practice. The answer, Kelce says, is actually quite simple.
"Why?" Kelce said, "mainly because I'm cooler with it out."
Surely there has to be something more, something extra. Maybe it's sort of like that bird who spreads its wings to show off its pretty plumage?
"Peacock? Strutting its stuff?" Kelce asked. "Yeah, maybe a little bit."
4. The Hart Foundation Making Its Mark
Coordinator Bill Davis showered rookie defensive end Taylor Hart with praise when he said that Hart is "as consistent as the day is long." The 6-foot-6, 281-pound Hart is certainly familiar with head coach Chip Kelly and defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro from his time at Oregon, but he credited Davis' teaching ability in aiding his transition.
"Coach Davis has really taught me and showed us what this defense is. I can take my knowledge and try to be as consistent as I can in this camp," Hart said. "There's quite a bit that's pretty similar (from Oregon), but obviously it's the NFL and you have to improve on everything. I had a good starting spot, but now I have to take it to the next level."
The Eagles Cheerleaders Calendar will be unveiled on September 4th at the Miller Countdown to Kickoff, and each week in August we'll bring you exclusive behind-the-scenes access, like this excursion in Mexico ...
5. Fun In The Sun With The Eagles Cheerleaders
On September 4, the Eagles Cheerleaders will unveil their 2015 swimsuit calendar at the Miller Countdown to Kickoff party at Xfinity Live. Until then, we will offer a sneak peek from the photo shoot in Mexico. Here is a photo gallery of the Eagles Cheerleaders going on an excursion during a little down time while on the shoot.