The preseason opener is not until Friday, but the training routine is starting to change. The Eagles will hold walk-thrus on Wednesday and Thursday before departing for Chicago. Head coach Chip Kelly addresses the media for the final time before the team leaves for the Windy City today and you can watch it live online or on our app at 11:15 AM. Expect Kelly to announce who won't be available for the Bears game as well as the breakdown of playing time. Until then, here are the 5 Things To Know Today for August 6 ...
1. Jeremy Maclin On His Injury And Mentor Role
Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin has battled leg soreness in the past couple of days, but declared on Tuesday that he's "100 percent" certain that he will suit up and play Friday night against the Bears. It will be his first game action of any sort since the end of the 2012 regular season. During the press conference, the sixth-year receiver also explained how he's serving as a mentor to rookie third-round pick Josh Huff.
"I try to keep him under my wing a little bit and just keep him focused and let him know everything doesn't need to happen right now," Maclin said. "You're going to develop and get better each and every day. The great ones get better each and every day throughout their careers and just let him it goes day-by-day."
2. Boykin The Comedian
Cary Williams couldn't stop fawning over Brandon Boykin after Tuesday's practice. It wasn't Boykin's play on the field, though, that had Williams gushing. Instead, it was the third-year cornerback's ability to make his teammates laugh.
"He's a jokester," Williams said. "All of us kind of joke around, because you can't just sit around and be mean guys or be serious all the time. Sometimes we have to have some kind of lackadaisical part of the day where you get a chance to chill and be yourself and let your personality shine. That's one thing that we put an emphasis on is allowing guys to be themselves and not making fun of them for being themselves. Boykin is a cool guy. He's funny as heck, man, and I could sit down at the lunchroom and talk with that cat and just laugh until my stomach hurts and my jaw gets tired of laughing. Boykin's a cool dude."
Williams said that one of Boykin's hidden talents is his ability to do impressions ... especially of members of the coaching staff.
"We don't necessarily have him do them, but he'll sometimes get (defensive backs coach John Lovett) in there. Sometimes he'll get Chip. It's just funny stuff."
3. Today: Facebook Q&A With Harold Carmichael
The Eagles are heading to their former nest, Franklin Field, for #EaglesCamp Open Practice on Sunday, where the team and Eagles Nation will celebrate Alumni Day. We are starting the party early on Eagles Facebook this afternoon when legendary wide receiver Harold Carmichael will join us for the team's first-ever Facebook Q&A. Make sure to “like” the Philadelphia Eagles on Facebook for today's takeover. Post your questions, vote for your favorites and enjoy the conversation with Harold Carmichael!
4. More Snaps For Zach Ertz?
Tight end Zach Ertz played in 41 percent of the team's offensive snaps - 450 out of 1,104 - as a rookie in 2013. He played an additional 23 snaps (out of 58) in the playoffs. Pegged as an ascending player, will Ertz be on the field more in his second seasons? Ertz's improvement as a blocker will help dictate that.
"I think Ertz is a guy defenses (watch) - now you start adding the down and distance to it. You put Ertz in the game with (Brent) Celek, and we tighten him down. I think he's improved as a blocker on first down," offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said. "But if you put Ertz in the game on second and third down maybe where it's more of a pass-first type scenario to the defense for whatever reason, then we can spread out Ertz. Now you have to decide are you going to cover him with a linebacker or are you going to commit to putting maybe a third defensive back in the game?"
5. Style In The Slot
Wide receiver Brad Smith has impressed in his first Training Camp with the Eagles after initially joining the team in the middle of last season. Dubbed by fellow wide receiver Jeremy Maclin as "one of the best special teams players in the league," Smith has also worked with the first-team offense as the slot receiver. Smith is also a fashion designer, who has taken part in two New York Fashion Weeks. Smith offered a scouting report on whose style has impressed him in the locker room.
"Connor Barwin shocked me. He can be a little grungy, a little hippyish. He has some swag to him," Smith said. "I'll say Connor and Brandon Boykin. He's solid, too."