It's been a busy first weekend of Training Camp for the Philadelphia Eagles leading up to today - the first Open Practice at Lincoln Financial Field. Let's not waste any time and dive right into the 5 Things To Know Today for Monday, July 28 ...
1. Details For Today's Open Practice
If you're planning on joining thousands of Eagles fans at the Open Practice, here is what you need to know. Parking and admission are free. The parking lots open at 9 AM. HeadHouse Plaza opens at 10 AM with a variety of fan-friendly activities. The gates open to allow fans to get a first look at the still in-progress stadium upgrades at 11 AM. There are no tickets. Seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis. "Kickoff" is at 12:15 PM. Today is a special treat because it's the first training session in full pads. "Everybody looks good now, but (today) we'll see how quiet everything is. We'll see who the real men are," said linebacker Brandon Graham. Most importantly, if you are visiting Lincoln Financial Field, make sure you are All Clear. Here are more details regarding the Open Practice.
2. Bill Polian: Nick Foles Is A Difference-Maker
Super Bowl-winning general manager and SiriusXM host Bill Polian checked out Sunday's training session at the NovaCare Complex. When asked how the Eagles can take the next step and join the ranks of the league's elite teams, Polian responded that it takes two things - 1. the program and 2. the presence of difference-makers. Polian included quarterback Nick Foles among the latter.
"I was absolutely blown away by his calm," said Polian after broadcasting two of his games in 2013. "This is a rookie playing in the National Football League, for all intents and purposes, and he was preternaturally calm. Nothing fazed him. Of course, he was tremendously efficient and he protected the football. For a young quarterback, that is the hardest thing to teach."
3. Noon: Chip Kelly's Live Press Conference
Just prior to the start of today's Training Camp session, head coach Chip Kelly will meet with the media and you can watch it live online or on our app at Noon. Later this evening, we'll bring you a recap of all the action on Inside Training Camp presented by Xfinity featuring highlights of the first Open Practice, player and fan reaction, an in-studio guest, analysis and more. Don't miss out.
4. The Straw That Stirs The Drink
Running back LeSean McCoy is the league's rushing champion after his franchise-record 1,607 yards rushing in 2013. McCoy is a perfect fit for the Eagles' up-tempo, spread-it-out attack. But McCoy's presence has a trickle-down effect which helps out the team's bevy of other offensive weapons.
"The culprit as to why a lot of people see single coverage on this team is LeSean," said second-year tight end Zach Ertz. "He's the key cog in this offense. Darren (Sproles) brings another aspect to the table. Defenses have to stop LeSean first to try and stop this offense. People are going to key on Riley (Cooper). They're going to key on Brent (Celek) and myself. (Jeremy) Maclin. There's a lot of playmakers on this offense. You can't really focus on one person."
It was a warm summer afternoon at the NovaCare Complex as the Eagles hit the field for their second practice of 2014 Training Camp ...
5. Marcus Smith II Is Settling In
First-round pick Marcus Smith II is still getting the hang of this NFL thing, but on the day when he puts on Eagles pads for the first time, the rookie linebacker says he's already come a long way since his arrival to the NovaCare Complex. "Oh, I feel a lot more comfortable," Smith said. "Those first couple weeks, I felt like it was just ongoing and I couldn't get it down. When we took that time off, I got to read the playbook and just study it that little bit more because it wasn't thrown at me so much. I have great linebackers in front of me, Trent Cole and (Connor) Barwin, so they help me a lot.
"This team, we're just one team. Nobody is above anybody. You can tell everybody is equal. Just because I'm a first-round draft pick doesn't mean that I'm going to start, or that I'm going to even play. I have to go out there and work just as hard as everybody else."