A fresh start. A new beginning. It doesn't matter for Britain Covey that he's an undrafted rookie free agent in Training Camp for the Philadelphia Eagles at a loaded wide receiver position. What matters is that he's been given a shot and he intends to make the most of that opportunity.
"It's going well. It's fun. It's like being a freshman again just trying to learn everything I can," Covey, a Utah product, said after practice at the NovaCare Complex. "We've got quite a few good vets in the receivers' room to learn from so, it's been great. I love the guys and I love being part of this."
That he faces the uphill battle is nothing new for Covey, who totally gets it: He's 5-foot-8. He played quarterback in high school. He has never been the guy who looked the best in a uniform. So, he made it in college as a receiver and a dynamic return man with his bulldog mentality and a never-say-quit persona. He's been told plenty of times he isn't good enough or big enough to make it and, truthfully, wasn't much of a college recruit with "five or six offers" and a lot of "preferred walk-on" offers.
And here he is.
"My whole life I've kind of had that and I think it's led to my mentality. When you're my size, you kind of have to have that mentality. One of the kids over here thought I was a kicker," Covey said, laughing. "It leads to your mentality and your work ethic and I think it's a positive thing because when you can't rely on size or just this crazy athleticism, you have to be detailed and I think that's what I've strived for my whole career – being very detailed and being very smart and understanding where my advantages come."
Covey had success at Utah despite playing for three different offensive coordinators, so he isn't one who has trouble adapting to a new scheme. He is here to make it as a slot receiver and a return man on special teams and he is very aware that if he is to make it with the Eagles, that's where his success will have to come. In 47 games at Utah, Covey caught 184 passes for 2,011 yards and 11 touchdowns and he contributed five total touchdowns in the return game (four on punts), gaining renown as one of the nation's top return men as an All-American selection.
After gaining a lot of reps in the spring Organized Team Activities, Covey gained a level of confidence moving to Training Camp. He's hopeful to be one of a long line of former quarterbacks – including Greg Ward – who have made the successful transition to the slot position.
His words to live by come from his famous grandfather, the author Stephen R. Covey, who wrote "The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People," which sold 40 million copies worldwide. It was, in fact, distributed several years ago by Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie to everyone in the Eagles organization.
"My grandpa used to say this has kind of been the motto of my career, 'Build on your strengths and organize to make weaknesses irrelevant,' and that's kind of what I've done with my size in my career," Covey said.
Like the rest of his career, Covey hopes size doesn't matter. He is a 25-year-old rookie, having served a Mormon mission in Chile for two years (2016 and 2017) while at Utah. That added maturity, Covey hopes, aids him in this journey.
"I grew more as a person and that helped me grow as a player in those two years than any other years in my life," he said. "That brought a certain type of maturity, hopefully a good type of maturity – coachability, responsibility, things of that nature."