Wade Bonner? Who is he? What does he matter? Well, Bonner is a player who was invited to try out at the weekend Rookie Camp after being bypassed in April's draft for strike one and then not latching on with the team afterward for strike two.
There is no strike three. Not yet, anyway.
Bonner is an Eagle, one of 90 players on the team's roster.
"I felt like I was playing well from time to time in the camp, but I grade myself pretty hard. I kind of figured I was doing a good job, but I wasn't taking anything for granted," he said. "Practice was over and they told me coming off the field that they needed to talk to me. I showered and changed and then went upstairs and they told me the good news.
"It's really exciting. This has been a dream of mine and I'm not done yet."
Bonner played at Mississippi State, starting on the offensive side of the ball as a freshman before he volunteered to move to defense. It worked out, huh? A 5 feet 10, 195-pound safety, Bonner impressed defensive backs coach Michael Zordich and defensive coordinator Juan Castillo and has his shot. He has many, many steps to go to make it to the 53-man roster but for now, hey, it's a great place to be.
"I'm here and I'm going to continue to work hard. It's all football," he said. "No down time. I mean, if you don't play great every day in the NFL, you don't have a job.
"I'm a team guy, so anything they want me to do, I'm happy to do it. I love the game and love the tempo of things, so this is perfect."
Bonner remains in Philadelphia to get more classroom work, to get into the weight room and to see where this journey takes him. It's an uphill battle, but most of the stories in the NFL are worth the second look.
For now, Bonner has his sights set on one thing: Becoming a Philadelphia Eagle and remaining that way for a long, long time.
"I have enough clothes with me," he said, laughing. "I'm just here to play football. That's all I care about. I have my shot and I'm going to make the most of it."
NEWS, NOTES AND A LITTLE BIT OF THIS AND THAT
- The news that Jason Peters suffered a second rupture to his Achilles tendon is certaining sobering and concerning. Nobody expected Peters to return in the 2012 season, so if anything this second surgery will take any idea of rushing his rehab and put it away. Will Peters play in 2013? I don't know that. I don't know how he is going to recover from the injury. Nobody does. But Peters will get great care and will have the best chance possible to come alll the way back. In the meantime, the Eagles are coaching up Demetress Bell, who should be a very fine left tackle for this team.
- How do you feel about the depth at the offensive tackle spots? It's a bit of a concern. After King Dunlap, what happens? Youngsters like D.J. Jones and Dennis Kelly and Thomas Welch have to develop this summer.
- Mychal Kendricks impressed everyone in the weekend camp and is certainly going to have a chance to earn substantial playing time as a rookie. He and DeMeco Ryans, Brian Rolle, Casey Matthews and Jamar Chaney could be the top five on the depth chart, in no particular order. The Eagles usually keep six linebackers on the 53-man roster.
- Way too early to tell, but both Bryce Brown and Chris Polk appeared to come a long way in five practices. The Eagles are in no hurry to go out and sign a veteran running back. Maybe it happens in August if the rookies don't play well in the spring and in training camp. But it isn't happening now.
- Just a hunch that Brett Brackett is going to push Clay Harbor for a roster spot at tight end. Both players are athletic and can move around the offensive formation.
- To me, Nick Foles was much more consistent throwing the football than was Jacory Harris, but both players need to work on so many things. You could almost see the smoke coming out of their ears with all of the instruction provided by quarterbacks coach Doug Pederson.
- Doesn't sound like there are other major injury concerns. Center Jason Kelce is good to go. Tight end Brent Celek will be fine after his couple of injuries from last year and safety/special teams ace Colt Anderson will be cleared to show what he can do in the preseason games. That's when he earns his paycheck, anyway.