Days before the Eagles opened their post-draft mini-camp, cornerback Sheldon Brown said he would report and focus on football and that his earlier expressions of dissatisfaction with his contract would not be an issue. Brown lived up to his word.
He arrived at the NovaCare Complex on Thursday evening just after 5:40 PM for a team meeting to kick off the post-draft mini-camp.
Brown declared that he simply wanted to let everyone know his feelings about his contract, but he never seriously considered missing the team's only mandatory off-season practices before training camp.
"I'm here to play football," Brown said. "That's what I do. I'm going to play at the end of the day. I'm going to do my job regardless."
Brown was in a good mood as he joked with reporters and apologized to the fans for causing a stir. A second-round pick in 2002, Brown was signed to a lucrative contract extension in 2004 - his first season as a full-time starter. Brown has never missed a game in his seven years in the league. Known for his clock-cleaning hits, Brown has registered seven sacks in his career which is most by a cornerback in franchise history. He's also posted 14 career interceptions and has scored three touchdowns.
During his meeting with the media, Brown added that he is focused on the job at hand and is not going to allow a desire for a new deal to impact his game. Photo Gallery : 2009 Mini-Camp Arrival
"It's not going to weigh on my mind," Brown said. "My job is to play football and that's what I do."
With Brown good to go, the cornerback position is arguably the deepest on the roster entering the mini-camp. The Eagles added to that depth during draft weekend when they traded a pair of fifth-round picks for New England's Ellis Hobbs. Head coach Andy Reid said at the time that the move had nothing to do with Brown's situation, rather that the Eagles jumped at an opportunity to add an experienced player.
Brown is not concerned about the competition from Hobbs.
"I like him. I like him a lot," Brown said. "He seems like he's cut from the same cloth I am. Plays through injuries. Committed. I know he's a battler. He played for Bill (Belichick) ... This is not about Sheldon or Ellis. If Ellis makes this football team a better team, then he needs to be on the football field. I'd be the first to say that ... This has nothing to do with me and Ellis Hobbs."
The Eagles have two practices on Friday. PhiladelphiaEagles.com will have complete coverage on Eagles Live! at 12:15 PM.