Quintin Demps didn't care that his name was on the list of players asked to take part in the Rookie and Selected Vet OTAs. He would have asked the coaches to participate anyway.
A year ago, Demps was penciled in as the starter at free safety. Unable to put the clamps on the job, he lost out to Macho Harris at the end of the preseason and battled through an injury-plagued 2009 campaign in which he played in just nine games and started none.
In the off-season, the Eagles signed free agent Marlin Jackson and drafted Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman to bolster the safety position. Demps was the third-team free safety in the post-draft mini-camps.
Last year, Demps would likely have voiced his displeasure over his disposition. Not now. Since the start of last season, Demps got married to his high school sweetheart, Kristel, with whom he has two kids. He earned his college degree this off-season. He traveled with Winston Justice to Haiti to help build the foundation for a new orphanage.
Humbled by last year, Demps is in the right frame of mind to compete in 2010.
"I just want to thank God for going through that last season because all it did was bring the dog out, bring out the best in me which is coming out now," Demps said. "It was all ups and downs last year, but it was a learning experience for me. Every player has their growing pains and I'm just glad I got mine earlier than later."
A ballhawk at Texas El-Paso, Demps had the most interceptions of any player in the 2008 draft class with 17. The 5-11, 206-pound Demps did record his first career interception last year against Eli Manning of the New York Giants. After two seasons at safety, Demps is beginning to understand the responsibilities of other position on defense which will help make his job easier.
"Anything you put on my plate, I'm going to eat it and ask for dessert," Demps said. "You hear everyone else's job, but for me you just have to concentrate on safety first and just get it down. Now, I'm listening to everything and everything is familiar, but now it's like 'Oh. That's what that means.' You can slow down. You know where your help is and where it's not going to be."
The next few months will be crucial for Demps. Demps has to cultivate the talent that made him a fourth-round pick.
"I'm pretty much ironed out, but I want to make sure I'm creased on everything so I feel like it's good coming out here with the young guys," Demps said. "I know a lot, but I want to know everything. I know I can start in this league so I'm just going to come out here and do that."
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 3:45 p.m., May 22