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Kick Off Camp: The first preseason game is almost here!

Kick Off Camp presented by Quaker

Gear up for this weekend's preseason opener with news and notes from Kick Off Camp, presented by Quaker.

Josh Andrews returns to the Eagles

He was thinking about calling it quits and changing careers, but when offensive lineman Josh Andrews got a call from Executive Vice President/General Manager Howie Roseman, he jumped at the opportunity to return to the team that gave him his start in the NFL.

The Eagles signed Andrews on August 6 after impressing in a workout. The eight-year veteran spent last season with the New Orleans Saints, playing in six games (five starts).

This is the third time that Andrews has put pen to paper with the Eagles. Coming out of Oregon State, Andrews joined the Eagles as an undrafted free agent. He spent his first few seasons fluctuating between the active roster and the practice squad. Then, after a short stint with the Minnesota Vikings, Andrews returned to the Eagles for two months before being picked up by the Indianapolis Colts, all of which came in 2018. Finally, the 32-year-old is back in Midnight Green.

"I spent my first four years here," Andrews said. "This place is special. I am glad to be back."

While waiting for a team to call, Andrews used his offseason to stay in shape and spend time with his family. He and his wife have three children, including a four-month-old son. Andrews noted that his kids would run pass-blocking sets on him instead of the other way around.

With his career in question, Andrews was starting to think about what was next. Residing in Portland, Oregon, he aspired to work at Nike Headquarters as a product tester or marketer. Andrews had already started to network with friends who he played college football with that work at Nike Headquarters.

However, life after football will have to wait as Andrews returns to a place he knows well with former teammates and coaches.

There are a lot of familiar faces still around from Andrews' first few seasons with the Eagles. Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson are still staples on the offensive line. Dennis Kelly, another Training Camp signing, was Andrews' teammate between 2014-15.

One of those faces, Eagles Run Game Coordinator and Offensive Line Coach Jeff Stoutland, arrived in Philadelphia just a year before Andrews.

"He is one of the best coaches I have ever been around," said Andrews. "No matter where you are at in your career, he continues to develop you. He is still the same."

Andrews views his third time around being coached by Stoutland as attending graduate school at "Stoutland University."

Playing three positions on the offensive line has helped Andrews stay around in the league. Per Andrews, he was brought in to add depth at center. With the Saints last season, Andrews started at each guard position once and center three times. Last year also saw him see action in 331 offensive snaps, a career high.

Another advantage of coming back to Philadelphia is Andrews' familiarity with Head Coach Nick Sirianni. The tandem spent two seasons together in Indianapolis (2018-19) where Sirianni was the offensive coordinator.

"Nick is Nick, he is a great coach," Andrews said. "The offense he runs is great. It is a mix of everything I have ran in my career."

Learning the playbook has been a quicker and easier process for Andrews thanks to his time with Sirianni.

Adapting quickly to the system, Andrews will add depth and experience to a well-oiled Eagles locker room. – Written by Owen Boyle

Can you believe that more than 50,000 fans turned out for Sunday night's Public Practice at Lincoln Financial Field?!? When it comes to Eagles fans, nothing should surprise you. Check out some of the best photos from a fun night in South Philadelphia.

The new linebackers settle in quickly

Both Zach Cunningham and Myles Jack understand the challenge they face: They joined the Eagles on Sunday, hit the field for the first time on Tuesday, and have roughly three weeks to make a favorable impression, earn roster spots, and press for playing time with the intent of impacting the linebacker room.

It's just how the business works.

And it's the way the business works for the Eagles as well. Executive Vice President/General Manager Howie Roseman made the move on Sunday as the team agreed to terms with both Jack and Cunningham, two veterans with a lot of starting experience. It's Roseman delivering on his promise to continually challenge the roster, no matter the position. The Eagles will see how the competition plays itself out over the course of August.

For Cunningham and Jack, they're grateful to be Eagles and they are digging in. Jack arrived to town with "two pairs of drawers (underwear), two pairs of sweats, two pairs of socks to my name, my Bible in my bag." Both worked out on Sunday at the NovaCare Complex and agreed to terms later in the day and stepped into practice on Tuesday after a study session on the players' day off on Monday.

This is moving so fast, right?

The first order of business is to learn the playbook – they have a working knowledge of NFL systems, so it's about the language and the adjustments – and then get out on the field, knock off the rust, and show what they can do. Both Cunningham and Jack have taken reps with the starters and with the No. 2 defense as the coaching staff continues to rotate players through and see how they handle the environment. - Written by Dave Spadaro

How is the punting competition going?

For the first time since 2017, there is a true punter competition at Training Camp. That year, Donnie Jones and Cameron Johnston battled for the position with the former winning the job. According to Special Teams Coordinator Michael Clay, there is another competition at punter this year.

Arryn Siposs is joined by undrafted free agent Ty Zentner as the two punters battling it out for the position.

"They are competing at a high level," Clay said. "It is encouraging to see the competition. It would be a little worrisome if there was not any competition, but they are pushing each other. It is a good battle. It is what we want out of Training Camp."

The pair has been working alongside Clay at the NovaCare Complex in the spring. During camp, both players have seen equal reps in special teams drills and when the specialists are practicing on a separate field from the rest of the team.

The kickers and punters often practice on the opposite field from all the action. Not much attention is paid to them by the spectators, but with a competition this close, they should.

One day, the focus was holding. The drill centered around each punter catching snaps from long snapper Rick Lovato with kicker Jake Elliott then drilling it through the uprights. Siposs has plenty of experience catching snaps from Lovato and holding kicks for Elliott. This gave the rookie Zentner the bulk of the opportunities, helping him continue to get acclimated to the operation.

Zentner comes into the building with a versatile kicking background. He was one of four FBS players (only one from a Power 5 school) to handle a majority of their team's punting, kickoffs, and FGs/XPAs in 2022.

One interesting note is the difference between the footballs in college and the NFL. However, Clay does not view that as a hindrance to Zentner's development.

"I don't even factor in the balls," Clay said. "It is all in the mechanics and how he gets it off."

Punter isn't the only competition in camp as the kick return game has also caught Clay's eye. The Eagles have a unique group of returners who all show reason for their inclusion. Britain Covey, Rashaad Penny, Boston Scott, and Trey Sermon were catching lofted balls from an automatic machine and then attacking an oncoming defense. Covey and Scott returned punts and kicks for the team last season, while Penny and Sermon are new to the rotation.

For Clay, these drills are about getting reps and working on catch mechanics.

"You want to fine-tune your catch mechanics," Clay said. "We are just trying to get everybody ready. They have been doing a good job fielding the ball and their catch mechanics have been good."

Rashaad Penny, who has not returned any kicks since the 2019 season with the Seattle Seahawks, has a notable history in the kickoff return game. In four seasons at San Diego State, Penny recorded seven kickoff return touchdowns, which is tied for the most all-time in NCAA FBS history.

"He was a heck of a kick returner at San Diego State," Clay said. "He is getting back into it; it is like riding a bike for him."

Clay and Penny have talked at length about the latter being comfortable with and potentially being used in the kick return game.

With tight competition between the punters and notable changes with kickoff returns, the special teams unit is staying busy at Training Camp. – Written by Owen Boyle

Practice Notes: How are the new linebackers assimilating into the defense?

I'm excited to watch this linebacker competition continue to unfold this summer, because I thought a handful of guys flashed today in these run-heavy periods. Christian Elliss popped early, stacking and shedding an offensive lineman on a run to the right by Rashaad Penny. Elliss' explosiveness showed up multiple times as well today, flying into the backfield or to the flat to corral ball carriers. Myles Jack, mixing in once again with the first-team defense, had a really impressive rep playing downhill to find the football. Zach Cunningham made his presence felt as well, beating a block and thudding up Penny on an inside run early on in the day. Cunningham also was in on an incompletion to a tight end midway through the session. Watching this play out through preseason games will be a big topic this month.

The depth up front is outstanding for this team once again, and two players who have really caught my eye this summer are Milton Williams and Kentavius Street. Both guys have very similar skill sets and backgrounds as converted college defensive ends who made late transitions inside. They're both very violent and urgent through contact, with the ability to win from multiple techniques up front. Williams knifed into the backfield, splitting a double team to wrap up a ball carrier early on in an 11-on-11 period halfway through practice.

Howie Roseman makes some roster moves

The Eagles announced several roster moves ahead of Tuesday's practice:

• Activated WR Devon Allen from the Non-Football Injury List

Allen was placed on the list at the start of Training Camp. He is eligible to practice. Allen spent all of 2022 on the Eagles' practice squad after spending several years focusing exclusively on his track and field career. Allen caught a 55-yard touchdown pass in the preseason game against the Browns last season.

• Signed WR Johnny King

King was in Training Camp with the Indianapolis Colts until he was waived by the team last Wednesday. The Colts signed the 6-foot-5, 209-pound wide receiver as a rookie free agent out of Southeast Missouri State. In 36 career games (31 starts) at Southeast Missouri State (2020-22) and Northeastern Oklahoma A&M (2019), King registered 142 receptions for 1,836 yards and 14 touchdowns.

• Released T Chim Okorafor and T Trevor Reid

Okorafor was a rookie free agent signing out of Benedictine, where he was an NAIA All-America selection last season.

Reid spent three years at Louisville, playing in 34 games (24 starts) before signing with the Eagles as a rookie free agent following the 2023 NFL Draft. - Written by Chris McPherson

The Eagles Cheerleaders sizzle outside of the football field, performing at various star-studded events throughout the year. Earlier this summer, the Eagles Cheerleaders performed on stage with Michael Ray and Darius Rucker, along with Jordan Mailata, at the Barefoot Country Music Fest.

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