On Tuesday, the pads came on for the first time in Training Camp; it also saw more activity from the Eagles' safeties. A notable position that fans set their sights on coming into camp, was how Defensive Coordinator Sean Desai planned on deploying his safeties after losing two starters via free agency. Fans got their first glimpse of the team's approach when Reed Blankenship and Terrell Edmunds lined up with each other in the secondary.
Blankenship is entering Year 2 with the team after signing as an undrafted free agent following the 2022 NFL Draft. The safety flew out of the gate when given his first opportunity. In just his second game getting defensive snaps, he notched his first-career interception against Aaron Rodgers on Sunday Night Football.
Blankenship was featured in 10 regular-season games, starting four. He registered 32 total tackles and one interception. Blankenship became just the third undrafted rookie in Eagles history to start a playoff game. In the postseason, he made nine total tackles, including one tackle for loss.
Getting starting experience last season has helped Blankenship prepare for a potentially bigger role this season.
"It helped me tremendously," Blankenship said. "Especially feeling the tempo of the game. Coming from college and then going to the league, it is still two different tempos."
On the opposite side of the safety tandem is newly acquired veteran Terrell Edmunds. The Eagles signed Edmunds as a free agent during the offseason.
Edmunds is entering his sixth season in the NFL. He spent his first five years with the Pittsburgh Steelers. In 79 career games (75 starts), Edmunds has collected 405 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 26 pass deflections, and six interceptions. He also has playoff experience, starting both games he played in.
The new Eagle has assumed a more vocal leadership role within the safeties group.
"I try to be a leader on the defense," Edmunds said. "Regardless of who is on the field, I try to go out there and play my position and help my brothers out."
Edmunds has taken on that same role in his partnership with Blankenship. The latter uses the former for advice on and off the field.
"I can ask Terrell anything I want, and he will answer it," Blankenship said. "It doesn't matter if you are a rookie or have been in the league for years, if you have a question about something he is not going to be afraid to answer it."
The chemistry between the two has grown and the duo has started to feel more comfortable with each other.
"We are growing together well and meshing well," Edmunds said. "We talk a lot, especially on the sidelines. We make sure we see everything the same way and that is a big thing with the DB room."
Practice is also used for rotation, and we saw a lot of that at first-team safety on Tuesday. Some other safeties have seen action alongside Blankenship and Edmunds, including K'Von Wallace and Sydney Brown. For the safeties, it is all about growing and playing well together.
"Each day we get stronger and stronger with each other," Blankenship said. "Our relationships are growing, our personalities are showing, and that is what is so great about being in that room. We are just having fun with it."
Blankenship and Edmunds will continue to work on growing their chemistry while jelling with the other safeties throughout the rest of Training Camp. - Written by Owen Boyle
Check out the safeties on the Eagles' roster heading into Training Camp, presented by Independence Blue Cross. Players are listed in numerical order.