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2024 Schedule Release

Philadelphia Eagles News

Spadaro: The intense transition to the NFL begins with Rookie Minicamp

Jalyx Hunt
Jalyx Hunt

The sheer adrenaline of being selected during or signed after the 2024 NFL Draft is now replaced by a business mindset. And with that focus, 41 players (including assorted young veterans and tryout players) are taking part in the Eagles Rookie Minicamp this weekend at the NovaCare Complex, understanding that a lot is going to be thrown on their laps.

Buzz? Very much so, and in a rare scene two veterans lent a supportive voice and ear at the Friday practice – offensive tackle Jordan Mailata and wide receiver A.J. Brown. That's leadership. That's a team looking out for each other.

"I think it goes back to having three different offensive coordinators in my three years at Clemson," fourth-round draft pick running back Will Shipley said. "It's something that I'm really used to – getting in a playbook and having to learn it quick and then being ready to go out to the field, whether it's a walkthrough or the real, live stuff. Just being ready to go."

Things move quickly in the NFL.

The transition is an intense one.

"I just need the reps outside of just getting the opportunity to get the reps in day in and day out," third-round draft pick edge player Jalyx Hunt said on Friday as the players prepared for their first on-field work of the weekend. "I don't think it will be a huge transition, but I definitely have to train like a pro, get my moves up to pro level, my technique needs to improve a little bit.

"I think the biggest transition will be to just play at a high level consistently."

Truth. But it's more than that, as the rookies are just starting to learn. Playing at a consistently high level only happens when players perform at a high level every single day, on and off the field. Learning how to be a Philadelphia Eagle starts now.

"I have to be a little bit more, I guess you could say, detailed in my work, especially now that I'm in a professional setting," fifth-round pick wide receiver Ainias Smith said. "I'm just excited to be here, eager to work."

The players are here with open eyes and open ears. This is a totally new experience, obviously, and they're asked to learn a lot in a short period of time. From the jump, the players know that this is a business and they are to treat every day as such.

This weekend is about dipping their toes, so to speak, in the world of the Philadelphia Eagles, to gain a taste of the tempo and the intensity and the daily expectations of the coaching staff and the organization.

"Just get (immersed) into the culture," Head Coach Nick Sirianni said. "We can go over our core values – what they are, what they mean, how we do it, but until you start doing it, your culture is just your behavior. Until we start doing those things, they're just words on the wall.

"It's just getting (immersed) into the culture and part of that is the detail – understanding what to do and how to do it and just diving into that every day. It's a lot."

Oh, and to not look at the roster and size of the competition. Control what they can control. That's all that matters. And that means putting their noses to the grindstone every minute of every day.

"Just do all the little things right, work my butt off, and just try to be the best teammate I can be," sixth-round draft pick wide receiver Johnny Wilson said.

The euphoria of joining an NFL team was so last weekend. It's on to the real thing now at the NovaCare Complex and taking care of the business at hand.

"This is my job now," sixth-round pick offensive lineman Dylan McMahon said. "We're here to work and make ourselves better and this team better. That's what this is about."

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