As the calendar rolled into June, the Eagles hit the field for another day of OTAs.
It has become an almost-daily happening: Cornerback Aaron Grymes gets his hands on the football. In this instance, Grymes makes a leaping interception of a Nick Foles pass and heads the other way with the football in his hands, hoping to take another step toward making the Eagles' 53-man roster and adding to the defenisve backfield.
It hasn't been an easy climb for Grymes, a one-time standout at Idaho who plied his trade for three seasons in the Canadian Football League, became an all-star there, won a championship, and then signed with the Eagles in February, 2016.
All of these months later, Grymes is well aware of reality of the league: It's a business. His strong play in the spring and through the preseason put Grymes in position to situate himself right on the "bubble" of the 2016 roster, but a spectacular diving interception in the end zone ended with a painful landing, and a ticket off the roster.
Grymes made the play with the interception in the team's second preseason game against the Steelers, but he suffered a sprained AC joint in the process and was waived/injured a couple of days later.
"It was so hard to accept, because I was playing well and really thought I had a chance to make the team," Grymes said. "But that's how it goes in this game. You can't take anything for granted. I just had to work hard to make my way back.
"I'm probably a little bit more hungry to be honest just because I felt like I was on the cusp last year, I felt like I had a good chance of making it and an unfortunate situation happened, so this year I'm kind of trying to build off that but being a little bit more hungry and knowing what to expect and knowing what the coaches expect out of me and trying to top what I did last year."
So how does Grymes make it? Well, the cornerback depth chart is fluid. It is very much an "open competition," and Grymes knows the scheme and he's playing with a lot of confidence. He isn't the biggest cornerback here. He's not the fastest. And, having been in the professional game for four years, he's not the youngest.
How does Grymes get better? He points to his head.
"Smarter. I mean I'm 26 years old now, so I don't know if I'm gonna get any faster," he said. "I'm not gonna get any taller, but I think I can become a lot more educated, so I try to learn from Jenk (Malcolm Jenkins) and Rodney (McLeod) and those guys.
"It's an open competition, a lot of young guys, even with (Patrick Robinson, a veteran free agent signee), he's not a young guy but he's new, so it's an open competition and I know that all of us are competing, but I know that we're all doing it in a friendly manner. We like each other. We help each other out, and we're trying to be better every day and that's exactly how I feel."
It helps when Grymes keeps making plays on the practice field. Training Camp and the preseason games will tell the full tale of his chances. Until then, Grymes plans to keep doing his thing - taking advantage of every practice rep and making sure to go get the football when he has the chance to do so.