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Kick Off Camp: Don't take this position for granted

Jake Elliott led the NFL with 51 PATs in 2022.
Jake Elliott led the NFL with 51 PATs in 2022.

Week 2 of Eagles Training Camp is in the books! Gear up for Sunday's Public Practice at Lincoln Financial Field with Kick Off Camp, presented by Quaker.

Recap the longest practice of Training Camp

Pre-practice injury report: Linebacker Nakobe Dean suffered an ankle injury during Thursday's practice and is listed as day to day. He did not practice on Friday and neither did cornerback James Bradberry, who is day to day with a groin injury, and wide receiver Deon Cain, who is sidelined with an ankle injury.

Defensive end Derek Barnett (knee) and cornerback Avonte Maddox (toe) are both experiencing an uptick in their on-field snaps, but are still limited with their respective injuries. Linebacker Haason Reddick was also limited with groin soreness.

During the second team period, linebacker Patrick Johnson suffered an undisclosed injury and had to be carted off the field.

1. While Defensive Coordinator Sean Desai holds his pre-practice press conference, I walked the sidelines at the NovaCare Complex to take in the scene as the Eagles prepared for an intense, pads-on practice on an overcast Friday morning. Nolan Smith is off in the distance working on his get-off with an assistant coach. A.J. Brown, D'Andre Swift, and Kenneth Gainwell are taking turns running the rope ladder, practicing their footwork. Jake Elliott and the rest of the specialists are refining their kicking operation, knowing that they'll be called on early in practice for a field goal period. As I make my way back towards the press conference tent, Darius Slay enters the practice field, interacting with a local Pop Warner team on his way to his pre-practice routine. – Fran Duffy

2. After the offense goes through the ball security circuit, they break into position groups for individual drills. For the wide receivers, that means working on a handful of areas of their game in rapid succession. First, the group works on their toe taps along the sideline, with coaches getting the players to drag their second foot after the catch in order to secure the reception in bounds. This technique would come in handy for DeVonta Smith in the 7-on-7 period, when he kept both feet in by the near pylon for a touchdown catch. After, the group worked on their pad level going in and out of route breaks. To do this, Wide Receivers Coach Aaron Moorehead stood at their landmark a few yards away, getting down on one knee with his hand out. The young players ran their route, sinking their hips so far that they could slap Moorehead's hand at the break, before going back to catch the football. Several of the Eagles' coaches, including Head Coach Nick Sirianni, stopped by to offer coaching points to players as they went through the drill. – Fran Duffy

Meet the 2023 Eagles Cheerleaders

The Philadelphia Eagles have officially unveiled the Eagles Cheerleader roster for the 2023 season. This year's team is made up of 33 members who will proudly represent the organization as brand ambassadors. The squad performs for more than 70,000 fans on gamedays at Lincoln Financial Field and serves the community, both in Philadelphia and beyond, throughout the year.

Hundreds of impressive candidates spanning across the United States, as well as internationally, applied for the prestigious role. Comprised of eight new members and 25 returning veterans, the team includes an oncology research scientist, a data analyst, and an immuno-oncology researcher at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

"We are excited to welcome eight new members to the 2023 Eagles Cheerleader Team," said Jen Kavanagh, Senior Vice President of Media and Marketing, Philadelphia Eagles. "As brand ambassadors for the organization, the Eagles Cheerleaders take great pride in giving back to the community and have a unique platform to engage with Eagles fans everywhere through their involvement in goodwill military tours, humanitarian efforts, and community outreach. They bring the energy and passion of the Eagles brand to life, and we look forward to the positive impact they will make this season."

"The Eagles Cheerleaders are thrilled to be making their 2023 season debut when they perform at our Public Practice at Lincoln Financial Field this Sunday, August 6," said Barbara Zaun, Director of Entertainment Teams, Philadelphia Eagles. "This year's newly selected cheerleaders are joining the organization at a very exciting time, as they will also take part in celebrating the return of the classic Kelly Green throwback uniforms alongside our fans."

Get used to seeing the Eagles Cheerleaders under the bright lights as the team plays several prime-time matchups in 2023.

Marcus Mariota settles into No. 2 QB role

He is in his ninth NFL season, so having to learn a new offensive system for the eighth time is something quarterback Marcus Mariota is embracing. New language. New cadence. New way of stacking the playcalling.

Loving every minute of it in Philadelphia, a team with high expectations, a great surrounding cast in a proven offensive scheme, and with a fan base that has shown him a lot of love, Philly style.

"It's a great opportunity for me to be around a great group of guys," Mariota said. "It's been a lot of fun getting to know them, building these relationships up, continuing to connect. Every single day I just love coming out here and competing with these guys. I'm trying to do my part to make the team better."

We know how valuable the No. 2 quarterback position is. History tells us it can, in extreme cases, make a season (see Nick Foles, 2017 Eagles) or break a season (see Jim McMahon and others, 1991 Eagles). The Eagles have Jalen Hurts as the starter and there really aren't enough superlatives to describe him on and off the field, but even in the 2022 season, Hurts was sidelined for two games and the Eagles dropped both of them (at Dallas, vs. New Orleans) with Gardner Minshew taking the snaps.

So, the addition of Mariota – who started 13 games with Atlanta last season and tossed 15 touchdown passes and nine interceptions and added another four scores and 438 yards on the ground – in free agency was important. - Written by Dave Spadaro

– Kick Off Camp, presented by Quaker, has been compiled by Owen Boyle