- Good morning, everyone. Today marks the beginning of an amazing weekend as Brian Dawkins goes into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night in Canton, Ohio. As Eagles Nation descends upon the Rust Belt section of our country to celebrate one of the franchise's most beloved players, the NFL announced plans for the NFL Kickoff Party in Philadelphia on the night of the season opener. The action on the field continues with a lighter 10-10-10 practice Friday. Head coach Doug Pederson addresses the media at 11:30 this morning and we'll carry it live here. Until then, enjoy the wide variety of fare served up in our Morning Roundup presented by Microsoft.
1. Cheer, Tears, And Appreciation For Brian Dawkins
Dave Spadaro is on his way to Canton to witness the enshrinement of one of the game's all-time greats in B-Dawk. He wrote on Thursday night about how this is special for Eagles fans because he's one of the few in the Hall of Fame who is truly one of us.
He is ours, one of the most beloved Eagles in franchise history, and we'll all understand the tears and we'll take to heart the message and we will know exactly where Brian Dawkins is coming from when he addresses the world upon his enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night in Canton, Ohio. A special year for the Eagles and for Eagles fans around the world gains new appreciation when Dawkins, as he is introduced by former teammate Troy Vincent, takes to the microphone.
This weekend is something special, something historic, and certainly a moment to treasure for everyone who loves the Philadelphia Eagles. There are going to be thousands of fans on hand wearing their Midnight Green Eagles gear – the Green Legion fan travel company has nearly 1,000 fans signed up to attend – and they are also going to feel it when Dawkins addresses the live crowd and the television audience with his usual gusto and emotion and honesty. Having Dawkins go in represents justice for a Hall of Fame that hasn't been very kind to NFL safeties, so to recognize how Dawkins helped change the game and redefine the position means so much in so many ways.
2. Shawn Mendes To Perform In Philadelphia On September 6
The NFL announced during its Hall of Fame Game telecast that multi-platinum singer/songwriter Shawn Mendes will perform to highlight a day-long festival at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia. Activities include a re-watch party of Super Bowl LII. Additional performances and activities will be announced in the coming weeks.
The event is free and open to the public rain or shine. Access to the general public viewing areas is first come, first served. Fans may check out NFL.com/Kickoff for the most up-to-date concert details.
3. Taking Stock Of The Draft Class In Camp
The Eagles' quintet of draft picks is making strides with the first preseason game now less than a week away. How are the players faring? Dave Spadaro offers a comprehensive look, but here are his notes on sixth-round offensive lineman Matt Pryor.
Here's an interesting sixth-round draft pick. Matt Pryor has opened eyes in Training Camp. He's a huge guy who has played both guard and tackle. At 6-7, 338 pounds, Pryor has to show that he's athletic enough to play tackle, so for now let's project him as a guard. Ultimately, Pryor will need more strength and refined technique to reach his ceiling, but he's definitely shown something in this camp. He's on the come.
"No complaints. I think I'm doing pretty well," Pryor said. "Training Camp is practice and meetings and then we go back to the hotel and look at some film. I think my adjustment has gone well. It's a pro-style offense, not a spread, and I feel like I've come a long way. You have to bring your 'A' game every day. Stout (Jeff Stoutland, offensive line coach) says, 'You have to earn your spot every day,' so that's what I'm trying to do. I'm bringing my lunch pail to work every day and having that mindset. I'm pleased with how everything has done. Lot more to do, but I feel I'm getting better every day."
4. Practice Notes: Defense Leads The Way
Offensive coordinator Mike Groh conceded this much after Thursday's practice which featured live hitting in goal-line and short-yardage situations.
"I thought on the goal line there's some areas that we need to improve," Groh said. "I thought the defense got the better of us there."
There were still plenty of highlights from both sides of the ball. Fran Duffy and Ben Fennell's daily opus includes this nugget.
During individual sessions, the tight end group was working on the popular "Copper" route, a double move where the tight end fakes the corner route then breaks to the post. Zach Ertz made several big plays last season on this route, particularly in the red zone, and it was clear he was the sharpest of the group running it in practice. Ertz has fluid body movements and change of direction skills but also demonstrates the patience required to set up the double move. Rookie Dallas Goedert was a bit rushed in executing his routes and wasn't fully selling the corner at the top of the route. Rookies can often over-emphasize the need to play fast once in the NFL, but it's important to know when to be a patient, methodical route runner as well.
5. Jenkins With Some Powerful Words About Dawkins
Paul Domowitch wrote a masterful piece this week about Brian Dawkins' battle with depression and how his wife, Connie, helped save his life. It is one of the best Dawkins features you will read this week because it highlights the struggles that even the most popular of players can deal with as well as the need for a strong support system. Safety Malcolm Jenkins was asked about B-Dawk's willingness to open up about his mental health and his words were - as always - very poignant.
6. Reminder: Public Practice This Sunday Night
The players are off on Saturday to get ready for the first of two public practices at Lincoln Financial Field. It's Military Appreciation Night presented by Dietz & Watson. If you have a ticket for the event, here is all the information you need.