The Eagles host the Baltimore Ravens in their first preseason game on Thursday at 7:30 PM and for many players, this will be their first opportunity to showcase their talents in a game before the fans.
Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is one of those players who is excited to play in front of the Philadelphia crowd for the first time.
"That's what the Eagles are known for, having great fans," Rodgers-Cromartie said. "From the time you run out of that tunnel, you're just going to hear it and you're going to feel it."
Defensive end Jason Babin is used to the passionate Philadelphia fans, having played for the team in 2009. He's out with a different mindset - to prove that his Pro Bowl season in 2010 with the Titans wasn't a fluke.
"Talk about having a chip on my shoulder, I got an even bigger chip on my shoulder," Babin said. "I'm going to prove everybody that's saying that (it was a fluke) wrong. I'm going to do whatever I can to make as many plays and help the team."
Rookie guard Julian Vandervelde is looking forward to the opportunity to hit some players on the other team for the first time.
"It's tremendously exciting," Vandervelde said. "Anytime you get into an environment like this, guys are trying to get riled up. You can kind of tell from the practices that we're starting to get tired of hitting each other so it's about time that we get out there and hit somebody else."
Guard Evan Mathis, one of the team's free agent additions, said that it will be great for the Eagles to practice what they've been taught the first few weeks of camp.
"It was good to have a few days off before we were able to practice because it allowed us to get into the playbook and have a pretty good understanding of the plays before we had to get out there and put it into action," Mathis said.
Learning the playbook hasn't come without hours and hours of hard work for most of the players. Rookie guard Danny Watkins, the team's first-round draft pick in April, is one of many still adjusting to the playbook.
"We're all still learning," Watkins said. "It's going to be a learning process throughout the year. It's something that we're going to all have to keep working on and keep developing as an offense."
For the Eagles, Thursday's game will be the first of four preseason games before the regular season begins on September 11 in St. Louis.
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