Head coach Andy Reid surmised the atmosphere at Training Camp with the first practice set to start on Monday morning with a very simple quote.
"It's different," Reid said.
Reid was not talking about the location of camp, the amenities or the changes to the rules regarding practice with the Collective Bargaining Agreement. This year, every draft pick was signed well before the start of camp. There are no players expected to hold out over contracts after all of the long-term extensions that were handed out in the offseason.
Instead of keeping tabs on distractions, Reid and his coaching staff can focus on football. The rookies will receive the lion's share of the reps over the next three days. Reid said this will be a great review session so that once the full-team practices begin Thursday they can hit the ground running and not think too much on the field. With camp hosted at Lehigh, Reid also embraces the opportunity to learn what his team is all about.
"I love that you're able to develop some sort of camaraderie. You're stuck in the dorms up there for a few weeks here. You get to know the guy next to you. You understand your teammates and develop this relationship there," Reid said.
"You do that with the physical play on the field. You find out from a coaching standpoint who is going to be with you in the tough times. Every game you are presented with the highs and the lows. Who is going to be there during the lows, man? Who is going to push themselves? No matter how you work the sport, you have to be mentally tough to do this thing."
There are a number of jobs that will be won and lost over the next couple of weeks. A lot of those battles will be to fill out the 53-man roster, but there will be some crucial battles fought as well. The Eagles signed veteran safety Oshiomogho Atogwe prior to Training Camp to push Kurt Coleman. Back in April, Brandon Boykin was drafted to challenge Joselio Hanson for the nickel corner spot.
"I want everybody competing for a starting position," Reid said.
And that's exactly what Reid wants to be concerned with.
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