Monday morning officially marked the start of Eagles Training Camp 2016, and following the first practice of camp at the NovaCare Complex, head coach Doug Pederson spoke with the Philadelphia media. Take a look at the key topics he addressed during his early afternoon press conference ...
Pederson's First Camp As Head Coach
While today was Pederson's first camp as a head coach, he's been through this process time and time again. He spent 14 year participating in Training Camps as a player and this season marks his eighth as a coach.
Nevertheless, there was still an excitement in the air as Day One approached.
"Yeah, I had a hard time sleeping last night," Pederson said. "We left here doing the meetings last night. Just anxious to get here, excited to be here. Wanted to be here extremely early, but it's one of those deals too where you've just got to pace yourself. It's a long camp. You take it day by day.
"I was excited to pull into work this morning and know that this was going to be the first one and get a chance to work with these guys, and for the next three days to really get back into football mode, mentally and physically. I was really excited for this morning."
Sam Bradford Is Healthy
For the first time in a few years, Bradford entered Training Camp with a clean bill of health, without having to spend the last few months rehabbing. Instead, he spent that time getting his mind and body ready for the season ahead.
According to Pederson, Bradford's healthy offseason was of the utmost importance. It gave the quarterback peace of mind and allowed him to focus on playing his best football as opposed to being concerned about whether or not he'd see the field.
"I think it's huge. It's everything," Pederson said. "I can remember even in Kansas City with Eric Fisher who was injury, injury, and then had a full offseason, healthy, going into the season. It's just a tremendous boost, mentally, physically, the whole thing. I know that's where Sam's at. I know that's the mindset coming into this camp is the fact he had an entire offseason, could get stronger, get in the weight room, do all the things that the guys were doing and it just gives you a boost of confidence going into the season."
First NFL Training Camp For Carson Wentz
The 2016 NFL Draft second-overall pick was ready to go Monday morning, which Pederson was excited to see. Even though Wentz is coming in as the Eagles' No. 3 quarterback, it's clear he is focused on improving as much as possible in order to be ready if and when his number is called.
"You just love everything about this kid. His energy, his work ethic, you know, it's just little things now, detailed things in his footwork, his drop, the progressions and where his eyes are," Pederson explained. "Those are the things in the National Football League from a quarterback standpoint that really become very important on a game day. And those are the things that we've got to continue to work with him on throughout camp."
Pederson also touched on the current quarterback situation, stating his understanding for how tough it may be for the rookie.
"One thing that Carson has going for him, he's very mature for who he is and where he's at and what he's coming into. Even through the success of his college days, that he understands what's in front of him, and he understands there's a lot of work in front of him," Pederson said. "We as coaches have got to get him starter ready so that one day, whenever that is, he's the guy to take over. But right now he's just working day by day, and we continue to watch and monitor his progress. But it is a tough, tough situation for him."
Isaac Seumalo's Missed Time
Due to his academic schedule, the Eagles' third-round pick Seumalo was not present during the team's OTAs this spring. The guard will be competing for a starting spot on the offensive line this season, and while he is a tad bit behind in terms of the learning process, Pederson was pleased with his first day of practice.
"Great. I thought he came out here. He was in a great frame of mind. He was in shape, ready to go," Pederson said. "He's so smart and intelligent. One thing I give (offensive line) Coach (Jeff) Stoutland a lot of credit for is spending time with him this offseason: Skyping with him during the regulated hours that he could talk with him and he did a great job and caught him up. (Seumalo) looked good today."
The guard will need to make up some ground by getting to know his teammates, learning the calls and getting live reps. But, Pederson feels Seumalo will catch up quickly, as if he missed no time at all.
Depth At Cornerback
On the defensive side of the ball, it's clear the Eagles have a number of bodies at the cornerback position, with the likes of Leodis McKelvin, Nolan Carroll, Jalen Mills, Eric Rowe and Ron Brooks to name a few. The spot will clearly be a battle throughout Training Camp, but Pederson is a fan of the competition.
"It's going to be a position that we continue to look at and continue to evaluate throughout camp," Pederson said. "It's exciting to have so many guys at one position that you can really evaluate and make those roster moves. Then you've got combinations. Whether you're nickel or you're dime and then all of (defensive coordinator) (Jim) Schwartz's packages and everything. So as we go, we continue to evaluate it, but I'm excited that we have depth at that position."
Pads On Saturday
Finally, as Pederson had mentioned before, the Eagles will have a more physical Training Camp than in year's past. His plan as of now is to have the team practice three days in pads, one without and three more days in pads. That rotation is scheduled to being on Saturday. "Saturday will be the first day," Pederson said. "Saturday morning. Because with the league and everything you have a little ramp up period there, so Saturday's the first day."