Philadelphia Eagles News

Thrill Of Eagles Training Camp Is Here

I could sit here and write all night about what Friday afternoon was like on the perfect fields of Lehigh University under a gorgeous blue sky and a warm sun as the Eagles came out for a full-team practice and the depth chart looked as I expected it to look and Kevin Kolb threw two of the prettiest deep passes I have ever seen and .... on and on and on ...

But I won't. I'll turn my attention toward the weekend ahead, when the pads go on and we get our first real feel for this football team.

I will, of course, overreact each day, and somebody from the Eagles' personnel department or the coaching staff or a fan will pull me aside and say, "Yo, Spuds. Long way to go here. Calm down."

And I'll grin and tell them they are right and then I'll go right back to hyperbole. Controlled hyperbole, of course. I'm a veteran of these camps, but each year the first weekend comes along and the excitement level is off the charts.

How can you not feel that way about this team? The Eagles have turned over the roster in the last couple of years and looking out on the field and seeing all of those young studs on offense, the changing names on the line, the new faces on defense and so many kids coming off the sidelines it really hits you: This is a new generation of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Now, what I didn't feel on Friday was the "Where is Donovan McNabb?" question. He is gone. Not forgotten, never forgotten, but he is gone. This is Kolb's show now, ladies and gentlemen, and everything is different. Kolb is a different person, a different quarterback and a new kind of leader for this football team.

The defense will command my attention for much of this weekend. I have watched every snap of the practices and the offense has all the weapons. DeSean Jackson, by the way, is so much better than he was last year that it's scary. He is stronger. His feet are quicker. He has clearly been working hard on his game. The young man is going to be hard to stop. Jeremy Maclin is playing so much faster, LeSean McCoy is in great shape and Brent Celek could catch 90 passes this season.

But the defense ... I'd love to tell you about the defense. I don't know, though. Nobody does. They haven't tackled since January and, well, that game against Dallas didn't go very well for anybody.

So, I'll sleep on it tonight. Not too well, I'm sure. I'll be up early, to the field first thing. I want to hear the fans react when the Eagles walk onto the field. I want to hear the cracking of shoulder pads colliding. I want to see some scraps and some struggles and some players lay it all on the line because they know that if they don't, they won't be here very long.

I want to see this new generation of Eagles. I want to see this team every team grow into something special, something Super. It really starts for me over the course of the next few days when the whistle blows and the defense can hit and, well, we see some real football played.

Welcome, then, to the 2010 season. Welcome to training camp, Eagles style.

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