It's a rainy morning in Philadelphia, but there's plenty to look forward to with the first preseason game this Thursday at 8 p.m. against the Green Bay Packers (NBC10, SportsRadio 94WIP). Sunday marked the final Open Practice at Lincoln Financial Field and over 36,000 fans took advantage of the beautiful weather and fun activities for fans of all ages. Here's what else you need to know for Monday, August 7.
1. Neighborhood Rallies For Disabled Man
Mark Smith was the victim of a cruel and horrific attack that went viral in early June.
A group of juveniles picked on the man who has intellectual disabilities before two of them sucker punched him.
Smith, who loves the Eagles, recently celebrated his 40th birthday. His friends and community groups in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia wanted to make it a special one. The Eagles were contacted separately by multiple people, and the team hosted Smith, his full-time caretaker of four years Pam Pendleton, and friends at Sunday's Open Practice.
Smith got to meet head coach Doug Pederson, Eagles Hall of Fame safety Brian Dawkins, wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, and tackle Jason Peters among others before watching the start of practice on the field. He took in the rest of practice in a suite. The Eagles presented Smith a jersey with his name and the number 40 on it for the momentous occasion. Pendleton knows how tough it was for Smith after everyone asked him questions about the initial attack.
"I just make sure that even though he was a victim of a crime that you still continue to live your life day by day," Pendleton said. "It's good that support came from all around the country and that there are still good people in the world."
Anticipating the day, Pendleton said Smith was up at 5 a.m. ready to go on Sunday. He thinks the Eagles are playoff-bound this season.
"He's been talking about this for two or three weeks," she said. "It's very special that people made the calls for Mark to attend because otherwis, he would never get an opportunity like this.
"He's a loving person. He's a kind person. He's always worried about other people and he puts himself second."
Two of the lowlifes involved in the attack have been charged by police.
2. Darren Sproles: LaDainian Tomlinson Was Like A Big Brother To Me
LaDainian Tomlinson was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night. Darren Sproles started his career off as a teammate of Tomlinson's in San Diego.
"He was like a big brother to me," Sproles said. "Everyone tries to copy that jump-cut of his."
Sproles said that his favorite memory of playing with Tomlinson was in 2006 when the Hall of Famer broke the single-season touchdown record.
Now serving as a mentor to the running backs on the team, Sproles has put up potential Hall-of-Fame numbers of his own. He's eighth all time in NFL history with 19,011 all-purpose yards. Even though this is potentially his last NFL season, Sproles said he has not thought about his legacy or his chances to make it into Canton.
3. Beau Allen Needs To Get On The Field ... Soon
Defensive tackle Beau Allen is recovering from a torn pectoral muscle that landed him on the Active/Non-Football Injury list to start Training Camp. Should we be concerned about what he's doing with his free time?
4. Kurt Warner: Philly Was The Toughest Place To Play
Another new member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, quarterback Kurt Warner, did a Twitter Q&A on Sunday and was asked which place was the toughest to play.
Should we be surprised by the answer?
5. Torrey Smith Following In Steve Harvey's Footsteps?
Apparently, the wide receiver isn't too keen on what one fan said to him.