PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — On a warm July day, there appeared to be more media members on the sidelines than there were players on the field.
Such was the case with a rather quiet opening to training camp for the Eagles. The day was the first of three limited to rookies, quarterbacks and selected veterans with the first full squad workout scheduled for Thursday. For rookies such as Wide Receiver Mack Hollins, much of the first day was a carryover from the team’s rookie mini-camp which took place in the spring.
“I think it went well,” said Hollins. “This is the same install we had for rookies camp, so this is stuff that we should all be familiar with.”
Head Coach Doug Pederson is eager to get his full squad in later in the week, but understands the value of the individual work for the rookies. It will be the last chance his rookies will be able to receive more individual attention and Pederson is hoping his first year players will take advantage of their opportunity.
“I’m excited to see these guys the next couple days,” Pederson said. “This is a great opportunity for them to get in here and to learn some more one-on-one with their coaches, for the coaches to teach and get these guys ready for when the vets come.”
The quarterbacks are some of the few veterans who have joined the young players for the first three days. One notable attendee is Carson Wentz, who continues to make a strong impression both on and off the field. Quarterback Nick Foles has returned to Philadelphia this season to serve as a backup and said he has been impressed with Wentz’s approach to the game.
“There’s a lot of pressure for a second-year guy,” said Foles. “He handles it really well. He does everything the right way. It’s really neat to see a guy that young and that mature at this position.”
Pederson believes Wentz will benefit from playing 16 games last season. Pederson also feels a more relaxing off-season will pay dividends for Wentz as he prepared for the grind of training camp over the next three weeks.
“He came in with the right frame of mind,” Pederson said. “Last year at this time if you recall, he had played a ton of football in college with the Senior Bowl, combine, all the workouts, getting ready for camp, OTAs, the whole thing. He played a lot of football and never really had an off-season last year.”
The rookies understand there is still plenty of work to do. Top draft pick Derek Barnett does not mind having his locker in the same area as many of the un-drafted players. Barnett believes he still has a lot to learn this summer, but began training camp with confidence as he took the field.
“It feels like I’m a freshman again,” said Barnett. “I’ve got to come in and work hard and prove to my teammates that it’s important to me. I have to show the coaches they can trust me if they put me on the field. I’ve just got to put my head down and keep working.”