PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — On a sun-soaked Sunday morning, nearly 23,000 fans welcomed the Eagles home.
After practicing at the NovaCare complex for the first week of training camp, the Eagles arrived the Linc for their first public practice of the summer. It was also Military Day as the players honored America’s finest and handed off jerseys after practice was completed. For newcomer LeGarrette Blount, the large throng of fans was an impressive site to see in South Philadelphia.
“The fans out here show a lot of love,” said Blount. “They seem really genuine and they seem like they love the game. We’re going to try to go out there and give them a show.”
Blount and the rest of his offensive teammates continue to make a strong impression. Taking center stage yet again was Quarterback Carson Wentz, who continue to impress this summer. Offensive tackle Jason Peters says there is a noticeable difference in Wentz this year from his rookie season.
“He’s more comfortable this year than last year,” Peters said. “He’s very comfortable. Last year, he was learning. He’s still learning, but he’s more comfortable than last year.”
The defense is usually ahead of the offense in the early stages of training camp, but the defensive backfield has had some rough moments with the pass rush on hold until the hitting increases. Cornerback Ron Brooks knows there is still work to be done, but believes the Eagles have plenty of time to get settled in the secondary.
“There are times where everything isn’t the way we want it to be,” said Brooks. “It’s not supposed to be that way right now. We’re in camp. There are going to be mistakes. We just have to make sure we get all of these things corrected now so that when it comes time for the season, we’re not out there looking like we don’t know what we’re doing.”
One player who was eager to get back in front of the fans was Lane Johnson. The offensive lineman missed much of last season due to a suspension and feels he owes something to both his teammates and the fans.
“I’ve got a lot to prove to this city,” Johnson said. “I think we can have a few big years and make the playoffs. If we win a Super Bowl, I’m giving out beer to everybody. We’ve just got to worry about week one and focus on that right now.”
If Sunday was any indication, the enthusiasm of the fans has not dwindled during the off-season.
“It’s Philly,” said Johnson. “They’re always excited.”