Eagles

Eagles

The two teams Johnathan Cyprien has played for in his NFL career? The Titans and Jaguars.

The Eagles’ first two preseason opponents? The Titans and Jaguars.

Cyprien got a kick out of learning that when he signed with the Eagles on Saturday, but in the big picture it’s irrelevant.

“I’m still focused on the things in front of me, which is that playbook, because there’s no point in circling guys on your schedule, especially preseason games, if you don’t know what the heck you’re doing out there on the field,” he said. “Trust me, there’s nobody can play well if you don’t know what you’re doing, no matter how great you are.”

And right now that’s all Cyprien is concerned with.

Learning a new playbook with five weeks to go before opening day.

The Eagles signed the 29-year-old veteran safety on Friday, and on Saturday he was out at practice, even taking some reps in 11-on-11 drills, which is kind of unusual for a newcomer.

While his teammates are grinding along in Week 2 of training camp, counting down the days till it’s over, Cyprien was out there Saturday with fresh legs, enjoying every minute of it.

Cyprien missed all of last year with a knee injury he suffered a year ago this week, so this was his first practice in over a year.

“Oh man, it’s a blessing, you know?” He said. “Aug. 1 last year is when I tore my ACL in camp so this was the first time I got to be on the field and put on shoulder pads and put on a helmet (since then), so it’s special to me. It’s something I love to do.”

 

Where does he fit in?

Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod are clearly the starters. McLeod, also coming back from a torn ACL, practiced in some of the 11-on-11 sessions Saturday for the first time this summer, so he’s on his way back.

After that? There’s newcomer Andrew Sendejo and a bunch of young safeties — Tre Sullivan, Blake Countess, Deiondre’ Hall and Trae Elston.

Cyprien has always been a starter. He’s played in 70 NFL games and started all 70. But he doesn’t seem concerned with adjusting to a new role.

“Oh man, I”m going to adjust to always being a playmaker and doing what I can do to help the team,” he said. “Our goal is to win a championship here so whatever I can do help this organization do that that’s what I want to do. The only goal in my mind is to play at a high level like I always have and make my family and you guys proud and earn the trust of my teammates.”

At 6-foot-1, 210 pounds, Cyprien can play some linebacker in dime, and he seemed open to the idea. Whatever gets him on the field.

“Let me tell you something about safeties,” he said after practice Sunday. “We’re the most versatile people on the field. Not only can we cover the tough targets on teams, like tight ends, but we can also tackle the great running backs that we have in this division, so we’re able to do a lot of things and coaches just get smarter and smarter by using us in different ways. Look at Malcolm. He plays every position on the field.”

Instead of worrying where he fits in, Cyprien is just taking this day-by-day, enjoying the process, getting to know his coaches and teammates and learning the playbook.

He said he’s totally healthy and joked that he’s been healthy since “I got out of my hospital bed” after his surgery last summer.

Is he 100 percent? Here’s his answer: “A hundred percent? Probably even more.”

Mathetmatically, that’s impossible. Football-wise? Who knows. If he’s right, he’s going to really help this football team.

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