Eagles

Eagles

The workouts might have been virtual, but the friendships couldn't be any more real.

For the large cast of Eagles rookies, it's been an unprecedented offseason, with virtual meetings, solo workouts, communication via social media and tons of group texting.

It hasn't stopped this rookie class from growing very close very quickly.

"These guys that I came in with are special," K'Von Wallace said Tuesday. "We're like brothers already."

There are 22 rookies on the Eagles' current 82-man roster, and that includes 10 on defense and five defensive backs.

Wallace, the highly-regarded rookie 4th-round safety from Clemson, said Wednesday that the pandemic and the limited amount of face-to-face time the rookies have had together hasn't kept them from bonding.

"We're going great," he said. "Just being consistent with it, every single day. Even with or without coach, we're meeting virtually, we're talking about the playbook, we're talking about how we can backpedal better, we're talking about how we can better high-point the ball, better use a technique, just small things like that."

The Eagles made four rookies available for Zoom calls in the past few days – Wallace, Jalen Hurts, Jalen Reagor and Davion Taylor – and all four came across as remarkably serious-minded, mature, focused and driven during an incredibly difficult time.

"We stay connected every single day, just meeting and getting that playbook down pat, going over plays that we just did the prior day or going over formations or plays that we’re going (over) then next day," Wallace said. "Just being consistent with that and being intent on what we’re putting on tape and intent on what we learn and how we learn best. That's also what I've picked up as well."

 

That’s big for rookies. Learning how to learn. 

"I've noticed that I'm a big virtual learner and I like to see it and be active in it, and there's other guys that can just hear it and articulate it, and they're teaching me how they learn and that's also helping me," he said. 

"It's a brotherhood. Just teaching each other how to become better. Better person, better player.”

One thing that sticks out about all the rookies we talked to on Tuesday and Wednesday is that none of them are using the pandemic and the limitations it’s put on them as an excuse.

They all sounded as determined to learn the offense, the defense, special teams, to the best of their ability, no matter what roadblocks are in their way.

"It's going to be a challenge," Wallace said. "It was going to be a challenge regardless. Rookies, it's always been hard. It was hard for me as a freshman back at Clemson. There's always going to be challenges that you have to overcome, and this is just another obstacle in my life that I'm going to overcome, and I just can't wait to get to work."

Can they play? Who knows. We might not know for a few years. 

But they all came across very impressively. And if first impressions mean anything, they're off to a pretty good start.

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