After last year’s shortened offseason, this year’s offseason felt incredibly long. We finally made it, though. Training camp is here.
The Eagles reported for camp yesterday and their first full-team practice gets underway today at noon. Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz are scheduled to speak after practice (around 1:30). Most of the other practices begin at either 9:15 a.m. or 9:45 a.m.
Reminder: Just one open practice this summer. It’s on Aug. 4 at the Linc and general admission tickets are on sale for $10 at Ticketmaster.com.
We’ll have all your training camp coverage here on NBC Sports Philadelphia and make sure to subscribe to the Eagle Eye podcast, where me and Roob will be breaking down camp a few times per week.
Here are some big storylines heading into this camp:
Back to greatness
Last training camp just felt weird. The Eagles were coming off a short offseason and because of that, it felt like training camp got here way earlier than normal. Without playing into February last season, this feels a little more normal.
Not to mention, the Eagles don’t have the target of being Super Bowl champions on their backs.
Doug Pederson has mentioned that coming off the Super Bowl win was a little bit of a distraction that they Eagles won’t have to deal with this year. But there’s also tremendous pressure to get back to the big game while their window is open.
All eyes on Wentz
If the Eagles do get back to the Super Bowl, Carson Wentz is going to need to be very good again. Even though his completion percentage and passer rating went up last season, he didn’t look like the same player and the Eagles didn’t have the same type of success with him at QB as they did the previous year.
Nick Foles is in Jacksonville, so at least Wentz won’t have that shadow looming over him … well, at least not with Foles attached to it.
Wentz was also given a big-time extension this offseason. There was never any question about whether or not the Eagles were going to stick with him, but now he has the franchise QB contract to go along with the status. With that comes even more pressure.
Cornering the market
There are plenty of position battles with this team, but perhaps none are as intriguing as the cornerback position, where the Eagles have six corners who could make a case for playing time: Ronald Darby, Jalen Mills, Avonte Maddox, Rasul Douglas, Sidney Jones and Cre’Von LeBlanc.
During the spring, as Darby and Mills sat out with injuries, we saw Douglas, Maddox and Jones work with the first team. Expect to see a few combinations this summer.
Even Pederson agrees that this is the best group of skill position players the Eagles have had since he’s been their head coach. This group could be dynamic. Wentz will have plenty of weapons this year: Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, Nelson Agholor, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, Jordan Howard, Miles Sanders, Darren Sproles.
If the offensive line in front of these guys can stay healthy, this can be a great offense. We’ll probably see signs of that over the next few weeks.
Injured players return
The one are of concern Pederson pointed out before the team broke for break was the health of his team. The Eagles have several key players coming off major injuries and surgeries. We’ll be tracking their statuses all summer. Guys like Rodney McLeod, Ronald Darby, Derek Barnett, Jalen Mills, Corey Clement, Brandon Brooks and more are coming back from surgeries.
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