Eagles Wake-Up Call: EJ Manuel On Visiting Philly

Quarterback EJ Manuel is doing a weekly diary here on Birds 24/7 as we count down to the draft. In this installment, he talks about his upcoming visit to the NovaCare Complex, and watching an Eagles game in person as a kid.

What’s up everybody!? I’ll be making my way to Philly this weekend. Really looking forward to getting a chance to see the city, the facilities, meeting with the coaches and players. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to grab some good food, too.

This will be my second team visit, as I already visited Buffalo last week.

As a kid, my dad and I went to an Eagles game when I was either 13 or 14. They beat the Chargers who had Drew Brees and LT. It was really exciting to watch Donovan and TO get after it out there, and now possibly having the chance to play there on Sundays is a blessing in itself.

One of my main questions to the Eagles staff will be if the #3 is open?? haha. (Editor’s note: At the moment, that number is being worn by Dennis Dixon).

As the draft approaches, it’s somewhat a relief because you are getting closer to your dream coming true. I have had so much fun the past 3 months getting the opportunity to raise my draft stock, but the real work is soon to begin. All I can think of is my phone ringing draft day, looking down and seeing the area code of my future team. Hugging family and shaking Mr. Goodell’s hand. One of the things that has driven me since high school to be the best, because only the elite have the opportunity to enjoy that experience.

God Bless,
EJ Manuel

WHAT YOU MISSED

Some Mel Kiper draft nuggets, along with Sheil’s reaction to them.

DeMeco Ryans insists that he can operate at a high level in a 3-4.

In the latest Twitter Mailbag, I answer questions about Star, Foles and more.

Now just three weeks out from the draft, Kapadia offers three Eagles-related thoughts.

It’s early, but so far players are embracing the change that Chip Kelly brings.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

The Eagles preseason schedule is out. They are home against New England (Aug 8-11) and Carolina (Aug 15-19), and will play at Jacksonville (Aug 22-25) and the Jets (Aug 29-30).

In his latest mock draft, Kiper has the Eagles selecting Geno Smith.

There are two realities the Eagles must face in evaluating their future at quarterback. One is that Michael Vick, while an intriguing fit under Chip Kelly, isn’t a long-term solution, even if we’re optimistic. Two, there’s no such thing as a useful free-agent market of starting quarterbacks in this league. If you have a great quarterback, or even a pretty good one, you’re going to lock him up. In drafting Smith, the Eagles are in a good position to develop an athletic, talented thrower to succeed specifically in Kelly’s offense, but without the requirement that he must start from day one. I don’t like the idea of Smith as a Week 1 starter in 2013 — but for a roster that’s already in a good position to compete this season, he could be a great fit for the franchise in 2014, and most importantly, a great fit for the coach.

Mike Garafolo writes about the new scene at the NovaCare.

Howie Roseman had just come back into the building after the workout of local draft hopefuls the other day when the Philadelphia Eagles’ general manager heard the thumping bass of hip-hop music coming from down the hall.

Roseman walked into the auditorium, where he found special teams coordinator Dave Fipp.

“Welcome to my meeting room,” Fipp yelled over the music to Roseman. “I’m playing music because I want to get their neurological pathways open in the morning to get them going.”

COMING UP

Clock is ticking towards April 25. Much to do…

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