Ed Reynolds is currently at the NovaCare Complex participating in the Eagles’ three-day rookie camp.
When it’s over, he’ll get on a plane and head back to Stanford. The team’s other draft picks will continue with the offseason program in Philadelphia, but because of an NCAA rule that prohibits athletes from participating in other NFL activities until school is over, Reynolds won’t be able to return until mid-June after he takes his last final.
“I’ll be able to have the playbook with me so just having those mental reps now, but also just carrying that over when I’m gone from the team,” Reynolds said. “The physical reps I can do right now, just get as many as I can. It’s muscle memory – going out there, making sure I’m doing my assignment, aligning correctly and just going out there and playing football.”
The technology available in 2014 helps too.
“As of right now, setting up times with the coaches when I can Skype them,” Reynolds said. “All of our meetings are pretty much like podcasted on our iPads. So just being able to make sure I stay up with that and also being able to have any questions being answered by them. And then physically just making sure I stay in shape and continue to work on my DB stuff and make sure that when I come back I’m not too far behind.”
When the Eagles drafted Reynolds, Chip Kelly praised him for his football IQ. That will be tested during his rookie season when he’s away from the team.
Reynolds has been around football his entire life. His Dad spent 10 years playing linebacker for the Patriots and Giants before working for the league office. Reynolds was still in diapers when his Dad played his final NFL season in 1992.
“I’ve definitely seen some film,” he said. “It’s funny, just being able to watch him, seeing him one way and then watching him as a football player. Didn’t think he was all that athletic, but he was pretty good.”
His Dad entered the league as an undrafted free agent, but ended up starting 51 games and appearing in 135.
Reynolds, meanwhile, was a fifth-round selection. With a starting safety spot potentially up for grabs, the Eagles will find out in the coming months how quickly he can catch on.