Training Camp Notes: Faces In the Crowd

Jordan Matthews

The Eagles will often have a former player serve as a coaching intern during training camp. This year that distinction belongs to Lito Sheppard, who wore a giant smile for most of the day as he roamed the NovaCare sidelines. These internships have led to gigs in the past. Duce Staley and Tra Thomas are two examples of former interns who parlayed that opportunity into a spot on the staff.

The national media was well represented at the Eagles’ first training camp practice. Peter King, Greg Bedard, Louis Riddick and Daniel Jeremiah were among those in attendance. They had some interesting observations.

How dare you, sir.

Those who are either witnessing a Chip Kelly practice for the first time or aren't regularly exposed to them are typically taken back by the swiftness of pace and level of efficiency. I remember having the same reaction, but now it just feels normal. The pace has been taken up a notch this year. This spring, Kelly estimated that they were getting off an extra 10-12 snaps per practice.

No rookie jitters for Matthews

Nick Foles said that he was so excited the night before players were scheduled to report, he could't sleep. It doesn't sound like rookie Jordan Matthews had that problem.

"It's business as usual, man," he said after the team's first training camp practice. "To be honest, I don't like to make it any bigger than it is. At the end of the day, it's just football. It's no different than the childhood game we've been playing our whole lives. I know it's on a bigger stage but at the same time, it's the still the same 100 yards."

Matthews worked with the likes Calvin Johnson and A.J. Green in between minicamp and training camp. He was asked if he felt any benefits of that experience on the field Friday.

"I think those results really are going to help me out when we get further along," he replied. "The first day of camp, people put a lot of stock into it, but at the end of the day it's about who can sustain and who can make it throughout the course of a training camp and the course of a season. That's why I went to train with A.J. Green and Calvin Johnson: to learn about longevity and learn about being a professional over a long period of time."

Matthews spent the majority of the practice working with the second team. Brad Smith got the bulk of the reps with the ones.

(Almost) all present and accounted for

Last summer, running back Matthew Tucker and punter Brad Wing failed their conditioning tests and were unable to participate to start camp. No such problems this season, Kelly said. The whole team was present with the exception of Keelan Johnson, who was excused to deal with his legal issues in Arizona.

"It's a little bit more important than being at the first day of camp," Kelly said. 

The only concern when it came to potential holdouts was Evan Mathis. The Pro Bowl guard showed, though, after thinking it over during the break. Kelly said he was never really concerned.

 "I talked to Evan all along.  He's here and we're ready to go."

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  • Dominik

    “To be honest, I don’t like to make it any bigger than it is. At the end of the day, it’s just football.

    How right he is. Must be feeling like a break if you negotiate a peace treaty between Israel and Hamas in your free time.

    • OldDuckMcDoc

      I know world peace is important and all, but you’d think Pope J-Matt could find five minutes to help Disqus sort their spambot problem. All these offers of earning big $$$s from the comfort of my sofa are just too tempting (and legit!).

      • MediaMike

        Well, often the ladies pushing those offers would be fun to hang out with on the sofa, on Shady’s party bus, on a boat in Minnesota, etc.

  • tommy_the_k

    And so the dress rehearsal before the 2015 SB season starts today.

    • MediaMike

      We’ll have to settle for the enjoyment of another division title and wild card round win over the 49ers that features Marcus Smith terminating Kapernick when he loses track of the pass rush while scrambling.
      I can already see the cry baby national media not liking our celebrations!

  • MediaMike

    I’d be happy to see Keelan Johnson excuse himself right off of this roster.

  • MediaMike

    Will loser Lito Sheppard hold out for a bigger coaching contract at the end of this season and get himself banished a 2nd time?

    • OldDuckMcDoc

      Dude’s only like six months older than Mathis (and probably still younger than the fireman was when we drafted him). Hope he learned something from whizzing his talent up a wall if he wants to get into coaching.

      • MediaMike

        For real, yo! I couldn’t believe how fast his career fell off of cliff.

        • OldDuckMcDoc

          Ridiculous when you think back to his first 2-3 years as a starter. He could shut down anyone when he was on, but after he held out his career just nosedived.

          I still miss that decade or so when we could take good-to-great CBs for granted. Allen, Vincent, Taylor, Lito, Sheldon…..even Asante was pretty great as long as you weren’t asking him to tackle. Sad that all it took was a season or two of Nnamdi and DRC to make us grateful for the relatively mediocre crop we’ve got now.

          • MediaMike

            But at least DRC is the Giants problem this year.

          • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

            Still gotta hope he’s a problem. He didn’t seem to be one on Denver last year.

          • OldDuckMcDoc

            Yeah, he’s precisely the sort of high talent, low effort douchenozzle that could decide to actually turn up in the games against us. Can’t imagine he’d look forward to the physical side of things if we can get him matched up with Coop or Saint J-Matt though.

          • MediaMike

            Or when one of our TE / OL players gets to the 2nd level on him.

          • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

            Definitely not, but we gotta hope they get their shots in when they can to keep him off them. I know he avoids contact but the dude can cover (when he wants).

          • MediaMike

            Everybody knew people were passing against the Denver D because Denver was up 28 points at all times. DRC just had to stand back and wait for a pass rush to generate bad throws. And he had a ton of help. I swear Denver was in dime for 80% of their snaps last season. The Giants SUCK and won’t score much this year. They’ll also get run on left and right. DRC will be exposed on a bad team that is constantly playing from behind.

          • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

            You know that the games start out 0-0, right? While I understand the point behind all the hyperbole, I think you discredit his ability too much.

          • DirtyWaters

            You forgot Mark McMillian.

          • MediaMike

            He wasn’t looking that far down.

    • Rockedupeaglesfan

      Seems like a harsh take on Lito. The guy thought he should get paid more and got his money elsewhere. As I recall, he was one of the first guys to realize Banner was just locking guys up early to keep them from getting their money in free agency later. A lot of guys soured on this tactic. I don’t fault anyone for not sticking to his team friendly deal, careers are too short.

      • Elite Hunting

        You don’t fault anyone for signing a contract knowing the terms then deciding later that they made a mistake and trying to hold the team hostage. Stop worshipping these guys whose only value in life is catching a ball.

        • Rockedupeaglesfan

          No I don’t fault them, just like I don’t fault a team for cutting a guy who is not living up to his contract. Should the team honor a bad contract? Bring Nhamdi back, I feel bad that the Eagles didn’t honor that deal. C’mon, it goes both ways.

        • MediaMike

          No, their value is whatever the market says it is. I don’t mind a guy holding out when he’s not being compensated fairly for his contribution to the team and he’s beyond half way through the contract. Hence I had no problem when Westbrook pulled that stunt twice. I don’t mind Lynch trying to force Seattle’s hand because they’re going to phase him out and lower his value to other teams in the process. The team can also feel free to say no and leave the player having to head back to the team with non extra money and egg on his face. I do have a problem when a player like Lito does it when he’s on a steep skill decline or TO does it one year into a contract he begged the Eagles to give him.

          • Rockedupeaglesfan

            Your first sentence is correct. It’s what the market will pay. If a guy in decline thinks he deserves more money, or that he was paid a a discount prior to that, let him holdout. Usually he will return with his tail between his legs like you said, but if another team will pay, than thank you. You’ve taken a problem off our hands.

          • MediaMike

            But if you’re Jamal Charles and you need to get the Chiefs to make you a priority right away so you can get your money, why not hold out?

          • Rockedupeaglesfan

            Agreed. I said that it in one of my prior comments. If the team can cut you if you underperform, than a player should holdout and use any leverage he has to get paid. That’s how the system is set-up. The stuff about a player returning with his tail tucked was referring to players who overvalue themselves.

      • MediaMike

        I don’t mind Westbrook holding out when he’s still at the top of his game and can produce at the level needed to justify more money. I have a problem when a guy like Lito, who coincidentally sucked from that point forward, does it.

  • ICDogg

    Being compared to Jimmy Johnson, a very successful head coach, isn’t the worst thing in the world.

  • kpm

    If Herremans has a Tough Pre- season & Camp you think they go with Kelly?

    • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

      Probably be Tobin before Kelly, don’t you think? I haven’t seen anything from Kelly that makes me think he can play.

      • Rockedupeaglesfan

        I agree that it’s prob Tobin, but they may even give Bamirano(sp?) a shot first. Not sure what can be expected of Kelly until he shows he’s healthy.

    • MediaMike

      How about Barbre at RG after Lane comes back?

      • kpm

        I was thinking Todd has been real quiet… what if he stinks in preseason do we start him anyway? I don’t think Lane comes back before game 6 because of timing and conditioning