Philadelphia Eagles training camp is in full gear as Thursday was the first practice for both veterans and rookies. So, here are some thoughts from some Eagles on a wide range of football topics.
First up is quarterback Michael Vick who has heard President Barack Obama’s comments about him.
“It’s awesome. It’s great,” Vick said. “It goes to show that you’re recognized. I’ve got to continue to keep doing what I’ve been doing, put this football team in the best situation possible and just go out and compete each and every week and try to have fun. I’ve been blessed to play this game and I thank God each and every morning I wake up for all the opportunities that I have. We all are blessed to be here.”
The other notable topic that came up was how Vick became more of a leader this year.
“I spoke to a couple of guys,” Vick explained. “I think any great football team has to have multiple leaders. It can’t just be one guy leading because we all have to pick each other up. We can’t lead the defense sometimes or the defense can’t lead us, so everybody has to hold themselves accountable.
“Everybody has to be encouraging one another and pick each other up,” Vick continued. “Some days, we’re not going to have our best days and other players are. It’s important for guys to become vocal, to become leaders, because this is their football team as well, not just mine.”
Next up is linebacker Demarco Ryans who the Eagles traded for this past offseason and the first important topic addressed is if the first day was a crash course for the defense.
“No, because I’ve learned most of it during OTAs and mini-camps,” Ryans answered. “It’s not a crash course. Right now it is just a refresher to go back through the things we already learned in the summer. Right now it is just a refresher course to iron out those little kinks. It is just getting back, getting used to lining up, and running the plays so it is not a crash course.”
The other topic Ryan answered a question to is how players establish them selves as leaders.
“Just be yourself,” Ryan replied. “That is one thing you have to do. You just have to be yourself. That is one thing I am going to do. I will just be myself. All those things will come. That’s not anything that I am just looking to come in and do. I am just worried about getting the football part of it right and all that other stuff will come.”
Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin is healthy this year entering training camp. Maclin was asked Thursday why this season will be different.
“We’ve got a lot to prove, to ourselves, to each other and to the city of Philadelphia,” Maclin answered. “That’s why I think guys are going to really move the ball this year. So like I said, I think guys are really looking forward to seeing what we can become.”
Another addition to the defense was safety Oshiomogho Atogwe who addressed his transition into a new system.
“Well, I had some help,” Atowge said. “Some of the guys got me some of the information, as far as calls. I played in a defense similar to this in my career. The one thing that you always have to learn is the terminology and just learn a little bit of the technique and the alignments, but the concepts are very similar. Once you assimilate [and say], ‘okay, they call this this instead of that,’ then it’s just back to playing football.”
The final person cornerback Curtis Marsh who is entering his second training camp and is practicing with the first team defense. Marsh answered questions about this Thursday.
When Marsh entered training camp he had no clue he would be practicing with the first team.
“No, but I work hard for this,” Marsh answered. “Everything that I get I work towards and feel like I earn. I am not going to say I was surprised but I was definitely happy because it is one step closer to achieving my long-term goals in this league and being the best in the league.”
As for why he wasn’t surprised Marsh went on to say that it’s a part of the system.
“We rotate and have different guys that do different things well,” Marsh explained. “It is by game plan and [defensive coordinator Juan Castillo] is going to get the best players he thinks to put in during certain situations. You just trust in the coaches and when you are asked to go in, you go in and do your job to the best of your ability and try to make a play.”
Finally, Marsh was asked about his strengths and he answered, “I feel comfortable doing everything. [Press coverage] is what I did mostly in college and what I excelled at the most was bump-and-run, man-to-man, cover one, and cover zero. Cover one is what I have done throughout most of my career but I feel comfortable doing everything asked of a cornerback.”