Philadelphia Eagles training camp begins Sunday, July 22nd, with rookies and selected veterans as the first to arrive by 5:00pm. They will be joined by the rest of the team on July 25th and the first full-squad practice that is open to the fans is on July 27th.
To be honest, I’ve never really given it much thought before, but, have you ever wondered what “selected veterans” means or who this list includes?
Someone asked me this question over the weekend and I found myself not really knowing the answer. Well, since the person who asked me the question is close to me, my answer was logical with just a hint of sarcasm: they are the players whom the coaches “select” to come in…duh!
I followed that up by saying things like they’re the players who need the extra work and are able to get extra attention from the coaches, along with players who are “on the roster bubble.”
Sounds logical, right?
Furthermore, I thought these players would be made up of long-shots, first or second-year guys, and/or older vets who need to make a good impression if they hope to be around come September.
While some of that may be true, the closest thing I could find to a real answer as to who makes up the list of selected veterans is as follows: Quarterbacks and injured players.
That’s basically it.
So, for the most part, when you hear “rookies and selected veterans”, it means all of the rookies (including the undrafted guys), the quarterbacks, and players who have been either rehabbing or had surgery during the offseason.
Going by that, here is a list of players who should be at Lehigh on July 22nd:
QBs: Mike Vick, Mike Kafka, Trent Edwards, Nick Foles
Players who had surgery this past offseason:
Jamar Chaney (neck fusion), Keenan Clayton (sports hernia), Brent Celek (sports hernia, torn hip labrum), Colt Anderson (torn ACL, December), Moise Fokou (high ankle sprain surgery, December)
Veterans who ended 2011 injured and could be deemed questionable:
Mike Patterson (AVM), Antonio Dixon (torn tricep), Kurt Coleman (partially torn bicep), Brandon Graham (fully recovered?)
Then, of course, the rookies and other players who should be reporting:
WR: Elvis Akpla, McKay Jacobson, Damaris Johnson, Marvin McNutt, Jamel Hamler, Ronald Johnson, Tiger Jones
TE: Chase Ford, Brett Brackett
OL: D.J. Jones, Dennis Kelly, Brandon Washington, Alfred McCullough, Thomas Welch
DL: Vinny Curry, Fletcher Cox, Monte Taylor, Tevita Finau, Cedric Thornton, Frank Trotter
DB: Brandon Boykin, Cliff Harris, D.J. Johnson, Wade Bonner, Tom Nelson
RB/FB: Bryce Brown, Chris Polk, Jeremy Stewart, Emil Igwenagu, Stanley Havili
LB: Mychal Kendricks, Ryan Rau, Greg Lloyd, Monte Simmons
P: Ryan Tydlacka
Other players who would benefit by reporting early:
Chad Hall, Dallas Reynolds, Mike Gibson, Curtis Marsh, Dion Lewis, Brandon Hughes
Getting a few extra days worth of attention from the coaches can be invaluable to young players. Once the entire team is there, the focus starts shifting towards the starters and implementing schemes.
This is when the guys who are considered long-shots to make the roster start fading into the background and have to really stand out in order to get noticed by the coaches.
As for the players who are returning from injury, reporting early give the trainers and coaches a little extra time to see where they’re at in regards to their injury. After assessing them, they can either clear them for full participation or decide on how to ease them in.
The rookies and selected veterans all get a chance to get acclimated and receive personalized attention before the crowd arrives. Because on July 25th, the party gets started for real and things start going 100 MPH in a race towards opening day.