There's no turmoil. There's no controversy. Only hope and optimism.
For the first time in a long time, the Eagles opened training camp, on the lush campus of Lehigh University, with no negativity. There was no one running around in army fatigues, no one showing up late. The only real concern was over Mike Patterson's future. (He won't practice following brain surgery).
Other than that, the Eagles are ready to roll, to borrow an Andy Reid line. That was apparent yesterday as rookies and selected veterans showed up, all of them bright-eyed and smiling.
"We're very fired up to be back and get things underway," Reid said.
The team decided to take care of its own this past offseason, handing out contract extensions to marquee players, like DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy. They also locked up homegrown studs Todd Herremans and Trent Cole. In recent years, including the Dream Team fiasco, the Eagles chose to be active in free agency. Now, the front office has a different mindset.
"I think it starts when we sat down and made our offseason plan," GM Howie Roseman said after the Eagles inked McCoy. "We decided to focus on re-signing our own players and keeping a bulk of the team intact for now and going into the future."
It's a big reason why Mike Vick had no problem saying that he thought the Eagles could build a "dynasty" with this group. It's a simple thing, but the players feel and appreciate that loyalty.
"That's a good feeling for players that have been through the grind with blood, sweat and tears in the Lehigh Valley," Jackson said after signing his new deal. "There's just so many things, and we've all been here for a long time and played here and grown up through the system. It's good to see players stick with the team."
The Eagles opened training camp yesterday at Lehigh. Here is this week’s schedule for those fans looking to make the trek up:
Today, Walk-through at 8:45 a.m. Offensive coaches address media at 3:30 p.m.
Tomorrow, Walk-through at 8:45 a.m. Defensive coaches address media at 3:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Andy Reid talks to media at 8:45. Remaining vets report to Lehigh.
Thursday, First full-team practice (10/10/10), 3 p.m. (closed to fans).
Friday, Walk-through, 8:15 a.m. Open practice, 2:45 p.m.