While many NFL players spend the time between OTAs and training camp with their family and away from the football field, that isn’t the case with the Philadelphia Eagles. All throughout this period of “downtime,” there have been videos, pictures and articles shared across social media that show just how tight knit of a group that head coach Chip Kelly has assembled in the City of Brotherly Love.
Gone are the egos like former Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson and running back LeSean McCoy, that would spend this time off in clubs and filming reality TV shows. Kelly has brought in players that care about football and not much else, at least during this time of the year. While players such as outside linebacker Connor Barwin and center Jason Kelce appear to be staying in Philadelphia and working out at the team’s training facility, other Eagles are traveling the country, training in a variety of places.
Earlier this month, quarterback Mark Sanchez organized workouts in San Diego where 11 Eagles were in attendance including wide receiver Jordan Matthews and tight end Zach Ertz. Eagles running back Darren Sproles has been working out in San Diego for most of the offseason with his former quarterback Drew Brees and Ertz joined them there as well, dating all the way back to February.
Here’s a photo of all 11 Eagles’ players that were in attendance for the workouts in San Diego, courtesy of Ertz’ Instagram account:
That’s not all though, apparently Ertz, offensive tackle Lane Johnson, running back DeMarco Murray and newly signed guard John Moffitt all spent time at Jay Glazer’s MMA gym this offseason as well. That’s certainly an interesting training method but seems to be catching on across the league as some of the top players in the NFL go there to take their bodies to the next level.
It certainly seems like Ertz has been all over the country this offseason trying to make that jump everyone has been anticipating. Yet Matthews is right behind him as well as he’s worked in both San Diego with his teammates as well as back at EXOS where he trained prior to the 2014 NFL Draft. He was joined by his Eagles draft classmate outside linebacker Marcus Smith, as this picture shows both Matthews and Smith among a large group of NFL players getting some extra work in during the offseason.
It’s certainly great to see players working hard in the offseason, especially during this supposed time off. Even the team’s rookies are getting in extra work during the downtime right now. Eagles inside linebacker Emmanuel Acho has apparently taken rookie inside linebacker Jordan Hicks under his wing, as they say. As they’re both former Texas Longhorns and teammates in college, it’s easy to see how they get along but it’s still great to see them working together away from the Eagles’ training facility.
Here’s a video that Acho shared on his Twitter account showing himself and Hicks training together:
What’s especially interesting about this pairing working together is that Acho could possibly lose his roster spot with the team drafting Hicks but that hasn’t stopped him from trying to help the rookie improve both on and off the field. That’s exactly the type of player that Kelly wants in the Eagles’ locker room and showcases the type of culture he’s creating in Philadelphia.
While all of these workouts mean nothing unless the team can put it all together on the field come game day, it’s great to see them working together even when it isn’t required. It’s easy for a player to just go into hiding for a couple of weeks and get away from the stress and grind of the game. But the Eagles are the true definition of a team and Kelly’s mold finally appears to be taking shape.
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