It's beginning to settle in now. Two Philadelphia Eagles training camp practices are in the books (and so is a Thursday afternoon walkthrough that they sandwiched). It won't be long. Before you know it, we'll be diving headfirst into another regular season of NFL action.
Select members of the media and everyone watching on social channels have heard from Nick Sirianni and Howie Roseman. They have also heard from Jalen Hurts, Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Jason Kelce, Lane Johnson, Darius Slay, DeVonta Smith, Dallas Goedert, and Jordan Mailata. Throw in the announcement that the kelly green jersey reveal will come on Monday, July 31st, and it has been both a busy and productive first week of action.
There has been some juggling of the roster. Friday also brought a sit-down with one of the new guys on the coaching staff, Philly's defensive coordinator. Replacing five starters and seeing a more difficult schedule won't make the task easy, but if Sean Desai is as impressive on the field as he is in front of the microphone, he's going to be a rock star.
Picking his brain during two press conferences has led to the discovery of some interesting nuggets. So far, everyone likes what has been said, but as we know, talk is cheap. Last year's performance by the Eagles' defense has Birds fans everywhere thirsting for more.
Here are some of the top takeaways from Sean Desai's first training camp press conference.
Coach Desai spent a little over 15 minutes with the media before practice in what felt like 115-degree weather. It's hard to focus on much anyone is saying when that's the case. Luckily, other members of the Philly media were paying attention to help us fill in some of the blanks.
On the subject of Nakobe Dean taking over as the starting 'MIKE' (middle linebacker), Coach said this.
"The biggest thing I see from him is the ability and the willingness to keep growing, and that's what we're looking for, really out of all of these guys and him in particular. It's a new role for him, and we're excited about it. He's got that mindset. He's been really working hard obviously in the offseason and all summer. (He's in constant communication with his coaches and myself, kind of setting himself up and he's got to keep (having) that mindset. "
He also shared a few theories on balancing the desire to both place pressure on the young guys and bring them along slowly.
"I guess that's the part of the art of coaching... I think my philosophy is, at least I'm open and honest with them from the beginning. They kind of know what the expectation is, and they trust and they'll see over time that we're going to take care of them mentally too. The schedule helps them. With the process we do and how we install and the time that we have to walk though things and kind of talk through things and the meeting time that we have. So, I think they understand that, and I think they're really going to embrace it. They are really embracing it. I'm really happy that they're doing that. "
Here's more from Coach Desai, courtesy of
Desai showed confidence in his young DBs who are "taking advantage of their opportunities to learn behind two really good, really smart veteran football players who have a lot of production in this league". Coach made mention of Jordan Davis taking a step forward in his conditioning, He thinks the second-year veteran will be valuable as a pass rusher. He's also excited about Jalen Carter's preparation and the job defensive line coach Tracy Rocker has done with both.
We'd be remiss if we didn't touch on Coach's answers to questions about a young safety everyone is excited about, rookie Sydney Brown. Here's what it's going to take to get the rookie third-rounder on the field early.
"To me, and the players have heard this... It takes the same as it does for Darius Slay to get on the field... Right? They (have to) prove it. They have to prove that they're mastering the defense, that they're mastering their technique and fundamentals, and that they're building confidence with the people around them. It's 11 as one... Starters have an edge for sure because they have proven it for a long time, like Slay. Those guys have an edge because they know how to prove it, so that's what Sydney's got to learn. That's really what all rookies have to learn. "
"I love to learn from other people's experiences... I'm always asking (the veterans) questions of what they're seeing, what they're thinking, what they're feeling, and they're telling me". Here's the long and the short of everything. Sean Desai's defense has already bought in.
As the final days of July trickle away, it's hard to stay in the moment and avoid the temptation of buying in as well. Philly's new defensive coordinator gets a passing grade following another intriguing presser. His guys have been flying around during training camp's first two pressers. We'll be keeping our eyes on him as summer rolls on.