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By Ed Benkin

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Eagles kicked off another session of off-season workouts as they began a minicamp that will last through Thursday.

It will be one last chance for the Eagles to get in work on the field before taking a break until training camp starts in late July.  Quarterback Nick Foles talked about the importance of the minicamp.

“These few days are huge,” said Foles.  “This is how we end our off-season program here.  This is where guys go their own ways and train and continue to study the offense or defense.  This is the last time we can really pick it up, add some stuff in, and execute the plays before we come back for training camp.”

(credit: Ed Benkin/KYW)

(credit: Ed Benkin/KYW)

Center Jason Kelce was back on the field for the first time since injuring his knee early last season.  Evan Mathis was also back from an ankle injury and Jason Peters returned after missing last week’s OTAs for personal reasons.

“It’s a very good feeling when you haven’t played football against a defensive player in eight months,” Kelce said.  “To know that you’re that much closer and to know your knee is feeling great when you’re doing stuff like that feels awesome.”

This minicamp is mandatory and several Eagles were away from the non-mandatory OTAs last week.  Defensive Back Cary Williams was away last week to attend his daughter’s dance recital, and Williams defended his decision to put his family first last week.

“What is my responsibility here?” asked Williams.  “I’m sorry that people made such a big deal out of something so small.  I grew up as a kid who didn’t have two parents in the household and I take pride in being a father and being a husband.”

The Eagles also announced their training camp dates for 2013.  Rookies will report on July 22nd and the rest of the squad is scheduled to report by July 25th.

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