PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Two local products are getting their chance with the Philadelphia Eagles’ first team this week during training camp and they are trying to make the most of the opportunity.
“It’s just the way of the game,” Corey Clement, rookie running back for the Eagles, said. “When your number’s up, you gotta be ready for it. So when I go second team, just wait for the opportunity to go with the first line and show’em what I can really do.”
Eagles running back Wendell Smallwood, who is entering his second season, said, “It’s been good for me, doing nothing but making me better, getting my conditioning up and getting me better each and every play. I believe the more plays I get the better I’m going to get. It’s unfortunate them guys are out, but with them not here, somebody’s got to step up and take advantage.”
Smallwood, who grew up in Wilmington and was a fifth-round draft pick of the Eagles last year, had an up-and-down rookie season, finishing with little more than 300 yards.
And Smallwood says he’s much more prepared this year.
“I’m definitely ahead of the curve this year, kinda know what’s going on,” Smallwood said. “And being able to know what’s expected of me and being able to get it done.”
Clement, on the other hand, grew up in Glassboro, New Jersey, but was an undrafted free agent signing this year after playing at Wisconsin. He knows he has an uphill battle making his favorite team growing up.
“Just living out a childhood dream,” Clement said. “I still wake up every day still thankful for it. When I come out here, I got to remember that I was undrafted and that’s a big chip on my shoulder, so as I run through every possible defender that I can, that’s the reason behind it. You always got to come out here with a purpose and a why. That’s my why factor and I’m not holding back.”
As for Smallwood, he’s just focused on being the best he can be, regardless of the added pressures of playing for the hometown team.
“That pressure is there, but I definitely know how to get away from it,” Smallwood said. “I don’t really get to talk to my hometown people a lot, but I know they’re there. I know I have their support good or bad. So, I’m definitely going to stay here and be with the Eagles and that’s going to be my job”