PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — On a beautiful Sunday In August, nearly 36,000 fans came out for practice.
The passion of Eagles’ fans remains sky-high and Eagles Nation was well-represented at the Linc on Sunday morning. The Eagles were back at work after a day off and held an open practice for the second time this summer. Several of the newer Eagles may not have been expecting such a large gathering in South Philadelphia, but players such as Wide Receiver Jordan Matthews weren’t shocked at the large turnout.
“They say it’s the City of Brotherly Love,” said Matthews. “It feels like a big brother when you play for the Philadelphia Eagles. They’re going to be hard on you, but they’re real with you. They’re honest, but they love you to death and they’re always going to support you.”
One player who receives plenty of support is Quarterback Carson Wentz. The second-year signal caller continues to impress and threw the ball well during practice at the Linc. For Matthews, having Wentz and several new additions to the receiving core has changed the dynamic of the offense.
“We have a lot of good weapons out there,” Matthews said. “When you have this many guys out here who are also making plays, it just motivates you to go out and make that next play. Then, with a quarterback like Eleven (Wentz), you don’t have to worry about getting out of position. He’s going to put the ball right on you and then I can just focus on what I’ve got to do.”
While Wentz and his teammates continued to impress on Sunday, questions remain regarding the cornerback position. Jalen Mills had an interception during one of Sunday’s drills as he continues to make his case to be a starter. Patrick Robinson and rookie Rasul Douglas are also battling for a starting spot. Defensive Coordinator Jim Schwartz says this is the time of year when cornerbacks will be tested.
“You go into preseason games and you’re there to evaluate players,” said Schwartz. “We had a couple times last year where we played man-to-man just about every snap just to see those guys. You call a preseason game a lot different than you call a regular-season game because you want to see players compete. You want to see players win.”
The Eagles will get their first taste of the preseason on Thursday night when they take on the Packers in Green Bay. After delighting the fans at the Linc with an up close and personal look at practice along with a long autograph session, Matthews and his teammates will get their first true test of game action at Lambeau Field.
“I’m excited what we have moving forward,” Matthews said. “It’s going to be interesting to see what happens when we get into live action in the preseason games. That’s always that next step. I’m looking forward to moving forward with these guys.”