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Eagles Training Camp Day 1 Observations: At Least Some of the Team Is Here

The Eagles took the field for the first time for training camp Monday morning. 

At least some of the Eagles. 

Quarterbacks, rookies and select veterans had their first practice at the NovaCare Complex. That meant 34 players were on the field, creating a media-to-player ratio of about 2 to 1. 

The rest of the Eagles won't report for camp until Wednesday afternoon and the first full-team practice of camp isn't until Thursday morning. And even that's just a light 10-10-10 practice. 

No surprise: Carson Wentz was the first player on the field Monday. He arrived at 8:31 a.m. for the 8:50 practice. 

With so few players, there weren't many observations to choose from, but we were still able to piece together a list of 10. Here they are: 

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1. Among the few select veterans on the field were cornerback Ron Brooks and linebacker Joe Walker, who are both coming back from significant injuries. 

Brooks was the Eagles' slot cornerback in 2016 before suffering a ruptured quad tendon in October. He played a lot before the injury and when he went down, Malcolm Jenkins was forced into the slot. 

"He's right there in the mix," head coach Doug Pederson said about Brooks. "He's obviously our nickel defender, nickel corner."

Walker, a seventh-round pick from a year ago, suffered a torn ACL in the preseason and missed his entire rookie year. He was the Eagles' backup middle linebacker before the injury and could play a big role as a reserve in 2017. 

Both players participated in 7-on-7 drills. Brooks has a sleeve on his right leg, but Walker wore no kind of support. The team did not do any 11-on-11 drills Monday. 

2. The first true completed pass of training camp (against the defense) was from Wentz to second-year receiver Marcus Johnson, who was on the practice squad in 2016. Johnson is a name to watch as training camp rolls on. With a year of experience under his belt, Johnson had a really solid spring. 

3. Draft pick Shelton Gibson changed his number from 80 to 18 (DGB's old number) but didn't find better results Monday. He dropped several passes, which was a problem for him during OTAs and minicamp. Pederson said he's not concerned about Gibson's drops but did admit the young WR isn't where the team or Gibson himself wants him to be. 

4. Beau Allen is on the Active/Non-football Injury list, but the big defensive tackle was on a side field working out as he recovers from a torn pec he suffered in the spring. Pederson wouldn't put any kind of timetable for his return. Allen was tossing around a heavy-looking medicine ball up and down the unlined field. 

5. Mack Hollins, the wideout from North Carolina, dropped a deep pass early in the day but recovered to have a really good practice. He still isn't wearing receiver gloves, for those wondering. 

6. Hollins isn't wearing gloves, but Sidney Jones (Achilles) is. The injured cornerback was just a spectator on Monday but decided to wear some gloves anyway. The Eagles are clearly trying to keep him involved with the team and his fellow defensive backs even while he can't be on the field working. 

7. The play of the day came from undrafted receiver Greg Ward out of Houston. The former quarterback leaped up over former CFL All-Star Mitchell White to pull in a one-handed grab in the end zone on a pass from Nick Foles. Ward also changed his number from 4 to 89 for training camp. 

8. Brooks made a really solid play Monday while working from his slot position. He broke up a pass intended for Ward in the end zone. The ball fluttered in the air and Gibson was almost able to make a diving catch. But it fell incomplete. 

9. At one point there was some confusion with the linebackers in 7-on-7. It seemed like Nate Gerry and Don Cherry were out of sorts a little bit, but they got it corrected. A little later, Cherry had trouble covering Donnel Pumphrey, which shouldn't be a surprise. Pumphrey is going to be a tough assignment for any linebacker. 

10. If it sounds like a practice with 34 players might lack some excitement and enthusiasm, well, you're kind of right. But defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz wasn't sleeping. He was plenty vocal in the team's first practice. He's already in mid-season form. 

Stupid Observation of the Day: With so few players, it's hard to get too competitive. During offensive drills, Foles needed to take some handoffs from the other quarterbacks. And tight ends coach Justin Peele has just one player in camp right now: Billy Brown from Shepherd. Brown is going to get some 1-on-1 training for the next couple days. 

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