Welcome to Eagles Training Camp

Your intrepid East Coast correspondent is currently in the midst of a week long vacation, and decided to spend two of those days at Eagles training camp in Bethlehem, PA.  I kinda thought it was fitting that they hold their camp in Bethlehem, because going to training camp is like going to a pilgrimage for Eagles fans, except, you know, without all the religion and stuff.  And of course, there would be much love for THA1.

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But first...

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I'm being completely honest when I say that my girlfriend barely cleared Swoop's requirements.  The height requirement, not the age requirement.  You Chris Hansen lovers.

Anyway, Eagles training camp was all kinds of exciting.  And by exciting I mean as thrilling as watching a bunch of guys three times your size running around in shorts and hitting each other with pads as can be.  The Eagles unfortunately had just finished the live contact portion of their camp the day before I arrived (God dammit!), but there was still plenty to observe.

Like number 65, King Dunlap.  No, seriously, his name is King David Dunlap V, and he's indescribably huge.

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In case the size disparity wasn't enough for you there, here's another picture.

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Unfortunately, he got a little banged up on the second day I was there.  It's not always good to be the King.  Still, I was marveling over the size of the guy so much that I'm pretty sure my girlfriend was starting to think I preferred massive black men to tiny Asian girls.  (Hold on, I'm starting the dishwasher, because I'm preparing to get served.)

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But I know why you're all here, and that's to see THA1.  Also, I like to think I can read the minds of players whose jerseys I'm wearing.  It's why I wear my new Yi Jianlian jersey.  So I can think in Chinese.

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I get the feeling I'm being watched very closely.

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Even when I'm just stretching.

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Is he over there?

Anyway, here's DeSean working against fellow rookie Quintin Demps of UTEP in a one-on-one drill with McNabb at the controls.

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DeSean catching a pass during wide receiver drills.

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DeSean fielding a punt.

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And another.

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DeSean giving the veterans some advice.

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OH NOES THEY SAW ME

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Well, not really, but it would have been nice if they had.  I was wearing my Cal DeSean jersey too.  OR MAYBE THEY DID SEE ME

DeSean with head coach (and Mark Mangino's idol), Andy Reid.

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DESEAN: Coach, why are you wearing all black if it's so hot today?

ANDY: Shut up and catch the ball, rookie.

DeSean with a great catch here.  The crowd showed its appreciation with a long ovation.

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And that pretty much does it for DeSean.  I've got a couple more of him standing around or lining up in different formations (always on the outside, never in the slot), but nothing terribly exciting.  The crowd honestly seems excited about him (even if a lot of people are worried about his size) as a receiver, but especially as a returner since it means the Eagles won't have to rely on Reno Mahe anymore.  Man.  I hated that guy.

Anyway, I do have other random pictures!  Such as the 57.14 million dollar man, Asante Samuel, rehabbing his hamstrings.

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And taking a stroll.

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Maybe I can buy me one of these things so I can see what practice is like from up there.

Just to show that I didn't forget about him, I snapped a few pictures of fellow Cal alum and Eagles sixth round draft pick, Mike GIbson (63).  Here he is chatting up his new buddy Cameron Stephenson (77), and how I imagine that conversation went.

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CAMERON: I used to be a starter on a top 10 team.

MIKE: Really?  Get out of here!  Me too!  What team did you play for?

CAMERON: Rutgers.  What team did you play for?

MIKE: Cal.  Rutgers was a top 10 team?

CAMERON: Yeah, in 2006, then we blew it against Cincinnati.  Cal was a top 10 team?

MIKE: Yeah, just this past year, then we blew it against Oregon State.

MIKE AND CAMERON: ...

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CAMERON: Oregon State?  Really, Mike?  Really?

MIKE: Cincinnati?  Really, Cameron?

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MIKE: Guess what, DeSean?  I made a new friend today!

DESEAN: That's great, Mike.  Don't you have to go block something?

Here's a shot of the human turnstile, Winston Justice.

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A picture of that hunky Australian punter, Sav Rocca, modeling for the crowd.  Ladies...

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Long snapper Jon Dorenbos headed over to the fans to sign some things for the fans.  He didn't quite expect those things to reach him before he got to the fans, since one of the balls hit him right in the face.

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You do not want to know what happened after this.

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Just like high school quarterbacks, NFL players are also capable of huddling like emperor penguins.  LOOK AT HOW HUGE KING DUNLAP IS!!!!!!

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Finally, Donovan on his way to the autograph tent.  I'm pretty sure this is just how he's been ever since he realized he has DeSean to throw to, though.

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YES!  ANOTHER RECEIVER WITH THE SAME EGO BIG-PLAY ABILITY AS T.O.!

But that's not all.  I've been reading Peter King's postcards from Eagles camp for the past few years, and he always mentioned a place called Deja Brew and raved about their peanut butter balls for dessert. 

So the girlfriend and I sought the place out, and procured some peanut butter balls.

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Is my hand more or less disgusting than Twist's arm?

Anyway, they were pretty good.  I approve, Peter King.  But again, that's not all, as while my girlfriend and I were there, a man walked in and complimented me on my DeSean Eagles jersey and said it was the first one he had seen.  I didn't think much of it until I went up to the counter and asked about whether any of the players or coaches ever dropped in.  The guy mentioned that Trevor Laws had shown up on the first day of camp, Les Bowen had been there, Peter King and his people ("He has people?"  "Well, a few."  "Oh."), and then there's Reuben. 

"Reuben Frank?"

"Yeah."

"Oh.  He doesn't look like his picture.  I'm going to go get a picture with him though, because I'm a media whore."

BAM

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It's hard to look dignified holding a paper bag of peanut butter balls.

Even the girlfriend had a good time, and she has no idea what a 3-4 defense is.  Hell, she had no idea what position DeSean plays.  Not that this should be surprising.

"He lines up wide, and he receives the ball.  That means he's a..." 

"Catcher?"

Maybe she'll understand if I keep working on her.  So until next year...

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