Heat acclimation period has ended at Philadelphia Eagles training camp. Not only is the team getting acclimated to fully padded practices (coming later this week), but the rookies are getting comfortable to life in the NFL.
Nolan Smith and Jalen Carter have been impressive through the first three camp practices, yet find themselves on the second team in the early depth chart. Tyler Steen is on the second-team offensive line, while Sydney Brown and Kelee Ringo are on the third team in the secondary.
Are the Eagles going to bury their rookies on the depth chart in training camp like they did in last year's class? Time will tell.
For now, it's about getting these rookies ready for what's to come.
"There's pressure on all of us no matter what," Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni said before Sunday's practice. "What we like to do with some of our young guys is you'll see that we have developmental periods. At the end of practice we have developmental opportunities and walk-through.
"What we're trying to do for them in those periods specifically is let them build their confidence in going against some other guys that are in their same situation. So that's why we do our developmental periods. One, to get them more reps so they get better and they continue to rise, but also to help them build their confidence as they go against guys that are in a similar spot."
Carter is expected to rotate in with the first team this season, part of a loaded defensive tackle group with Fletcher Cox, Jordan Davis, and Milton Williams. The padded practices will be a good opportunity for Carter to shine. Smith already has gotten looks with the first team, but that's because Haason Reddick was out for the first two practices with a groin injury. Reddick is back, meaning Smith has been taking reps with the second team.
Brown has been on the third team with the safeties, and Ringo has been the same with the cornerbacks. The Eagles have Darius Slay and James Bradberry as the starting cornerbacks, along with Avonte Maddox, Zech McPhearson, Josh Jobe, and Greedy Williams on the second team. Ringo could crack into that rotation, but the Eagles are deep at that position.
For now, the rookies are getting acclimated to NFL practices. As the old saying goes, it's early.