PHILADELPHIA -- Sydney Brown didn't get drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles to be a reserve. There's an opportunity to start at safety on a defense that lost both C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Marcus Epps this offseason -- an opportunity Brown doesn't want to waste.
During Thursday's minicamp practice, Brown was rotating on the second team with Justin Evans and K'Von Wallace. He wasn't getting his feet wet, making sure he was getting noticed on the field by outworking his competition and flying from sideline to sideline.
Terrell Edmunds was ahead of Brown on the depth chart, on the first team with Reed Blankenship. The veteran took notice of Brown's performance, knowing he'll play a major role in the defense sooner rather than later.
"He's a hard worker. He doesn't say too much. He's always smiling, but you just know that he wants it," Edmunds said. "He just goes out there and gives 110%. He's willing to learn. He just loves football. You can tell.
"He gives 110% every day. He's going to be a guy that's going to be in this league for a while."
Brown will continue to gain knowledge and learn from Edmonds and Blankenship, but an opportunity is there for significant playing time in the secondary. Outside of Darius Slay and James Bradberry at cornerback, the back end of the Eagles defense is wide open.
Blankenship earned the right to be on the first team entering the offseason. He plans to stay there using the strategy that got him on the first team as an undrafted free agent last November, which solidified him as part of the Eagles' future at safety.
"Make sure you're ready at all costs," Blankenship said. "You know, the rent is due every day. That's what (Nick) Sirianni talks about, no matter what position you're in.
"I haven't felt like I've arrived yet. It's about staying humble, staying hungry, and that's going to last throughout my career."
Even with Edmunds and Brown on the first team, Brown is lurking. His play on the field is getting him noticed, along with his mindset off it.
"He loves the game of football," said Eagles secondary coach D.K. McDonald. "He does and he works hard at it. He prepares. He asks tons of questions. And that's on top of the skill that he has. His mindset. His growth mindset that he has of wanting to get better.
"He's never pleased with where he's at and those types of things draw you to guys. You know those guys that have that type of mindset, they're always going to work hard and try to improve. And that's what he does everyday."
Might not be long before Brown gets his shot with the first team.