TODAY the Eagles 2014 season begins. The offseason began with adding new faces in Free Agency and then the Draft. OTA’s were all about looking at who you had and imagining the ideal scenario for each player you’d collected. All we did was bulk up.
In Training Camp, you hit the weights to trim the fat. You do the work to cut away the dead weight. If the last season was about taking a particular step, the current season is about focusing on that NEXT step.
The march towards that goal begins in earnest, not Week One, but during camp. If you start your climb in Week One, you’re already well behind the predators of this game. While many players stay in shape during the offseason, you can’t duplicate the heat of competition at home or during OTA’s. For that, you need Training Camp.
You begin with whittling away the weak. The ones who can’t handle the workload in the heat. The ones who begin to weigh their options outside of the game against the sacrifices, the mental strain and physical demands that this “game” demands. In the next few weeks many players who are burning inside to make it, will see their lifelong dreams destroyed forever. Most will claw and fight for every breath left within that dream until it is fully dead. Until smoke billows from it’s empty eye sockets. Still most of those will leave this game as devastated, broken and bitter men.
Allow a former player to let you in on a secret: Nobody “plays” football. It’s a lifestyle that if done properly, changes your diet, wrecks your social life, steals time from family, undermines your other obligations, and punishes you for admitting to having human weaknesses. Playing with pain is a given, but almost ALL starters have hidden at least one injury to not lose his place on the field, and to keep the man behind him on the depth chart, behind him on the depth chart.
It’s brutal. It’s relentless. It’s unforgiving, and it has absolutely nothing to give you in the form of mercy. Yet to be the one, the Starter, you will kneel to it. You will place your body on the altar and you will give all you have, and some (like Lane Johnson) will even steal a little more to meet it’s inhuman demands.
Today there are almost 100 men with a dream to still be a Philadelphia Eagle come September 9th, and most of them won’t be good enough to do so.
Ladies and gentlemen this, is Training Camp. This is the truth of it, and it is only the FIRST STEP.
My fellow fans as of TODAY, July 25th, the EAGLES 2014 season, begins.