1) Other than Sam Bradford, there might not be a player whose progress is more important this summer than Walter Thurmond. The Eagles did not address safety in free agency and instead decided to move Thurmond from cornerback to safety to plug the position. He never played it until the spring, and he's replacing Nate Allen at a position that has had almost annual churn.
So one week into camp, how is it going?
"Walt has done a really nice job," coach Chip Kelly said. "That transition probably goes back to the fact that he's played inside in nickel and he's had a lot of experience inside nickel, so our nickel position is similar to a safety position.
"He's seen the game from the inside, and I think that's the biggest transition for a corner because a lot of times, when all you've done is play corner, there's always been one guy here and 10 guys in there. When you see a different perspective of seeing things, you bump that guy inside and it's a whole different thing -- you're seeing guys out here, you're seeing guys in here, how do you fit, how do you get involved in things, and I think that transition has helped him because of his ability inside."
Kelly said that Thurmond stood out in the spring at safety, so the summer has continued that progress. The Eagles are not looking for traditional in-the-box safeties, but rather safeties who have coverage ability. But Thurmond acknowledged that the part that will be an adjustment is open-field tackling as a deep safety. He's confident he can tackle because he compared playing nickel to playing linebacker, but it's different when you must make the open-field tackle as the last line of defense. That will be revealed during the preseason, so watch Thurmond's tackling on Sunday against the Colts.
2) When the Eagles signed Seyi Ajirotutu, it didn't capture much attention. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound wide receiver has played five NFL seasons, but has started only two games and has had only 24 catches. The Eagles did not target Ajirotutu for what he can do as a receiver as much as what he can do on special teams.
Kelly's commitment to special teams is well documented – especially when it comes to assembling the 53-man roster. The Eagles carried veteran players at deep spots on the roster specifically for their special-teams ability. Think of Brad Smith at wide receiver last season. Ajirotutu is a likely candidate to make the roster this year because of that role.
"His length, I think, is one of the things that's unique about him," Kelly said. "He's got great flexibility with that length to make people avoid and miss blocks, but he can get extended and make plays. When you look at his highlight tape of what he did on special teams, he's always kind of getting around the block and can reach and grab people because he's so long. He can find the football."
Kelly added that Ajirotutu is "not easily blocked," which makes him a "great cover guy" in punt coverage and kickoff coverage. Ajirotutu was an undrafted player out of Fresno State who made the NFL because of the special-teams ability. He was named the Chargers' top special-teams player last season.
"He understands his niche of getting into the National Football League was really embracing that role on special teams, and he was a standout player for San Diego," Kelly said. "If you are not the number one receiver, which he's not, then where do you fit in and what's your versatility? I think he's shown that so far."
3) The Eagles want their reserve offensive linemen playing multiple position because they have one guard/center backup and one tackle/guard backup on game days. Jason Kelce, Jason Peters, Lane Johnson, and Allen Barbre are not trying multiple positions because they're locked in as starters. Every other lineman is – except John Moffitt.
That does not mean Moffitt will be a starter, but the Eagles don't want to throw too much at him because he joined the team in June. So they're having him focus on right guard. Moffitt has center experience at Wisconsin, so Kelly said the Eagles know they could use him in that role if needed.
"He hasn't done any here because we just got him and he wasn't here in the spring," Kelly said. "We know that's kind of in his back pocket, but we haven't done anything with John."