Colt Anderson finished his workout in Minnesota about noon. About four hours later, he was taking an unexpected flight to Philadelphia, and moving from the Vikings' practice squad to an on-field role with the Eagles, eight games into the season.
Arriving in a city he had never visited, with nothing but a carry-on bag, Anderson, who was born and raised and went to college in Montana, had new teammates to meet, his first chance to play in the NFL, and a life to move halfway across the country.
The football came quickly - his coaches and teammates welcomed him, Anderson said. The rest was harder.
"Stuff outside of football, it's been a little different," said the soft-spoken Anderson, his long hair tucked under an Eagles wool cap. "Trying to find my way around, trying to find a place to stay and trying to find some transportation, that's been a little difficult."
Anderson, a safety who plays mainly on special teams, fullback Owen Schmitt, and running back Jerome Harrison all arrived with the 2010 season already under way. As they learned a new playbook and tried to earn respect from new peers, they each had to find their bearings in a new city.
"That's probably the hardest thing," Schmitt said.
They all had help adjusting to Philadelphia from an Eagles legend: former Pro Bowl wide receiver Harold Carmichael.
Winning approval from their teammates was up to them.
"When you first come in, everybody's going to be nice to you, but they want to see you make some plays," said safety Quintin Mikell.
Remarkably, each newcomer has done so. Anderson has been a force on special teams. Schmitt is a rugged blocker and has 17 catches, already topping the 12 he had his first two years in the NFL. Harrison is averaging 8.1 yards per carry as an occasional fill-in for LeSean McCoy.
Head coach Andy Reid said the success of the in-season additions is a "tribute" to general manager Howie Roseman, who signed Schmitt as a free agent and traded for Harrison, sending the disappointing Mike Bell to the Cleveland Browns.
Two doors down from the weight room where the new Eagles train, Carmichael sits in an office decorated with black-and-white photos of his playing days. A shelf is topped with jars of chocolate - Kit-Kats, Snickers, Reese's, and more. Behind that is a row of business cards for companies that provide housing, furniture, or other services players might need as they move to a new home. Sometimes it just comes down to answering questions about where to live. One player he once helped wanted to stay with a sister in Trenton.
"I said, 'Don't even try it. Don't even try that commute,' " Carmichael said.
He also knows he may need to find different housing for players who are single and those who are married.
"If you've got a woman living with you, it's different. You've got to have nice stuff," Carmichael said. "A man can pretty much live anywhere."
Except for that one former Eagle - he wouldn't say who - who was picky about the size of his closet and the color of his walls.
"He was one of the worst ones," Carmichael said, rolling his eyes.
Anderson, who eventually settled into Philadelphia and took his father to the Museum of Art, showing him the stairs Rocky ran, had the most to prove on the field.
Harrison and Schmitt had played in the NFL. Anderson had spent a year-and-a-half on the Vikings' practice squad.
"You start to question yourself, your abilities," he said. "That first week of practice [with the Eagles], I was definitely nervous."
His teammates were soon impressed. Special teams coordinator Bobby April said he has never seen a guy who never played make such a quick impact. Anderson has been one of the Eagles' most productive special teams players each week on the team.
"Everybody was like, 'Can this guy play?' . . . You've got to basically kind of earn your way up to getting your respect from the team," Mikell said. "He earned it quickly in that first game."
Schmitt adapted fast, too. In his first home game as an Eagle, he hurdled one Redskin. Later he bulled through another, quickly endearing himself to Eagles fans. He scored his second career touchdown last week against the Houston Texans.
Harrison, who broke Jim Brown's single-game Browns rushing record last season with 286 yards against the Chiefs, had fallen out of favor in Cleveland this season.
He broke off a 50-yard touchdown run against Washington in Week 10. To him, moving from Cleveland to Philadelphia wasn't all that tough.
"Not to be on a winning football team," he said. "Not at all."
Read The Inquirer's Eagles blog, "Birds' Eye View,"
by Jeff McLane and Jonathan Tamari,
Subject: Asante Samuel misses practice
Response from gdiddy at 3:15 p.m. Thursday.
"I would dress Samuel for the [Cowboys] game but keep him on the sideline healing if not needed. The Eagles should/can win at Dallas without Samuel. I'd rather have him for the Giants than the Cowboys."