Like birds that headed south for winter, the Eagles' offensive skill players are slowly migrating back to the Philadelphia area.
Instead of gathering at the NovaCare Complex, however, they're assembling in Cherry Hill at ever-popular Power Train Sports. Quarterback Michael Vick and wide receiver Jeremy Maclin are the latest to enlist trainer Steve Saunders in their offseason workouts, joining tight end Brent Celek and a handful of other Eagles.
Running back LeSean McCoy will join the flock next week. And soon enough, Vick will have a handful of ball-catchers to throw to for pickup practices he has said he intends to hold at a yet-to-be-determined South Jersey location.
"LeSean is supposed to be here starting next week," Maclin said. "Brent's already here. I'm here. [Jason] Avant's working out at Temple, so he's here."
And what about DeSean Jackson, the jet-setting wide receiver who is based in Los Angeles?
"DJ is just a phone call away, and he'll be on a flight out," Maclin said.
The NFL lockout is in its fifth week, and with players barred from their teams' facilities, many have sought other venues for conditioning. But with minicamps in jeopardy, the Eagles' offensive playmakers will head outside and attempt to shake off any rust accumulated since the end of the season.
The Eagles are better off than many other teams because they aren't expected to make many changes at the skill spots. Vick, who wasn't at Power Train on Thursday, signed a one-year contract in early March.
Celek has been in San Diego for much of the offseason and has caught passes from former Eagles and current Rams quarterback A.J. Feeley. He said he would eventually go back West to work out with a gathering of quarterbacks headed by the Saints' Drew Brees and the Packers' Aaron Rodgers.
Maclin has ground to make up in his conditioning. He said he caught mononucleosis in late February and was bedridden for much of the next month as he lost 15 pounds.
"I had a little fever, headaches, a little loss of appetite," said Maclin, who has put back half of those lost pounds.
He wasn't the only Eagle at Power Train who was less than 100 percent, although Winston Justice's knee injury is more significant. The tackle had arthroscopic surgery in February and is slowly working his way back.
"It's coming along," Justice said. "The stuff I was doing today I couldn't do a week ago. I'm getting better. I mean, it's not 100 percent. . . . I'm just going to rehab until July if need be."
Justice's recovery could play into how the Eagles address the draft in two weeks. He started most of last season at right tackle but injured his knee in December and was benched in the playoff loss to Green Bay.
Eagles coach Andy Reid said that King Dunlap could compete with Justice for the starting spot, but many think the Eagles are in need of an upgrade at right tackle with the lefthanded-throwing Vick.
"I think your job's always in jeopardy," Justice said. "They might take a tackle [in the first round of the draft]. You just never know. I don't think the coaches know."