Every team is a Super Bowl contender during training camp, at least that's what the local media in each NFL town seems to think. Puff pieces about teams/players/coaches often read something like, "[Player X] is poised to have a career year because he's getting over [ailment/personal tragedy/weight issues/immaturity]. He will have a key role in [Team Y] making [playoffs/Super Bowl] after last season's [surprise/disappointment]."
To celebrate the brimming positivity being felt by each of the NFL's 32 fanbases, this month Shutdown Corner will take a team-by-team look at the flowery and buoyant prose being written by local columnists and writers and the hopeful quotes of players and coaches in our daily feature, Camp Sunshine. Today, the new-look Philadelphia Eagles.
Every throw in training camp is perfect and/or shoots rainbows:
It was only a passing drill on the first day of training camp. Heck, most of the Eagles' veterans were two days away from reporting. However, the buzz surrounding Kolb is real and it is relevant.
The most noticeable figure on the practice fields at Lehigh since full-squad workouts began last Friday - What's that? No, not counting the electric cart that ferries injured players off the field - has been Brandon Graham.
Anybody worried about the first-round rookie defensive end coming in a few days late and maybe not being sharp right away can stop now. Graham has been a beast, full-bore every snap, showing the same energy that fuels him as he pops out of the fieldhouse at lunchtime and shakes the hand of every waiting reporter.
Optimistic quote ("fan attending training camp who is unsure of what justice means" edition):
"I'm just excited to have [Kevin Kolb] at quarterback. Donovan [McNabb] didn't do us justice, but it's time for a new start. I think we're going to be good."
Training camp passes are indicative of future success:
It took just two plays into the first 11-on-11, full-contact scrimmage for [Kolb's] jitters to disappear. That's when Kolb hit DeSean Jackson(notes) deep down the right sideline for a 70-yard touchdown. That's when the Kevin Kolb era sent its first salvo.
It was reminiscent of the 2004 preseason game against Baltimore, when Donovan McNabb(notes) hit Terrell Owens(notes) deep down the sidelines for a touchdown. McNabb and T.O. had sent a message. Now, Kolb and Jackson have sent theirs.
The party pooper:
A week of Eagles training camp is in the books, and the chapter on the offensive line has read the worst.
There have been injuries, snafus and bad snaps. And the sorry situation has been exacerbated in that the substitute center said he can't look to the veteran he's replacing - and whose job he's trying to take - for guidance.
After practice on Monday, Cole, 26, was asked if the 30-year-old Jackson helps with some pointers.
"I don't want to talk about that," Cole said.
Does Jackson help you out in any way?