Middle linebacker Jordan Hicks is a rock.

By Steve Kelly

Eagles training camp begins today with the first full practice set for Thursday afternoon.

Here are what to look for:

Carson Wentz in Year 2. Unlike last year, he knows he’s coming in as the starting quarterback, and hopefully he’s healthy for the entire preseason. Being behind Sam Bradford and not earning reps last season may have stunted his development, but he has a grasp of the offense. Will Pederson institute new plays that he didn’t use last season?

Ryan Mathews won’t participate after suffering a neck injury late last season, according to Pederson. The focus is on who’s here at the position, and that includes newcomer LeGarrette Blount. Last year with the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, the 30-year-old had a career-high 299 rushing attempts for 1,161 yards for a league-high 18 rushing touchdowns. He certainly not expected to carry the ball nearly 300 times this season, with the likes of Darren Sproles, who will be used more as a receiver, Wendell Smallwood, and rookie Donnel Pumphrey and undrafted rookie free agent Corey Clement. I expect to see Smallwood in the backfield and Pumphrey becoming a Sproles 2.0. We should also note that Byron Marshall is now a wide receiver.

For the first time in a long time, the Eagles have actual wide receivers. Alshon Jeffery is the obvious number one, Torrey Smith appears to be the number two pass catcher, and Jordan Matthews should be back in the slot. If Smith can return to hisBaltimore Ravens self, that’s a real good trio of receivers. Behind them is Nelson Agholor, who needs a big year to keep his career afloat, rookies Mack Hollins and Shelton Gibson, and Marcus Johnson, Bryce Treggs, and Paul Turner. Hollins turned a lot of heads during minicamp, and Johnson could be another deep threat.

Agholor needs a very good year in order to make the team. He has a new number, thanks to Jeffery coming to Philly, and did have a good minicamp. Will that success translate when he puts on pads?

There’s a battle at left guard between Allen Barbre, Isaac Seumalo, Stefen Wisniewski, and Chance Warmack. Barbre appears to be the favorite to win the job, but the other three have strong chances to win the job. Seumalo is going to be part of the offensive line very soon, and got himself comfortable in the NFL as the season went on. Wiz somehow finds his way to the starting lineup. Prior to last season, he started in every game in his career. Warmack comes over from Tennessee, and reunites with Jeff Stoutland, his offensive line coach when he was in college at Alabama. He also played left guard for the Crimson Tide and was a stud. I think it’s a wide open race.

How will Vinny Curry rebound after signing his new five-year, $46 million contract last offseason? He only had 2.5 sacks last year, a career-low. The Eagles brought in Chris Long on a one-year deal to fill one end that was left open after Connor Barwin was released. Curry has to show that he was worth the dollar bills.

The linebackers shouldn’t have a problem for now, but Nigel Bradham could be suspended by the NFL for his incidents off-the-field last season. Jordan Hicks is the middle linebacker, and Bradham is the strong side guy. Could Mychal Kendricks, the weak side LB, shift to Bradham’s role? Perhaps special teams ace Kamu-Grugier Hill? There’s also Joe Walker and Don Cherry to consider. Walker was very impressive during the preseason, before he missed the entire season with an ACL tear.

And for another season, the Eagles will have another set of starting cornerbacks. One starting corner should be Jalen Mills, who had an on-and-off rookie season. Could the finger-wagging second-year guy be asked to cover the opponent’s top receiver, meaningDez Bryant or Brandon Marshall? On the other side, rookie Rasul Douglas is getting praise from many of his teammates and could be the other starter. Patrick Robinson will also be considered, after he signed from the Indianapolis Colts. And will we see Sidney Jones play at all? Odds are no, but the second-round pick has plenty of upside when he gets healthy. Prior to his injury, people thought he would go early in the first round. Ron Brooks should return as the slot corner after suffering a season-ending injury against the Vikings.

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