BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Eagles' training camp doesn't really begin until the caravan of Cadillac Escalades, Hummer H2s and Mercedes sedans start rolling into the Sayre Park dormitories at Lehigh University.
This year's parade unfolded Wednesday, when the veterans weaved their way through the mountain roads, pulled into the parking lot and unloaded HD TVs, state-of-the-art video game systems and hyperbaric chambers for their three-week stay.
"I saw (Eagles defensive ends) Trent Cole and Jason Babin carrying those things and I was messing with those guys," Eagles defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins said with a laugh. "I don't even know what a hyperbaric chamber is or what it does. I'm going to stick with my air-conditioning and my TV. I'm going into my ninth (NFL) season, so obviously I must be doing something right."
This year's stint at Lehigh promises to be considerably different than past seasons, however.
First of all, the schedule has changed for the first time since coach Andy Reid arrived in 1999. Starting on Friday, the Eagles will be reversing the practices, holding a brief walk-through in the morning, then staging their main workout in the afternoons at 2:45 p.m.
"I like it," Eagles running back LeSean McCoy said. "Getting that break in the morning before the tough afternoon is going to be a good thing."
Other, more subtle differences were apparent on Wednesday. Although veterans were not required to report until 7 p.m., virtually every player was in their suite by 3 p.m.
Last year, training camp got off to a rocky start. Some players reported immediately after the NFL lockout ended while newcomers such as cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, running back Ronnie Brown and quarterback Vince Young arrived a few days later and had to wait to be cleared before they could begin practicing.
"Having everybody here is a plus, just from a continuity and team camaraderie standpoint," Reid said Wednesday. "There are less distractions, so I think (having everybody at camp Wednesday) is an absolute plus."
EXTRA POINT: Eagles quarterback Michael Vick's aggressive playing style has become a national concern.
Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha was a guest speaker with President Barack Obama at an event in Oakland, Calif. last Monday and the two spent "three or four minutes" talking football.
"He said, 'Tell Vick to slide,' " Asomugha said with a laugh.