PHILADELPHIA - Eagles linebacker DeMeco Ryans experienced some memory loss upon reporting to training camp Thursday at the NovaCare Complex.
Last season's 4-12 campaign was so disappointing and disheartening that he tried his best to just forget about it.
"I haven't even thought about last year for a while," Ryans said. "Last year was so bad, why would we think about it? This is a fresh start for us and we're looking forward to a great season."
The Eagles are so anxious to move ahead that all 90 players had reported for camp by 3 p.m. Thursday, an hour before the deadline.
Unlike in some previous years, there was no drama. Offensive lineman Todd Herremans created the only excitement when he showed up with his hair braided into a Mohawk. He explained that he was inspired after watching the TV series "Vikings" on the History Channel.
The main candidate to create a distraction for the Eagles, wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, instead was one of the first players to arrive.
Maclin, who is in the final year of the rookie contract he signed in 2009, emerged from an Eagles van wearing a white, sleeveless T-shirt emblazoned with the phrase "I'M THAT DUDE."
If that meant being a team player and not causing the kind of turmoil that can poison a locker room, then the shirt fit.
"I'm aware (of his contract situation)," Maclin said. "I'm excited to go out there and prove what I'm worth."
He will get his first opportunity today, when the Eagles hold their first full-team training camp practice under new coach Chip Kelly in front of 300-400 invited guests at the NovaCare Complex.
Thousands of more fans will be on hand to watch the five public workouts at Lincoln Financial Field. Interest is so high that the team has issued more than 200,000 total tickets for those sessions, including a whopping 55,000-plus for Sunday's practice at 12:30 p.m.
"I think we have a lot of talent on this team," Eagles running back LeSean McCoy said Thursday. "But every team in the NFL has talent. It all comes down to how we execute."
Most of the attention throughout training camp and the preseason will be riveted on the quarterbacks. Michael Vick, Nick Foles and rookie Matt Barkley are all vying to be the starter when the Eagles open the season at Washington on Sept. 9.
Vick is perceived to be the favorite because of his versatility, but Eagles quarterback coach Bill Lazor was very quick to point out Thursday morning that both Foles and Barkley have the skills to run Kelly's creative, read-option offense.
"What I've learned about Nick that I didn't know before was how athletic he is," Lazor said. "Everyone talks about how fast Michael is, but NIck can move and throw the ball very well. And the very first practice Matt was here, he walked into that huddle and took over. He's just a natural leader.
"It's going to be exciting to see how it all plays out once we put the pads on and start playing preseason games, though. They can all make all the throws now, but I only strike a certain amount of fear into them when I'm rushing them."
If McCoy has his way, the quarterbacks will spend most of their time handing the ball to him.
McCoy, who missed four games last season with a concussion, reported to the NovaCare Complex looking fit and proclaimed his desire to recapture the form that made him one of the NFL's top backs in 2011.
"I want to be more dominant this year," he said. "I've got to get back to the old style where I just took over a game. I want the ball. That's my attitude."
The next few weeks will also give new defensive coordinator Billy Davis a chance to figure out which players will be working best for his 3-4 base defense. The Eagles are playing that scheme for the first time in franchise history and several players are going to be switching positions.
Linebacker Mychal Kendricks will be moving inside alongside Ryans. Defensive lineman Fletcher Cox will likely be moving from tackle to end. Former defensive ends Trent Cole and Brandon Graham will be lining up as outside linebackers.
"A lot of things are going to be different for a lot of us," said Cole, who has been with the team since 2005. "This is a new adventure for us. It's a fresh start and a new year. I think it's going to be great."
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