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August 01, 2016

Eagles Links: Lack of interest among fans noticeable during training camp

When you think about it, 18,000 fans for an open practice is pretty darn impressive. In Philadelphia, though, it’s apparently cause for concern.

Driving home from The Linc yesterday, the topic du jour on sports talk radio was the crowd, noticeably smaller that the 43,000 fans on hand for open practice in 2015. Basically, the radio hosts wanted to figure out why it feels like there is much less interest in the Eagles this year.

Is the explanation as simple as the coaching change? Over at Bleeding Green Nation, Brandon Gowton weighed all of the possible factors:

The real big change is that Chip Kelly, along with all the intrigue surrounding him, is gone. The Eagles were coming off two 10-win seasons heading into their 2015 campaign. They also had a crazy offseason filled with surprising trades and big free agent signings.

Things are different now. Doug Pederson may or may not turn out to be a good head coach, but he's hardly intriguing. The Eagles' starting quarterback in 2016 is virtually guaranteed to be gone after this season. Carson Wentz could feasibly spend the whole season as a game day inactive. Fans aren't dumb. They know this season isn't likely to end with a Super Bowl victory.

The Eagles went into last season with Super Bowl aspirations, and they were extremely hyped during the preseason. Even though this year’s group appears to have some serious question marks, maybe the lack of attention will prove to be a good thing.

For now, though, people aren’t all that excited about this Eagles team.

In case you missed it at PhillyVoice

1.     Easy does it: Doug Pederson names players of value the Eagles will give added rest to this season

2.    Practice notes: Jalen Mills struggles for the first time as an Eagle, an update on the kicking battle, and Josh Huff gets into it with a few fans on a hot day at The Linc.

3.    ‘Hoppy’ Carson: Doug Pederson talked in-depth about what the Eagles are working on with Carson Wentz.

4.    Return to the nest: The Eagles hired a guy named Brian Dawkins, who is sort of a big deal around here.

5.    Bigger is better: Dawkins talked at length about his goals while working with the Eagles front office.

Other Eagles news, notes and analysis from around the web:

Former Eagles d-coordinator Billy Davis wishes he was a happy camper: Paul Domowitch, Philadelphia Daily News

Great read on Davis, who isn’t really enjoying his time away from football. Here’s what he said about Chip Kelly’s firing:

"It surprised me," he said. "When your record doesn't meet expectations - which for us last year was the playoffs and beyond - (getting fired) is always a possibility.

"But I didn't think Chip wouldn't be there anymore. Because Jeffrey Lurie has such a long track record of not making those kinds of decisions. He keeps guys for a long time. He likes continuity. I didn't know his feelings (about Kelly) were that strong."

Eagles' Doug Pederson slows pace from Chip Kelly era: 'Only way we're going to get better': Phil Sheridan, ESPN

The Eagles might be hitting more at this camp than they did in three years under Kelly, but the pace is also much slower:

“That’s the only way we’re going to get better,” Pederson said before Sunday’s practice at Lincoln Financial Field. “I’m also a believer that you spend time in the meeting room at night, watching the tape and making corrections there as well. But when you get that immediate impact, right now, on the field, it goes [a long way].

Eagles practice has come a long way under Pederson: Les Bowen, Philadelphia Daily News

Kelly was always looking for his offense to push the tempo, which made it hard at times for players to fine-tune the minor details and mistakes. That isn't a problem this year::

Wideout Nelson Agholor, whose 2015 rookie season was a struggle, made the point Sunday that mistakes can snowball - if you do something wrong once, and it isn't corrected right away, you might do it wrong again.

"As soon as you make a mistake, we'll talk about it in one drill, and then we'll have an opportunity to show that you took coaching in another drill, because we'll probably run the same concept, same route, same blocking technique," Agholor said.

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann