Fans out in force for Eagles' 1st public practice at the Linc

July 28, 2013 2:23:01 PM PDT
The Eagles cheerleaders were ready and the fans were definitely ready.

Sunday's open practice for new Coach Chip Kelly and the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field was an occasion fans have been waiting for all year.

"Couldn't wait to get down here and today is my birthday, it's perfect," said Renee Hoagland.

The day-long free event drew a capacity crowd to the Linc.

Hours before the players took to the field, fans of all ages enjoyed a carnival atmosphere including games, food and photo-ops.

There were even autograph sessions with former Eagles including tight end John Spagnola and linebacker Jody Schulz.

Former linebacker Bill Bergey said Sunday's turnout showed, once again, why Philadelphia fans are the best.

"The fans in Philadelphia, they go from football season to football season. I've never seen anything like this, you got 50,000 people here and it's just practice," said Bergey.

The only damper for this crowd was Saturday's news about wide receiver Jeremy Maclin's torn ACL.

However many said they're confident that Kelly and crew will be able to overcome the setback.

"It's going to be a big loss, he was like 15 percent of the offense last year. We have so many receivers just sitting there, we have Russell Shepard and I'm telling you guys now he's going to be superstar," said Derek Tancredi.

Of course the highlight of the day was when the fans finally got to see their Birds on the field.

If a mere practice can generate this kind of excitement, what will Lincoln Financial Field be like on opening day?


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