“The average age of the Eagles’ roster has tumbled into the lower 20s, but expectations haven’t changed.
At least not for tight end Brent Celek, who reported to camp Thursday with the rest of the “veterans” and insisted the mission hadn’t changed with the men.
“If I didn’t think we could win the Super Bowl, I wouldn’t be standing here,” he said. “I’d take my butt back home and sit on my couch because all this is for nothing. We’re all here to win a ring, and 31 other teams are here to do the same thing. We have just as good a shot as everyone else. So we’re here to prove it.”
Skeptics have said the Eagles, whose players average about 24 years of age, are too young and too inexperienced to win. Their quarterback is a first-year starter, their running back could be a college senior and rookies are competing for starting jobs at three positions.
But strong safety Quintin Mikell, the 29-year-old grandpa of the defense, isn’t accepting the stigma of being a rebuilding team.
“We’ve been talking all offseason about this youth movement. A lot of guys have been saying, “It’s time for the youth.’ Well, now it’s time to put up or shut up,” he said. “So there’s no tempering (expectations). We’re stepping into the limelight right now as a young team.
“There’s no lowered expectations. We’re expecting to get to the Super Bowl. I don’t care who’s out there.”
Eagles fans have never been patient, and Mikell isn’t expecting a sudden change of heart.
“You’re not gonna say, “This is a young squad, we’ll just give them a few games,’ ” he added. “(Heck) no. It’s time to play. So, that’s it.”
All remained quiet on the DeSean Jackson contract front. The Eagles’ superstar receiver arrived early Thursday at Lehigh University to take his conditioning test along with cornerback Asante Samuel.
It was a make-up exam because coach Andy Reid had administered the test during the Organized Team Activities the two players missed. Jackson, who has asked for a new contract, later dodged reporters like oncoming linebackers.”