July 14, 2024

Eagles Newcomer Relishes His "Welcome to Philly Moment" | Yardbarker

Isaiah Rodgers wanted his “Welcome to Philly” moment, and he got it in a big way.

He looked around Coca-Cola Park, home of the Phillies Triple-A affiliated, the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, and marveled: “It’s lot more people here than I thought there’d be. It’s lit out here.”

There were approximately 8,000 who showed up to watch the game and pre-game home run derby. Rodgers had his answered all queued up when teammate DeVonta Smith asked him to play in his third annual celebrity softball game held on June 29.

“I wanted to do it before he approached me but when he did, I was like, ‘Hell yeah, why not, my little welcome to Philly moment,’” he said.

Rodgers, a cornerback signed by the Eagles last August after the NFL suspended him for violating its policy on gambling, which led to his release by the Indianapolis Colts, won the home run derby, slugging 12 of them in two rounds.

 

He will turn to football full-time when the Eagles report to training camp on July 23 and will look to build on a surprisingly strong spring.

 

Not only was it a surprise for reporters who watched five of spring’s practices, but it was also a surprise to Rodgers that he opened some eyes as quickly as he did after spending last year away from the game.

“I think I did better than I thought I would,” he said. “I think I proved the year (out of the league) didn’t mean nothing. I think I’m back and I think I’m ready.”

He looks ready, and the battle to start opposite Darius Slay at cornerback will no doubt match August’s temperatures. In other words, it’s going to be hot, with him, second-year player Kelee Ringo and rookie Quinyon Mtchell expected to be the other two duking it for that starter’s job. All three took turns repping with the first team in the spring.

And Rodgers can’t wait for the competition.

“That’s why we’re here,” he said, “to get better. And dealing with the two best receivers in the league (A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith) will do that, so I’m jelling with that.”

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