Battle at free safety

When the Eagles opened training camp 4 weeks ago, the starting free-safety job was Quintin Demps' to lose. Now, with the season opener against Carolina less than 2 weeks away, Demps hasn't lost it, but he hasn't won it, either.

On Sunday, defensive coordinator Sean McDermott called the battle for the free-safety job "really an open competition . . . there are quite a few guys in line for that job."

Not exactly what Demps wanted to hear.

"It's an open competition like coach says," he said. "And I have to go out there and compete. I just wish something would happen. Name the starter and that's the starter and take it from there."

Strong safety Quintin Mikell said Demps' biggest hurdle is understanding that he is part of a unit that must work together to be successful.

"I think that at times in the secondary, you can try too hard; you can try to take too much on your shoulders," said Mikell, a second-team All-Pro selection last season. "Sometimes you have to learn that it's a working unit. That we all work together and we all depend on each other.

"I think Quintin, he's learning that. He's learning that, look, these guys are dependent on me. I need to be where I'm supposed to be, just as I'm dependent on them being where they need to be. I think he's getting fine. He's progressing fine. I think he's going to be a heck of a player. He just has to keep working hard and keep going."