Soon, Chad Hall gets to quit his day job and concentrate his full energies on making the Eagles.
Hall, the former Air Force Academy star signed as a free agent this offseason, officially goes from active to reserve duty May 27. Since Eagles offseason workouts began, he has been commuting between Philadelphia and the Salt Lake City area, where he is 2nd Lieutenant Hall, assistant commander for maintenance of the Black Widows, the 421st Fighter Squadron, responsible for keeping 28 F-16s airworthy.
"I get here Sunday night," Hall said after today's rookie camp workout at NovaCare. "I spend the week here. Thursday after practice, I'll fly back and (possibly) go straight in to work right then, Thursday night when I get there, and then work Friday and sometimes Saturday. Then fly back Sunday."
"I'm just making sure that the jets every day are safe and ready to fly, so that our pilots can get their sorties, get their missions, to be prepared when they go over (to Afghanistan)."
Shifts last 12 hours, he said.
"It's long and it's important," Hall said. "It's fun. It's a real 'people' job. I've got so many people (about 250) -- I've got make sure they're doing the right things."
Hall, 5-8, 190, has looked speedy and shifty at wideout and punt returner in the two minicamps so far. He was kind of a wingback for the Air Force, running for 1,529 yards as a senior in 2007 and catching 50 passes for 524 yards. He has mostly been a wideout so far for the Eagles, though he did catch one pass out of the backfield today.
"I can do it -- I can get in the books," Hall said, when someone wondered how tough it would be to learn both positions, in the Eagles' complex offense. "That's something I can do on my own. I want to make sure I'm ahead of the game on that. I just want to make sure I'm as versatile as I can (be)."
Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg worked extra with fifth-round wideout Riley Cooper, from Florida.
"Coming back to the ball and run after catch," Cooper said, when asked what they worked on. "He said I have good run-after-the-catch ability, but he wants to see a little more practice, a little more side-to-side stuff."
It's interesting that Moise Fokou is in this camp. Not totally surprising, in that Fokou is being penciled in as the starting strongside linebacker right now off four starts at that position as a rookie, but interesting. Fokou presumably will have to fend off at least a couple of rookies -- fourth-rounder Keenan Clayton and fifth-rounder Ricky Sapp. Former starting WIL Akeem Jordan could factor into the mix as well, assuming Ernie Sims is now the starter on the weakside.
"(Clayton and Sapp) are going to come in there and compete with me. It's the NFL, it's competition," Fokou said. "I just have to win it out."
Fokou, smallish for the position (listed at 6-1, 236, he looked last season as if he'd need to be wearing several sets of shoulder pads to hit that weight) was coy about his current size when asked today. He looks bigger, and he said the free-weight intensive workouts supervised by new head strength and conditioning coach Barry Rubin have made him stronger.
"Definitely getting in here for three months and working out with Barry and running around, I feel a lot stronger, a lot faster. I'm just anxious to get on the field and see how it relates," he said. "It feels like kind of a power-lifting mentality out of the weight room (now), to kind of get you explosive out of your hips and out of your legs ... It's definitely refreshing."