Pretty much every veteran who attended Eagles OTAs this week was there with a purpose.
Macho Harris is making the switch to cornerback.
Quintin Demps is trying to rebound from a down 2009 season.
Max Jean-Gilles is testing himself after lap-band surgery and hoping to be a contributor.
And then there's SAM linebacker Moise Fokou. Last year, Fokou was a seventh-round pick, who fought his way on to the roster with a strong training camp at Lehigh. By the end of the season, he had taken over the starting job from veteran Chris Gocong.
But Fokou is no less hungry in 2010. During yesterday's practice, after the team had huddled up and heard from Andy Reid as the session ended, Fokou was one of the last five or six guys on the field, getting in even more work.
I caught up with him before he headed inside to find out what his mindset is going into his second season.
Q: Why did you think it was important for you to be one of the few non-rookies in attendance this week?
A: I'm still young in the system. It's my second year, and I'm gonna be thrown into a starting position. The better I get myself familiar with the system and acclimated with my position, the better I'll be for the team, helping them. I definitely need it still. It's another step in the right direction.
Q: How different are things this year compared to last year?
A: Coming in last year, out of college, I was running out here like a chicken with his head cut off, didn't know anything to do. Now the rookies are asking me the questions, and to know the answer, it lets you know how much you know about the defense. When you can teach something, that's when you know it.
Q: Assess how you played once you got the starting job last year.
A: I was still fresh last year, out there running around with a lot of enthusiasm, with a lot of effort. This year I just think I'm gonna settle in more, just play more physical, play better overall.
[Follow up] What do you consider your strength - coverage, attacking the line of scrimmage?
A: I'm kind of one of those 'tweeners. I have both those in my game, just have to improve on them both.
Q: Are you looking at yourself as a starter? What's your mindset?
A: At least on paper, I've been announced as the starter. It's the league, it's a competition, so I'm working to stay there. That's my goal.
Q: What's the key to getting to the quarterback when Sean McDermott calls on you to blitz?
A: Blitz is definitely timing. The better take-off, when you can catch the linemen still on their feet without getting up. And it's also about disguise. When I excelled was when I came off my feet real fast and got a jump on the linemen.
If you are a more visual person, here's a take on Fokou in video form.
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