“We have to be, because the games count now,'' Boykin said on Thursday. “Everyone tells us that we're not rookies any more, that we stopped being rookies when training camp ended.
And I agree with that. It's time to play.”
Boykin will be the No. 1 kick returner when the Eagles open the season on Sunday in Cleveland, as well as the No. 1 nickel cornerback and a No. 1 “gunner'' on punt coverage. Johnson is the No. 1 punt returner and now, with Riley Cooper sidelined with a broken collarbone, he's the No. 4 receiver.
That's a big load for a couple of guys who have never played in the NFL, but neither player seems to be concerned about that. Both Boykin and Johnson excelled as returners in college and even though this is a big step up from that, Boykin said it's still basically the same.
“No matter what the level, if you're a playmaker you're going to make plays,'' he said. “That's the way I look at it and I think that's the way Damaris looks at it.”
“The preseason was great for my confidence, because I had some success and proved to myself that I can have an impact at this level,'' Johnson said. “You can't do what we do if you lack confidence in yourself and that's not a problem with us.”