When the Philadelphia Eagles signed Steven Nelson prior to the start of training camp, rookie Zech McPhearson wasn't upset in the least -- even if snaps were going to be taken away from him. McPhearson viewed the signing as a blessing, an opportunity for him to learn from an experienced veteran in the league.
"Another vet coming into the room," McPhearson said at the conclusion of Tuesday's Eagles training camp practice. "More opportunity for me to learn and become a better ballplayer."
McPhearson isn't a contender to start (those spots are occupied by Nelson and Darius Slay), nor is he the primary defender in the slot (Avonte Maddox). The Eagles accomplished what they wanted to with their fourth-round rookie heading into camp, having him learn behind an experienced cornerback group on the depth chart.
McPhearson has been taking advantage of the opportunity. Cornerback is a strength thanks to McPhearson's prowess in camp, as he's been around the football in team sessions. McPhearson had an interception off Jalen Hurts Monday and had multiple pass breakups in the first padded practice Tuesday.
Get the latest Eagles news from insider Jeff Kerr by downloading the CBS Sports app. Will Nick Sirianni boom or bust as an NFL head coach? Can Jalen Hurts live up to the hype? Get the CBS Sports app and find out. If you already have the app, you need to select the Eagles as your favorite team to get up-to-the-minute headlines.
Disrupting the play is nice, but McPhearson wants more -- especially since he has ambitions of becoming a great cornerback in the league.
"The ones today, they're touchdowns if I catch those," McPhearson said. "That's two dropped pick-sixes. That's what, 12 points off the board? That's a lot in this league. Whenever you get the opportunity to play a ball like that, you have to capitalize.
"There's little room for error in this league."
There's an opportunity for McPhearson to prove to the Eagles he deserves to be part of the cornerback rotation -- and a starter down the road. At this stage in the game, McPhearson is just focusing on learning from the veterans and making an impact when his name is called.
"The team has good culture going on," McPhearson said. "I'll just be in the moment and I'm trying to just grind every day. Every day is a day to get better."