All of that is changing though.
"He's greatly improved with the understanding of the offense," said offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg. "The second thing is, physically he has done a heck of a job improving himself as well. Typically, he has caught the ball very well, and he is getting in and out of breaks here. He's done a heck of a job here." In fact, when asked to talk about players who caught his eye early, Thorn was the first one that Mornhinweg mentioned.
Thorn initially signed with the Eagles as a rookie free agent out of Northern Iowa in 2005. He spent his entire first season on the practice squad, which may or may not change, depending on how training camp goes.
Partly because of the lack of bodies in rookie camp and partly because the Eagles want to see just what they have in Thorn, the coaching staff ran him over and over again. In fact, Thorn has the distinction of being the only tight end at camp that was on the field for every play through the first three days. "He's getting good reps. He's getting a lot of reps, man," admitted Andy Reid. "And, there is really nobody that has worked harder than he has this off-season. He's been working out twice a day, every day this whole off-season. He wants to make the team and he'll give it a good run," admitted the Eagles head coach.
In fact, Reid gave Thorn the option to take a couple plays off, but was rebuffed in his efforts. "He told me he was okay," joked Reid.
With L.J. Smith looking to take a larger role in the off-season and the arrival of Matt Schobel during the off-season, the tight end spot would seem to be pretty well locked up. If the early indications mean anything though, Thorn is going to throw his name into the mix to be a part of the 2006 Eagles and as Reid says, "he'll give it a good run."