They Hit the Field

Posted: July 23rd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 27 Comments »

29 Eagles players hit the field and practiced today.

Originally that was going to be 30 guys. Then a couple of  rookies screwed up. P Brad Wing and RB Matthew Tucker failed their conditioning test. This is a series of sprints (usually from one side of the field to the other) that have to be completed in a certain time frame, which is set by position.

This isn’t a huge deal, but it sure isn’t a good sign for a pair of UDFAs that had an uphill battle to make the team. Nothing screams “Hey coach, I’m ready to play!” like falling short of minimum conditioning standards. Veterans will take the test on Thursday and Wing and Tucker can take it again then. You could certainly hear disappointment in Chip Kelly’s comments. A RB and a P being too slow? Not a good start for them.

C Jason Kelce was eligible and decided he wanted to practice. He is ready to go and just wanted some extra time on the field. That’s smart. This will let him ease into things and be ready when the full team practices on Friday.

* * * * *

Michael Vick met with the media and said the right things. He stressed that he’s ready to compete. It feels like the light finally went on for Vick, in terms of the situation he’s in. He’s competing for the QB job. That’s it. He’s not guaranteed the job. Nor is Foles or Barkley.

This is the first time in the NFL that Vick has been on a team where the coach didn’t have his guy. Vick was that guy in Atlanta. Donovan was that guy in 2009. Then Kolb initially in 2010. Vick won the job from Kolb and was the Eagles guy for the last 2 1/2 years.

Now Kelly comes in and has no guy. He’s got a QB competition. This is a new concept to Vick. If he’s got the right attitude, that will certainly help his cause.

Here is video of Vick’s PC.

* * * * *

The two practice gurus are still Jimmy Bama and Sheil Kapadia.  Let’s see what they have for us today.

Here is a good nugget from Jimmy:

• Earl Wolff had an interception today during 2 on 3′s. After practice, Wolff talked about his tackling at NC State, where he was known as guy who did a good job wrapping up ball-carriers. “When I have the chance to make a big hit, I feel like I can, but I’m more of a ‘for sure’ tackler.” Wolff, by the way, has a pretty cool tattoo. It’s a intravenous bag in the shape of a football, with the drip tube going into a heart.

Jimmy also had some fun with the Eagles schedule for players.

When you read these, keep in mind that there were 29 players in a non-contact practice. You won’t be getting a ton of notes like you will next week.

Sheil listened in on an OL drill.

* One nice part about these practices is you can get up close to the field and actually listen to the coaches. For example, I spent some time around Jeff Stoutland and the offensive line. There were only five players in attendance – Lane Johnson, Jason Kelce, Michael Bamiro, Nic Purcell and Matt Tobin. On one rep, Johnson held an orange blocking pad and was supposed to simulate a 3-technique defensive tackle.

But when the ball was snapped, Johnson didn’t go where Stoutland wanted him to go, so he blew the whistle and stopped the drill. Remember Chip Kelly’s philosophy of teaching in the classroom, not on the field? That doesn’t apply to these practices. Stoutland explained how the 3-technique could either attack the gap or the offensive tackle.

Sheil also has some interesting pics in his post. You can see where Kelly is using some new devices to help coach the WRs. We’ll find out if this stuff works or has minimal effect. I do think it is smart to try new ideas. And Kelly is full of them.

* * * * *

PE.com has a short practice video up.

And Kelly’s PC.

* * * * *

Les Bowen wrote a good piece about Howie Roseman and the ongoing roster shuffle. Howie had some interesting thoughts.

“We’re still trying to figure out the guys on the back end of the roster,” Roseman said. “I think you’ve seen, there’s been some turnover the last couple weeks. We’re trying to find the right fits. There’ll probably be a lot more flexibility than maybe we’ve had the last couple years about trying to find the right fits, and maybe getting some players in and out . . . Once we get the pads on and we see guys in live situations, we’ll figure out things a lot more clearly than you do in the spring.”

and

“When you’re combining a new staff with new schemes, there’s going to be a lot more competition. Then you have some guys that maybe didn’t fit perfectly in the last scheme, and you bring ‘em in and you realize they’re really good scheme fits here . . . and the flip side, as well.”

We’re learning about Chip Kelly. So is Roseman. We’re learning about the hybrid defense. So is Howie Roseman.

There will be players coming and going. There are a lot of question marks that make it impossible to know how some positions will look. The Eagles could be outstanding at DE if the top guys play as expected (Cox, Thornton) and some other guys pan out (Geathers, Curry, Logan, Kruger, etc.). But what if those guys don’t pan out? Then we’ll need to make moves to find depth. And spring football told us nothing since the players didn’t have pads on. The only way Howie and the coaches can figure this out is to watch the guys play with live hitting and then adjust accordingly.

If reading Les isn’t enough, click on this Reuben Frank article and you can see Les and Rhea Hughes discussing the Eagles. They talk about James Casey more than anything. Good stuff.

Roob wrote about how creative Howie has been in building the roster. The Eagles signed Michael Bamiro as a street free agent. They signed Ifeanyi Momah as a street free agent. Both players got creative contracts that showed aggressiveness on the part of the Eagles. They signed Nic Purcell right after the draft. Purcell is the guy from New Zealand who never played major college football.

You can see the Eagles wanted talent on the roster to help foster legitimate competition. The players may not pan out, but I think you do have to give Howie credit for being creative and aggressive.

_


  • P_P_K

    Football season is here!

  • JulzPE

    Watching the videos on pe.com it does look like Vick has bulked up a little, he came out and said he added 4 pounds of muscle and it certainly seems he’s carrying a bit of extra weight

    Can’t say it’s a bad thing unless it starts to interfere with his mechanics, doubt it would though. The NFL.com article made the right point though, needs to avoid the hits that get him injured rather than add more muscle.

    • Ark87

      Vick’s looking good, Foles didn’t looks quite as awkward running around as he used to…Barkley….looks like he’s 30, he needs to get his rest or something.

  • TheRogerPodacter

    regarding sheil’s picture showing the WRs catching passes from behind a white post thing…
    do you think this is forcing the players to catch the ball with their hands, away from their body as opposed to catching it with their body?

    • DJH

      I think that, and catching the ball with a defender’s arm(s)/body in the way.

      • TommyLawlor

        Exactly.

        Making obstructed catches is something that can be worked on, apparently. Never would have occurred to me to do that.

  • Ark87

    There is such an emphasis on conditioning for this team….what a bunch of knuckle-heads. God I hope the vets are paying attention. It’d be completely inexcusable for vets to show up out of shape, being vets and knowing better and then seeing this.

  • I Got Jokes, Calm Down

    I have really be liking the UDFAs they have been bringing in the past 2 years. damaris still flys under the radar.

    • GEagle

      Yeah, Howie has really done a solid job in this regard. To the point that he is almost spoiling us with these late round Gems…Hopefully someone out of Bamiro,Momah, Sheppard,Knott proves to be the next Gem…

  • A_T_G

    Looks like Brute was given a number. That has to be a good sign. Also, he must have passed his conditioning test.

    From Sheil: Stoutland then used an analogy of pushing a car uphill. “Are you going to push it from behind or from the side?”

    Now, I’m not 6’8″ or 320 pounds, but I don’t think pushing a car uphill is a good idea. And that is going to look pretty silly on the injury report: Todd Herrimans – Econolined, questionable.

    • Baloophi

      He’s gunning for Trotter’s number.

      Needs to do a better job of getting around the blocker though…

  • Iskar36

    You certainly don’t want to fail a conditioning test, regardless of the situation, but I’m curious about what it really means for a punter. For a RB, clearly they have to be in great condition to run at full speed every play, but a punter is going to be playing one down and then come off the field. Also, if we are to take Brad Wings word as truth, just a week ago or so, he tweeted this:

    Brad Wing
    ‏@bwing38
    20 Jul
    Just hit a personal best ball. So stoked! #PunterProblems

    So while he may not have passed the conditioning test, apparently he is punting well.

    I’m just trying to understand what standard Kelly would expect from the condition of his punter.

    • shah8

      /me blinks.

      Do you *really* want your punter, that last dude to stop a runaway train, not to be able to use even easy angles to trip him up, at least?

      • Iskar36

        That’s certainly part of it, but it sounds like the conditioning test is more about running for a long distance in a certain amount of time (longer than any play would be) which is a bit different from sprinting on one play to trip up a guy. There is some correlation between the two, but they aren’t entirely the same thing.

        With other positions, in theory, players can be on the field multiple plays in a row, and it is important to be in great condition. A punter only sees the field one play at time. I’m not trying to excuse Brad Wing though. It just seems a shame that he can practice when he failed something that likely has little impact on his potential value as a punter.

    • TommyLawlor

      Kelly talked about it today. All the specialists are grouped together. Henery, Dorenbos, Jones and Wing will all have the same standard.

      And all teams do this. The fact Wing failed is what is so odd. He knows Kelly places a premium on conditioning.

      If Dorenbos and Henery fail it Thursday, you can start to question Kelly. If they pass, which I’m sure they will, this is all on Wing.

      • Iskar36

        Don’t get me wrong, I’m not arguing the practice of having conditioning tests. I assume this is all on Brad Wing. My point is that punter just seems like the position that conditioning would have the least importance. Again, that doesn’t mean he should get a pass on failing the test, I’m just asking more of a question of how important is the test for a punter.

        • TommyLawlor

          It isn’t critical and I’m sure that’s why the time for him to beat is very reasonable. Again, he’s being held to the same standard as Jon Dorenbos, who is 45 pounds heavier.

          The test isn’t about speed. It is about conditioning. If the kid can’t show you he’s serious about making the team by staying in shape, is he going to do everything he can to be the best Punter he can?

          • GEagle

            I think it’s mostly a safety measure. If you are going to ask guys to practice at 12:30 in 100 degree heat, there has to be a minimum conditioning level…It also measures if you are minimally committed…IMO this reflects very poorly. I mean, Wing is a problem child who is competing with a friggin ProBowler who all reports indicate has been kicking the ball pretty well…Tucker is an Undrafted kid competing to try and join one of the most stacked group of RBs in the NFL…

            Hopefully none of our veterans fail this test on Thursday..

          • ICDogg

            That makes sense.

            And I think it also sends a message to players to take conditioning more seriously.

          • A_T_G

            Bingo. When you are a long shot, and this is likely your only shot, to fulfill a lifelong dream, how are you not in the best shape of your life?

  • GEagle

    Glad that we found out that we won’t have to wait for Kick off in DC to find out who our QB is.l.Chip said it woulda be announced when they put in the gameplan for the skins game

  • Anders

    I cant remember the last time a player failed a conditioning test under AR.

    I mean Jason Peters, Dixon and Graham in 2011 would 100% have failed a conditioning test, but AR did nothing about it and I actually think that is a bad sign to send to the rest of the team. It shows that laziness does at a minimum not gets punished (Dixon didnt make the team).

    Maybe AR thought that his TC was so tough that he was sure the players would be in shape.

    It also kinda reminds me of Mike Shanahan’s first year with Haynesworth that kept failing this test despite been paid a gazillion dollars and Im confident Kelly would do the same if Peters shows up out of shape (I doubt it as all sign indicate that he is in super shape, but you never know)

  • eagleyankfan

    those PC are cool — wouldn’t be a whole lot better if we can hear the questions being asked…

  • ICDogg

    I used to love getting up close and watching OL vs DL drills. Every few seconds, some of the biggest groups of people you ever saw in your life crashing into each other. I could watch that all day.

  • Daniel Norman Richwine

    My biggest concern is with the secondary. The only thing they have going for them is the idea that they can’t be worse than last year, otherwise on a scale of 1-10 my confidence is about a 2.

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