Mini-camp starts on Monday for the Eagles. This is a mandatory event. The OTAs are voluntary, but most players attend anyway so it really won’t be all that different.
Eagles fans have the best coverage in the entire NFL. PE.com is a great team site. There are multiple newspapers and media outlets that provide great coverage. We’ve seen Les Bowen, Jeff McLane, Reuben Frank, Geoff Mosher and Zach Berman all break stories, as well as providing outstanding daily coverage. Paul Domowitch is a great columnist who offers an interesting take on the team and the league. Tim McManus and Sheil Kapadia do a phenomenal job of combining news and analysis. Derek Sarley does great All-22 work for the Daily News (and at Iggles Blog). Brandon Lee Gowton and Mike Kaye do excellent work over at Bleeding Green Nation. There are a slew of good bloggers who run their own sites. The ChipWagon proved to be a great source of All-22 analysis last season.
Even Jimmy Bama writes the occasional kinda half-decent article. He is certainly the preeminent artist amongst the Eagles media contingent.
The quality and amount of Eagles coverage is almost overwhelming.
Eagles fans get a ton of practice reports, from OTAs to mini-camps to Training Camp. Who’s good? Who’s struggling? Some writers love this stuff, while others do it because they have to. Fans certainly eat it up. They want to know how all the players look.
The problem is that context is sometimes lost. Fans and media don’t always know what to look for. They can often focus on results while coaches and scouts are looking more at skill and talent. Matt Barkley’s best throw in a practice could be an incompletion. The receiver might have run the wrong route, making Barkley look bad. The writer will note the incompletion, while the coach may love the throw.
A defensive player might impress the coaches by being in the right spot consistently. He can’t hit or tackle anyone so he won’t necessarily stand out to a casual observer.
There is also the question of players getting better. Coaches understand that players develop over time. That could be weeks, months or years. Fans and the media don’t always have the most patience in the world. Coaches are looking to see who is learning and making progress. They know what to look for and that helps them judge the players in a more accurate way.
Enjoy all the coverage. Just try not to get too high or too low on players in the spring and summer. There are very few instant answers that turn out to be accurate.
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Speaking of great Eagles coverage…sad news. Bryce Johnston is shutting down EaglesCap.com.
Dear Users of the Site,
After 10 off-seasons of Eagles salary cap coverage, I am announcing at this time that I am no longer going to continue to maintain eaglescap.com. The Allen Barbre extension is the last contract that I am going to enter onto the site, and in August I am going to cancel the domain name. So if you would like to record any information for your own use, please do so shortly. I will be happy to continue answering questions via e-mail and Twitter.
I now strongly endorse overthecap.com as the most reliable and comprehensive source of Eagles contract and salary cap information. Overthecap.com provides such information for all 32 teams, and does so with tremendous accuracy and thoroughness, rendering sites like this one obsolete.
From this point forward I will be contributing occasionally to overthecap.com. I will write some Eagles-focused pieces, but primarily I will write about contract structure and cap management strategies in a non-team-specific sense. I will also remain active on Twitter.
I would like to thank all those who have used the site thoughout the years, e-mailed me with questions or suggestions, and interacted with me on Twitter. This decision is bittersweet, but I think the timing is right.
Kudos to Bryce for running a great site for a long time. Do follow him on Twitter.