The Eagles practiced on Monday. I’ll do a roundup of practice notes on Tuesday morning.
Nick Foles met with the media after practice. He didn’t have all that much to say, but I was happy with one thing he said. At one point, Foles mentioned trying to cut out mistakes, and then noted that he had made a couple of mistakes at practice. That simple observation is huge to me. Half the battle with getting better is knowing that you make mistakes and aren’t perfect.
Remember last year when Mike Vick was mad because he had to compete for a job? Or when DeSean Jackson was upset at running with the 3rd team in practice? Both guys knew they were supreme talents and couldn’t understand why Kelly wouldn’t acknowledge that and act accordingly. Both guys were established star players. Why should they have to prove themselves?
The very best players rarely have that attitude. When Tiger Woods was the best golfer walking the planet, he was also the hardest working. He practiced relentlessly. Jerry Rice was the best WR in football and he was a perfectionist in practice. Michael Jordan was so competitive in practice that he slugged a teammate.
Foles isn’t a special talent, but he at least does understand what it takes to try to get to that level. You need to acknowledge your mistakes and work on them. You need to improve the things you do well and try to do them even better. Don’t let good enough be good enough, as Bill Parcells liked to say.
We’ll see how Foles pans out in the long term, but it won’t be a lack of focus or effort that keeps him from succeeding.
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Eagles are all done with draftee signings, now that Marcus Smith is in the fold. Four-year deal.
— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) June 9, 2014
Glad Marcus is officially done. Players almost never holdout under the new CBA, but it is just good to know that the deal is done. Now he can concentrate on making it to the Hall of Fame. Or being an effective role player as a rookie. Whichever.
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Going back to the minor league discussion from earlier today. A few points…
* Is college not already a developmental league? No. College teams play to win games. A developmental league would be built to develop players, just as minor league baseball teams do. They want to win if they can, but the focus is feeding talent to the majors.
* What about the CFL? That is a whole other kind of football. A couple of guys try to make the jump to the NFL every year, but few succeed.
* Any developmental league would be run by the NFL. That means the NFL would hire the coaches. As to how teams would choose offensive and defensive schemes…that would be done by the coaches. It wouldn’t benefit the Eagles a ton to have a DL playing in a 1-gap 4-3 attack, but I don’t think you can design the league around players going to specific schemes. You want the players to get on the field and get as much time as possible. You can learn, even playing a different scheme.
* Any league would probably be sending minimal talent to the NFL. Teams just wouldn’t be putting good players into it. From the current roster you might send…S Keelan Johnson or OL Michael Bamiro. Maybe OLB Travis Long would go. You could send over one of the RBs (Tucker or Josey). GJ Kinne would be an ideal candidate.
The point is that the NFL team would keep their best players in Philly. They’d want those guys at all the OTAs and the full Training Camp. Those players would be expected to develop in Philly while practicing.
* There is no perfect way to do this. I just hope the NFL tries something. There are some talented players on the street who deserve a chance to play some kind of organized football. Getting a handful of snaps in OTAs and at Training Camp isn’t enough for them to show what they might be able to do. The success percentage would be low, but that’s okay. You can see holes on all 32 rosters. The NFL needs to find more talent somehwere. Not stars, but solid role players and the occasional starter.