OTA Updates

Posted: June 1st, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 80 Comments »

The Eagles began their final week of OTAs on Tuesday. Nothing too crazy happened, but it is always interesting to check out the practice notes.

Let’s start with Jeff McLane today.

— Here’s your obligatory quarterback update: Bradford had an up-and-down day, but getting a consistent number of repetitions this year vs. last, when he was still coming back from knee surgery, is what matters most. Other media outlets might overhype the importance of two-touch spring football, but perspective is needed. For instance, Bradford threw a pass to Josh Huff that was tipped by corner Ron Brooks into the hands of safety Rodney McLeod. It was an interception, but was it solely the quarterback’s fault? It was a timing pass – maybe Huff’s slant route wasn’t crisp enough. Later, Bradford threw a pass into the back of the end zone that Malcolm Jenkins cut off and knocked to the ground. There wasn’t a receiver in the vicinity. Did Bradford make the wrong read, or did his receiver run the wrong route? Asked later how he thought he performed, Bradford said that he thought it was a productive outing after watching film.

Some great points here by Jeff. Remember when Chip Kelly would be asked about players on other teams and he would respond that he couldn’t really judge them because he didn’t know what play had been called or what the coaches had told them to do? Same point applies here. We don’t always know who is to blame when something goes wrong.

Nelson Agholor was active. The Eagles (desperately?) need him to elevate his play in his sophomore season. They would love for Agholor to develop into a home run hitter, but I’m not sure that he’s a receiver who can consistently take the lid off a secondary. But he has looked smoother running a variety of other routes. He caught an early seam pass from Carson Wentz, a post in the middle of a zone from Sam Bradford and, in perhaps his best moment, caught a comeback throw after he had turned cornerback Eric Rowe around. If Agholor can’t be a consistent deep threat, the Eagles might need to turn to free-agent addition Chris Givens during the season.

It is encouraging to hear that a young player had a good day. You can see if he gets open and if he catches the ball…real basic stuff. One good day doesn’t mean a whole lot, but if a good day can turn into a good week and then a good month, that’s how young players turn the corner.

Next up is Josh Paunil and Tim McManus. From Josh…

10:49 — While standing on the sidelines, I tell Jimmy Kempski that I’ve never been to WaWa (I grew up in Maryland), and he immediately calls me out on Twitter.

10:50 — Twitter death threats commence. 

11:01 — Chase Daniel shouts, “Gotta get that arm loose, 7!” when Sam Bradford doesn’t lead Huff, forcing the receiver to slow down on a deep ball down the left sideline. Daniel hits Agholor in-stride for a 40-yard strike down the right side moments later, followed by another pretty ball to Hunter Sharp.

11:03 — Doug Pederson dials up some trick plays! Daniel throws a bubble screen to Huff, who rolls back and completes a 20-yard pass to Wendell Smallwood. Later, Agholor takes a bubble screen on the left side and tosses one to Carson Wentz, but the play didn’t connect.

I don’t live in Philly and even I’ve been to WaWa. Crazy.

I get the feeling Chase Daniel is one of those guys who just stirs the pot, but mostly in a good way. As long as guys like that don’t have an agenda, they are a good thing. My guess is that Chase is liked by his teammates and isn’t seen as a jerk.

12:00 — Fight! Or a little scuffle anyway. Allen Barbre and Mike Martin engage in some extra-curriculars during team drills before walking away without further incident. Safe to say, Kelly would have cut them both on the spot.

12:12 — Wentz is running a little hurry-up, and threads one to McFarland. He comes back to the same play a beat later and has similar success. Cory Undlin is not pleased. “C.J!” he yells to rookie corner C.J. Smith, “How many times have you seen them run that?”

Duce Staley has some words for his rook as well, letting Smallwood have it when he doesn’t take the right route out of the backfield, leading to a Wentz incompletion.

12:17 — The day ends on a positive note, though, as Wentz feathers a pass into the corner of the end zone that Chris Pantale snags one-handed for the TD. Pederson decides to call it there.

The defensive coaches aren’t scared to really get on players. Duce is a tough guy as well. I can’t share all the stories I’ve heard, but I’m beginning to see how Jeff Lurie thought of Duce as a legit head coaching candidate. He seems to be able to motivate his guys, as well as being tough on them when it is called for.

Wentz seems to make a few throws every practice that impress people. That’s a good sign to me. It’s way too early to come to conclusions, but you want to hear that the high pick is showing some signs of what made him a high pick in the first place.

Finally, we have Jimmy Bama.

• One area where Chip Kelly was tremendous in his tenure with the Eagles was with special teams. Under Kelly, the Eagles probably got more special teams reps than any team in the NFL, and my bet is that it was by a wide margin. Over the last three years, it could be argued that the Eagles had the best special teams units in the NFL. The Eagles under Doug Pederson aren’t getting anywhere near as many special teams reps so far. We’ll see if and how that will affect the 2016 Eagles.

• The kickers made all their kicks today. Cody Parkey and Caleb Sturgis were both 3-for-3 from distances of about 27, 32, and 38. Parkey had a near-miss on one as hejust kept one inside the right upright on the 33-yarder.

The Carson Daily

Wentz was up and down today, in my opinion. He had some really nice throws, some throws he’ll learn from.

In the “learn from” column, the play design was a fake to the right, then a screen back to the left side. Bryan Braman read it nicely and was able to bat the pass out of the air before it reached the intended target. Those plays can become disasters. It appeared as though Wentz just trusted that it would be open before he turned to throw the screen, and was not expecting Braman to be there.

In the “atta boy” column, he had a gorgeous deep ball down the sideline to Xavier Rush in 7-on-7’s. During the more important 11-on-11 phase of practice, he threw a perfectly placed wheel jawn to running back Cedric O’Neal in the back of the end zone. O’Neal tried to one hand it (perhaps unnecessarily) and could not make the play. But the throw was money. On the next play, Wentz hit TE Chris Pantale on the other side of the field for a TD on what looked to be another well-placed ball, although I didn’t have as great a view on that one.

That is a great point about STs. Those guys got a lot of reps under Kelly and they made them pay off. It will be interesting to see how less practice reps affects the group.

As for Wentz, you cannot expect to see a finished product. He is going to be up and down. You want more ups than downs, and for some of the ups to be really impressive.


PE.com has Sam Bradford’s PC.

Nothing outrageous here, but Sam has a few interesting comments.

It certainly sounds like he, Chase and Carson Wentz are all getting along fine.

I thought the most interesting comment was when he talked about wanting to incorporate some ideas from last year that he thought worked well. If there is something that he likes and the team ran well last year, why not add it to the playbook?


80 Comments on “OTA Updates”

  1. 1 OTA Updates - said at 12:29 AM on June 1st, 2016:

    […] Tommy Lawlor The Eagles began their final week of OTAs on Tuesday. Nothing too crazy happened, but it is always […]

  2. 2 Greg Tulino said at 1:11 AM on June 1st, 2016:

    The next thing I am looking forward to is hearing that both Sproles and Cox are at mandatory OTA’s next week.

  3. 3 Rob Jarratt said at 7:29 AM on June 1st, 2016:

    Even better, that Cox has signed his contract.

  4. 4 Forthebirds said at 12:12 PM on June 1st, 2016:

    Neither side seems to be in a hurry. If he shows up to OTAs, it may mean there is progress.

  5. 5 MattE said at 12:21 PM on June 1st, 2016:

    ………for $5mill/year over th rest of his career hahaha

  6. 6 Dude said at 1:32 AM on June 1st, 2016:

    The special teams. That is the one area where I see a significant fall off from the last few years. However, seeing that we won’t be punting the ball every 47 seconds on offense, I doubt we’ll be kicking the ball nearly as much. Thankfully, we have plenty of special teamers who have been around to pass on their knowledge to the younger guys. #culture

  7. 7 Anders said at 3:30 AM on June 1st, 2016:

    Under Reid when we had Harbaugh, we had some of the best ST units in the NFL without the heavy reps. ST is more about the coach and the players than reps.

  8. 8 Media Mike said at 5:20 AM on June 1st, 2016:

    Fipp and good special teams players kept as backups = good special teams.

  9. 9 RobNE said at 8:44 AM on June 1st, 2016:

    right but don’t you think the final roster is more likely now (without Chip) to not emphasis ST as much, so we might have slightly more skilled depth who aren’t as good at ST?

  10. 10 Anders said at 1:57 AM on June 2nd, 2016:

    I think guys like Burton, Braman and Maragos will be kept.

  11. 11 Media Mike said at 5:21 AM on June 1st, 2016:

    Shame Martin didn’t knock Barbre out Jets locker room style. We could use the upgrade at LG.

  12. 12 Gian GEAGLE said at 8:15 AM on June 1st, 2016:

    Hoping Martin can take Taylor Harts roster spot..stylistically Martin has the advantage in this scheme.
    Be great if one of the UDFA DTs also make the roster
    It will suck if we don’t have a young player who can take the RG spot from barbie doll

  13. 13 The original AG said at 5:30 PM on June 1st, 2016:

    It’s still early yet.

  14. 14 eagleyankfan said at 7:43 AM on June 1st, 2016:

    Good stuff. All eyes are on Wentz. Not sure why. See you in a year or two.
    Didn’t read about any injuries…perfect.
    How did KC’s special teams rank last year? I’d imagine AR ran a similar camp in terms of reps.

  15. 15 RobNE said at 8:42 AM on June 1st, 2016:

    maybe instead of back shoulder throws they should master less difficult catches first

  16. 16 Tumtum said at 11:40 AM on June 1st, 2016:

    SMH. Huff gonna make me look like the fool I am. I am still in his camp for now.

  17. 17 MattE said at 12:20 PM on June 1st, 2016:


  18. 18 xmbk said at 8:08 AM on June 1st, 2016:

    Real shocker to see Earl Wolff sitting out Jags practices with a hammy.

  19. 19 Gian GEAGLE said at 8:21 AM on June 1st, 2016:

    Surprised he is even Part of a 90 man roster..

  20. 20 Gary Barnes said at 9:55 AM on June 1st, 2016:

    Who would have believed Ryan Matthews returned to the practice field before Wolff? 😉

  21. 21 Tumtum said at 11:38 AM on June 1st, 2016:

    I actually feel bad for the guy.

  22. 22 Gary Barnes said at 12:07 PM on June 1st, 2016:

    Me too

  23. 23 MattE said at 12:18 PM on June 1st, 2016:

    screw that i feel bad for Boykin

  24. 24 Anders said at 1:58 AM on June 2nd, 2016:

    Seems Boykin is a lockerroom problem

  25. 25 Gian GEAGLE said at 8:12 AM on June 1st, 2016:

    We kept the same ST coach. I’d like to think Fipp was more responsible for our elite ST, than Chip Kelly’s practice structure. I don’t expect to see our ST nose dive now that chip is gone.
    Countess was asked what he finds as the biggest difference between college Prractice and NFL practice, and he says what really stands out to him is how intense the ST practice sessions are compared to how colleges work on ST teams…. So chances are, Fipp is still orchestrating some good ST work even tho chip is gone
    I’d rather have Fipp training our ST, than to lose Fipp but keep chips practice structure.
    as long as our Key ST players make the roster: Braman, Maragos, Burton, Najee Goode, I expect to see a top 10 unit….And we added some other solid ST players like Ron Brooks, Jalen Mills.. Wouldn’t surprise me if our ST roster ends up even better than last years roster….. Hopefully Parkey comes back strong from his injury and donnie is still booting the ball at a high level

  26. 26 Tumtum said at 11:38 AM on June 1st, 2016:

    Chip’s practice structure was built around the temp offense. While it sounds like they want to incorporate some tempo in this offense, it sure doesn’t seem like it is a cornerstone.

  27. 27 Stephen E. said at 4:17 PM on June 1st, 2016:

    It also helps that we still have Sproles… hopefully.

  28. 28 bill said at 8:35 AM on June 1st, 2016:

    Pfft. Kelly and McLane (and I guess Tommy) are know-nothing pikers. There’s this website, where they absolutely positively can evaluate players after watching the TV feed for a few hours late on a Sunday night. THEY don’t know the plays either, but they do all kinds of impressive sounding math on the numbers that are revealed to them from their intense TV footage study, and I’m told that this is truth incarnate. Maybe Chip would have been better if he had interned with that website rather than with Belicheck?

  29. 29 Forthebirds said at 12:27 PM on June 1st, 2016:

    If they are know nothing pikers, why are you reading them? I hope I’ m missing some sarcasm. I don’t see why the writers are held in such contempt. Well I do see why Hayes is and Murphy because he is so set on showing us everything he learned in Introduction to Creative Writing.

  30. 30 D3FB said at 12:50 PM on June 1st, 2016:

    He’s mocking PFF.

  31. 31 Forthebirds said at 1:23 PM on June 1st, 2016:

    Thanks. I may be getting tone deaf. A lot of people seem to hold OFF in low regard.

  32. 32 ChoTime said at 1:53 PM on June 1st, 2016:

    I don’t get meta stuff complaining about various media personalities, either.

  33. 33 anon said at 12:58 PM on June 1st, 2016:


  34. 34 D3FB said at 1:08 PM on June 1st, 2016:

    Too easy of a conversion. Yes it was succesful, but we believe it could have been more expansive in its attempts.


  35. 35 Sean Stott said at 6:16 PM on June 1st, 2016:

    I hate ‘grades’. Grades for drafts, grades for mock drafts, grades for free agency, head coach hiring grades, head coach firing grades, play by play grades, player grades, come on.

  36. 36 RobNE said at 8:45 AM on June 1st, 2016:

    I read on MMQB how the Jags are doing some kind of event in England, like a fantasy camp. Just trying to build up interest.

    Geez, why don’t they just come out and say they are moving to London. That’s going to be the least surprising news when that finally happens.

  37. 37 Forthebirds said at 12:34 PM on June 1st, 2016:

    I live 60 miles south of Jax so I hope they stay so I can go to a game when the Eagles play. I don”t know if it’s me or the football gods, but every time the birds play Jax, Tampa or Miami it’s in Philly.

  38. 38 anon said at 10:29 AM on June 1st, 2016:

    Interesting, Mr. Chiorboy himself Nicky Stixx is AWOL after Rams went to get Goff. Seeing how fast Nick fell out of the league does it make you feel better about sam being mediocre in STL? Does it highlight further differences between the guy we should have gotten, wilson, and the guy we took?

    Wonder if anyone in STL thinks he should “honor the contract”

  39. 39 Ark87 said at 1:27 PM on June 1st, 2016:

    I thought Reid really liked Wilson but Seattle nabbed him right before us?

  40. 40 anon said at 1:46 PM on June 1st, 2016:

    yup – wonder if that makes the Wentz move make more sense from an organizational perspective. Also sort of highlights CK’s philosophy, if you like a guy, does it matter where you take him?

  41. 41 eagleyankfan said at 8:00 AM on June 2nd, 2016:

    Seems over the years, after each draft Reid always liked someone he didn’t get….wonder what would have happened if AR moved up to get Wilson instead of hoping he fell. Maybe AR did try to move up…the world will never know….

  42. 42 anon said at 10:30 AM on June 1st, 2016:

    Eagles get a 6th for sanchize if he starts four games.

  43. 43 BobSmith77 said at 10:47 PM on June 1st, 2016:


  44. 44 Ben said at 11:05 PM on June 1st, 2016:

    No silly they get a Sixth Barrel Keg.

  45. 45 Tumtum said at 11:45 AM on June 1st, 2016:

    Not sure what Josh is talking about. There is a Wawa on every corner in MD. I live less than a mile from one. Life without Wawa is not a life I want to know.

  46. 46 Eagles_Fan_in_San_Fran said at 12:04 PM on June 1st, 2016:

    Maybe he’s a “7-11” guy instead (which is a life I definitely DON”T want to know).

  47. 47 The original AG said at 5:27 PM on June 1st, 2016:

    I was at Wawa like 4 times this week already.

  48. 48 ProbablyDrunk said at 10:54 PM on June 1st, 2016:

    I get cash every day at wawa with their free atms

  49. 49 Aran said at 11:48 AM on June 1st, 2016:

    BTW, your link intended for Birds 24/7 goes to Kempski instead.

  50. 50 Dan in Philly said at 12:31 PM on June 1st, 2016:

    Michael Vick called the offense which Reid taught to Pederson “Quarterback heaven.” If Pederson can actually run that offense and if Wentz has as far to go as it seems, Bradford is actually sitting quite pretty. If he can stay healthy, he should have a good year.

  51. 51 Will:Howie is Nino Brown said at 12:42 PM on June 1st, 2016:

    As long as the OL doesn’t let him get beat up and he doesn’t revert back to Captain Checkdown

  52. 52 meteorologist said at 1:45 PM on June 1st, 2016:

    It will be interesting to see someone go back and analyze all the things Tommy said “It will be interesting to see” about from the past year and see how they turned out.

  53. 53 P_P_K said at 3:21 PM on June 1st, 2016:

    I hope nobody does that with my posts or you’ll know how often I am wrong.

  54. 54 meteorologist said at 3:55 PM on June 1st, 2016:

    I didn’t mean “wrong or right” just meant to see how they all turned out. They are like bookmarks or time capsules. I’m sure there would be tons of fun reading to be had if someone would go dig them up

  55. 55 P_P_K said at 5:34 PM on June 1st, 2016:

    Gottcha’. I was just messing around.

  56. 56 anon said at 1:54 PM on June 1st, 2016:

    “This year, the offense to me has done a great job in terms of getting guys in positions to execute different concepts, to execute against different coverages, that’s what it is. We’re not just calling stuff, we’re calling stuff that is best for
    coverage, and you’re put in position to beat coverage whether it’s two-man, quarters, Cover-2, you’re not just running a route, you’re going to find a way to get open in this system. I love it,” he said.

    “It’s not freelancing, it is game planning honestly. You’re prepared for what you see. It’s not just, ‘OK, you have to do this.’ No, everybody gets open.”

    Quotes from Nelson, excited to watch him this year.

  57. 57 Gian GEAGLE said at 5:54 PM on June 1st, 2016:

    I see someone Wasnt a fan of chips Offense… Funny considering this is where Nelson claims he wanted to be drafted

  58. 58 anon said at 6:00 PM on June 1st, 2016:

    People talk a lot of nonsense but Ck’s offense put up some big numbers.

  59. 59 FairOaks said at 7:03 PM on June 1st, 2016:

    Not last year.

    But yeah, I think Nelson wanted to play in the 2013/2014 version of Kelly’s offense, not the 2015 version. He can be forgiven for not seeing 2015 coming — we sure didn’t.

  60. 60 Gian GEAGLE said at 7:40 AM on June 2nd, 2016:

    Continuosly regressed after year 1

  61. 61 LostInChiTown said at 2:07 PM on June 1st, 2016:

    “I don’t live in Philly and even I’ve been to WaWa. Crazy.”

    Thank goodness. I’d hate to have to find a new blogger because I enjoy reading your articles so much, but I’m pretty sure if you haven’t been to a WaWa, I can’t trust your judgement on the Birds.

  62. 62 Stephen E. said at 4:20 PM on June 1st, 2016:

    It’s not like you have to live in Philly to see a WaWa. I grew up in south NJ in the 70s and 80s, and there was one just down the road.

  63. 63 The original AG said at 5:26 PM on June 1st, 2016:

    And there’s plenty in MD near where I live.

  64. 64 wee2424 said at 8:48 PM on June 1st, 2016:

    Been stuck in FL for 3 years now. I wanted to get on my knees and thank god when I was traveling to Orlando and ran into a WaWa. Furthermore I just found out that they are building one in Broward County only about 15 minutes away from my house. Felt like I was reborn when I found that out. Unfortunately it will not be on my way to work. Miss those Wawa breakfast sandwiches.

  65. 65 BobSmith77 said at 10:45 PM on June 1st, 2016:

    The quality of food at WaWa has really declined with a lot of the stuff including deli stuff arriving precut and prepackaged.

    Mystified by the people who swear by their sandwiches in an area filled with so many good sandwich shops.

  66. 66 Insomniac said at 1:15 AM on June 2nd, 2016:

    Any real deli will make a better hoagie than Wawa’s but at 3AM your options are really slim to none in Philly. Wawa’s just brings the convenience and reliability that everyone likes.

  67. 67 anon said at 6:01 PM on June 1st, 2016:

    Can we talk about Djax giving up $500k to skip voluntary workouts? I’m taking this as a sign he wants to come home.

  68. 68 Sean Stott said at 7:54 PM on June 1st, 2016:

    Who would have predicted that of the star players CK cut, DJax would be the only one who didn’t burn bridges after the fact?

  69. 69 Insomniac said at 1:13 AM on June 2nd, 2016:

    I would bring him back if we somehow sneak into the playoffs this season.

  70. 70 daveH said at 8:03 PM on June 1st, 2016:

    It never “will be interesting to see if “.. coaches dont make 5mill to be interesting us

  71. 71 wee2424 said at 8:39 PM on June 1st, 2016:

    ATL has currently decided to not sign Freeney. I have been advocating for the Birds to sign him. Many have commented on the words that came out of his mouth regarding he wants to sign with a contender which is a very valid argument as to why he wouldn’t come here.

    I don’t view ATL as a contender and I doubt he truly does as well. Maybe he has now downplayed his signing criteria. I just think this would be the perfect scheme for him. He is getting old, but sometimes the right scheme fit can extend a players career.

  72. 72 anon said at 8:46 PM on June 1st, 2016:

    He could be done.

  73. 73 wee2424 said at 8:52 PM on June 1st, 2016:

    Ehhh, 8 sacks in 11 games last year. Not just the numbers because sometimes numbers can be misleading, but if you just watch him you can see that he clearly still has a lot of explosion and speed of the edge.

    He isn’t the Freeney of old, but he is still a damn good player. One that seems to fit this scheme like a glove.

    I wouldn’t want him to start, that would only cause him to wear down and get injured, but he would be a very good #2 in a rotation.

  74. 74 anon said at 9:07 PM on June 1st, 2016:

    I thought he’d be good too, outside for honeybadger only pass rush they had last year.

    Maybe he’s expensive? But ATL is a team that needs pass rush.

  75. 75 wee2424 said at 11:29 PM on June 1st, 2016:

    I doubt he is overly expensive. I just think ATL and other teams know that by waiting they will drive down the money he wants. Attempt to get him as cheap as possible.

  76. 76 Gian GEAGLE said at 7:40 AM on June 2nd, 2016:

    No interest in taking a roster spot from MS2 and McCalister for a quasi 40yr old on a one year rental
    Unless you expect to contend, why would you want to lose yoûng talent for a rental?
    Doubt that this is a realistic possibility

  77. 77 wee2424 said at 12:11 AM on June 3rd, 2016:

    Very valid points.

  78. 78 Julescat said at 7:29 AM on June 2nd, 2016:

    I read that NFL coaches say Freeney doesn’t play the run at all. He only rushes the passer. He has one move – a spin move. He works it well against inferior linemen. Good linemen can handle him.

  79. 79 cliff-Partying w/ Dez' Monkey said at 7:29 AM on June 2nd, 2016:

    have to think Dallas will be ringing his phone off the hook.

  80. 80 1009788204 said at 11:16 PM on June 1st, 2016: