Crazy Day

Posted: May 23rd, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Crazy Day

What didn’t happen on Tuesday? That might be easier to answer than covering everything that did.

Let’s start with the headlines.

  • OTAs got underway.
  • Carson Wentz got on the field and threw the ball. And he looked pretty good.
  • The Eagles cut LB Mychal Kendricks.
  • Backup MLB Paul Worrilow tore his ACL.
  • Darren Sproles and Michael Bennett were the only guys who weren’t at practice.
  • Sidney Jones played in the slot.
  • A report surfaced that the Eagles were offered the 35th pick for Nick Foles during the draft and turned it down.
  • Doug Pederson held a press conference.
  • So did Wentz.

Random Tuesdays in May aren’t supposed to be that busy. Now let’s talk about what happened.

Wentz is the big story. He hasn’t been fully cleared and probably won’t be until some time in August. That didn’t stop him from getting on the field and participating in some drills.

That does not look like a dude moving on a rebuilt ACL. Wentz still has a long way to go in his recovery, but the fact he tore his ACL six months ago is hard to believe when you see that kind of movement. Wentz is a tireless worker and the presence of Foles probably adds some pressure for him to return as quickly as possible. I don’t mean pressure from Foles or the team, but rather internal pressure. Wentz wants to be on the field. He wants his job back.

While Wentz was opening eyes with his comeback, Mychal Kendricks opened eyes with his absence. The Eagles finally cut him. This simply had to happen. Kendricks is a talented player. He just helped the team win a Super Bowl. The problem is that he was going to be the #3 LB on the team and play in about 30 to 35 percent of the snaps. If that. Kendricks isn’t paid like a role player. The Eagles gave him a big deal a few years back when he was a starter.

They tried to trade him last year and this offseason. No one was willing to give up a pick because they expected the Eagles to cut him. Teams knew the Eagles just couldn’t pay a role player that kind of money.

Besides, the team signed Corey Nelson in the offseason to come in and compete for Kendricks’ job. Nelson is paid like a role player and he’s much better in coverage so that really wasn’t much of a competition. Nelson was going to get the job, barring an injury or arrest or something like that.

It is ironic that the day the Eagles finally make a move with Kendricks, another LB goes down. Worrilow tore his ACL and is done for the year. He was going to be the backup MLB and could also play outside if needed.

Now Joe Walker will be the official backup MLB. In reality, Nigel Bradham would slide inside and another OLB would take his spot. I’m sure the Eagles will look around and see if they can find another veteran MLB type to come in and compete for a job.

Doug Pederson mentioned at his PC that Darren Sproles and Michael Bennett were the only two players not in attendance. Since they are proven veterans, Pederson said he’s not worried. Bennett is new to the team so it would be nice to have him here, but as Pederson pointed out, he’s a D-lineman and those guys have a pretty simple job. It is easier to change teams with a position like that than if you played QB or OT or S.

Sidney Jones is going through his first real offseason as an NFL player. Last year he was rehabbing his Achilles. Now, he’s practicing. Today he spent time in the slot. He is the best fit of the Eagles top CBs when it comes to playing inside. Jones is bigger than most slot guys, but his athleticism and skills give him a chance to play well there. Eventually he will play outside. I think Avonte Maddox will be the slot in the future. That could happen in September or in 2019.


The really odd nugget of the day came from writer Michael Silver.

The key here is that the report says the Eagles talked to Foles and he said he preferred to stay in Philly.

That makes total sense. Foles played for the Rams in 2015 and things did not go well. He needs the right situation around him. Cleveland has added some talented pieces, but that organization still seems pretty dysfunctional.

Foles wants to stay with the Eagles and then hit the free agent market in 2019. If he doesn’t play much this year, teams will remember his playoff performance. If he does play, he’ll have a good situation around him and that gives him a good chance to succeed.

The Eagles did the right thing. Foles helped them win the Super Bowl. You don’t just trade that guy anywhere. You have to do right by him. Plus, the Eagles might need Foles this year. You only deal him if it is a great offer and he’s on board with it.


Jimmy Bama has up some practice notes. Great stuff here on Wentz. 

In my now sixth year covering the team, the only comparison I can make with Wentz is Sam Bradford, who the Eagles acquired during the 2015 offseason after he tore an ACL during the 2014 preseason with the Rams. Like Wentz, Bradford tore the ACL in his left knee.

Here’s what I wrote about Bradford way back on June 1, 2015:

Bradford barely moved his feet during his reps. He had deliberate movements, whereas the other quarterbacks had much more natural-looking footwork. Any casual observer could clearly see a difference. He’s slightly more mobile than a JUGS machine right now. We’ll see if that changes as the summer progresses.

Wentz was far more mobile in practice on Tuesday than Bradford was in June of 2015, despite having roughly four fewer months to recover. If you’ll recall, Bradford played in preseason games, and of course was ready for Week 1 of the regular season. Pencil in Wentz for Week 1.

Very encouraging.


Jeff McLane posted some practice notes.

  1. And a few quickies … Reserve quarterback Joe Callahan fired a seam pass to Billy Brown, but the second-year tight end never looked back. … Rookie defensive end Josh Sweat ran with a slight hitch. Maybe it’s just his gait, but it bears watching considering his knee history. … Jordan Mailata is one smart Aussie. The rookie tackle, who only recently picked up football, hung close by Peters during individual drills and took the perennial Pro Bowler’s advice during breaks. … Donnie Jones was one of the best punters in team history, but he was also a master of kicking indoors. He had such control over the trajectory of his boots that I hardly ever saw him hit the ceiling in the Eagles’ bubble. New punter Cameron Johnston must have whacked about a half dozen punts off the top. Maybe his leg is just stronger than Jones, but the caromed kicks had players dodging footballs in all sorts of directions.

Great to here Mailata is following Peters so closely. Also that Peters is willing to work with a young guy. Some veterans are selfish and don’t like to help rookies learn. After all, the rookie is coming for their job. Peters is truly a team guy and will do whatever he can to help the team and his teammates.


Brandon Lee Gowton had some good stuff.

• Mixed results from Nate Sudfeld in his first full Eagles practice session open to the media. His fade pass to Dallas Goedert in the red zone was picked off by a leaping De’Vante Bausby. Impressive play. Later, Sudfeld tried to air it out deep but his pass for Bryce Treggs was overthrown. Sudfeld showed good accuracy on some shorter and intermediate throw

• The aforementioned Bausby, who got reps at second team outside corner, had a real strong day. In addition to his leaping pick, he broke up a few passes. Also managed to run well along with Treggs as the speedy receiver tried to beat him deep. Bausby was on the Chiefs’ roster bubble last year before ending up on Philly’s practice squad. Name to keep an eye on.

• Shelton Gibson literally dropped at least one pass in almost every practice last year. I didn’t see him have any drops today. Instead, he actually made some real nice grabs with his hands extended away from his body. Gibson’s route-running also looks much cleaner. Early candidate for this year’s turnaround player.

Pederson has mentioned Bausby a few times already in the offseason. The Eagles are deep at CB, but you can never have enough good corners.

The Eagles liked Gibson a lot when they drafted him. He had a poor rookie offseason/season, but he wouldn’t be the first receiver to turn things around. Just look at what happened to Nelson Agholor. Gibson could develop into a good role player. He has outstanding speed. Gibson has a long way to go, but that sure is an encouraging first day.


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