OTA Roundup – Week 2

Posted: May 29th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on OTA Roundup – Week 2

The Eagles had another practice session that was open to the media. Let’s check in and see what went on.

First up is Jeff McLane. He was impressed by Carson Wentz.

I wasn’t expecting more from Carson Wentz after his surprising involvement in last Tuesday’s practice, but there he was doing an extensive amount of on-field work at the start of the second week. The quarterback once again participated in every individual drill, but he also partook in 2-on-2 passing drills. I used this line last week, but it applies again: If it weren’t for the brace Wentz was wearing, it would be difficult to discern that he was five months removed from reconstructive knee surgery. He ran through the same motions as his counterparts. He jogged without a hitch. He had velocity on his throws, and dare I say, the balls appeared to be moving at a faster pace than last year. And he was accurate, even when throwing against defenders. After the first set of individual drills, Wentz worked alone on a side field under the eyes of a trainer or two. He ran 20-yard sprints while pulling a weight that was leashed to his waist. When the first set of team drills ended, he rejoined the quarterbacks for more throwing drills. It was then back to another empty field for a series of solo sprints. And when Wentz finished those, he watched the rest of 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills from behind the offense.

It is hard not to be really encouraged with Wentz right now. He’s doing this in a safe setting, but he’s moving around confidently and he looks natural. Some guys coming off ACLs look stiff and awkward. They are scared to bend the knee and make quick movements. Wentz is beyond that.

The big test for him will be dealing with contact. He has to prove he can take hits to the leg and not let it bother him. A QB can’t be worrying about his lower leg while also looking for pass rushers and reading the defensive coverage.


Next up is Brandon Lee Gowton.

One of my biggest takeaways from Tuesday’s practice is that De’Vante Bausby is legitimately a name to watch this offseason. The 25-year-old cornerback first stood out in last week’s OTA practice and he followed that up with another strong outing today. Bausby lined up as the Eagles’ first team nickel corner and did a nice job of covering Nelson Agholor at times. He made a leaping pass breakup on a Nick Foles throw to Agholor over the middle of the field. He also had tight coverage on a number of plays. Jim Schwartz praised Bausby prior to Tuesday’s session.

He’s a competitive player. He did a really good job for us on the scout teams last year. He was ready to play for us last year if need be. He did a great job not just on the practice field but in the meeting room, being up on the game plan. We were fortunate that we didn’t have so many injuries there that he needed to go. But he was ready, and he had the confidence of the coaching staff. He sort of spread his wings a little bit, working in some different positions. He’s a very, very competitive player. He’s got good size, but his competitiveness stands out. You guys will see that.

You didn’t see him in training camp last year. You guys will see that in training camp this year. I’m excited about him. We’re all excited about the contributions he made to our team last year, and what he can do this year. Again, his contributions were behind the scenes last year. But we have a lot of guys that have an impact on Sunday that might not be playing.

He worked the offense hard last year. I think those guys have respect for him, and I know our coaches have respect for him.

Bausby was on the Chiefs’ roster bubble last year before getting cut and signing with the Eagles’ practice squad. There’s still way too much offseason left to call him a lock but he’s certainly trending in the right direction early on. The Eagles might have even more competition at corner than they previously thought, which certainly isn’t a bad thing.

Bausby got mentioned multiple times by Doug Pederson during the offseason so this is no fluke. The Eagles think this guy can play. While the team is deep at CB, there is always room for someone else with good cover skills. You never know when someone else will go down.

The Eagles are having a competition to see who can win the slot job. As Schwartz mentioned today, there isn’t a lot of competition at the moment because this is such limited football. This is more about getting players ready for Training Camp. Still, it doesn’t hurt to play well and get the attention of the coaching staff. Bausby is off to a good start in that regard.

One place the Eagles definitely need depth is at Safety.

Tre Sullivan stood out a few times today, in a good way. He broke up a Foles pass to Marquess Wilson. Then he picked off Sudfeld clean on a play where he diagnosed what was going on and jumped a route. Sullivan even showed off his physicality by putting a big pop on Donnel Pumphrey after the running back tried to run his way along the sideline. It’ll be interesting to see if Sullivan and/or Reaves can earn a roster spot. (Especially given that it sounds like Corey Grahamis bound to come back. Jim Schwartz praised the free agent veteran prior to practice.)

Sullivan showed last year that he is a big time hitter. That’s just not enough in today’s NFL. You must be able to cover and handle multiple roles. Sullivan has a huge chance to impress the coaches this offseason. Now that he’s got a year of NFL (practice squad) experience under his belt, the coverage side of things should come easier for Sullivan.


Fran Duffy and Chris McPherson posted some good notes for PE.com.

13. Kamu Grugier-Hill exploded downhill on a perimeter run for what would have been a tackle for loss. When he cuts it loose his athleticism is something to see – pound for pound he’s one of the most athletic guys on the team in my eyes. – FD

17. The Eagles used Nathan Gerry and Kamu Grugier-Hill as the first-team linebackers in the nickel package on Tuesday. This is merely for evaluation purposes. Fran already noted Grugier-Hill’s athleticism. I like Gerry’s play-recognition skills. In fact, Nigel Bradham said after practice that Gerry’s knowledge of the defense is right up there with the veterans in the locker room. – CM

This is the time of the year to experiment with young players. KGH has big time athleticism. He easily could be a starting LB based on that. KGH has to prove to the coaches that he can handle the physicality of the role and the mental side of things. He’s great on STs, where your job is simpler. There isn’t a lot to read. You go attack. Offenses do a lot of complex things and love to force defenders into paralysis by analysis. Some guys have great instincts and know what to do. KGH seems to be working on this.

As for Gerry, he showed good potential last year. He could be a guy to keep an eye on this summer.

10. The squad split up into two sets of half-field 7-on-7 drills. I stuck with one side while C-Mac stuck on the other. Here were the takeaways:

  • Greg Ward ran a razor-sharp stop route on the first play, snaring a reception against rookie corner Chandon Sullivan, who fell to the ground on the play and left briefly with an injury. The undrafted rookie from Georgia State would return later in the period to get a pass breakup against Shelton Gibson.
  • Richard Rodgers caught a pass from Carson Wentz on a dig route over the middle of the field. It was one of a couple of catches in the deep or intermediate area for the former Green Bay Packer.
  • Dallas Goedert started to shine in this period. The rookie beat Jeremy Reaves early on and followed that up with an impressive grab against fellow first-year player Stephen Roberts.
  • Jalen Mills, who was his usual feisty self throughout the afternoon, posted an emphatic pass breakup in a matchup against Ward.
  • Second-year running back Donnel Pumphrey ran an awesome Texas route in the middle of the field against rookie Asante Brown for what would have been a significant gain.

Ward had a good showing last spring. This is the time of the year for him to excel. The challenge this year will be maintaining that in TC and making plays in the preseason games. Ward has the potential to be a solid slot receiver.

It is good to hear Rodgers and Goedert are playing well so far. Goedert is the real key here. Rodgers isn’t going to suddenly turn into this great player. He was effective with the Packers, but that’s about it. Goedert is the guy who can give the offense a good chess piece to work with. He doesn’t need to be a volume receiver, but if he can be a good role player, that will help quite a bit.

A few people had good notes on Pumphrey. That’s encouraging. Last summer and the the season itself had to be incredibly humbling. That can really shake a guy’s confidence. Every little play that he makes on the field can help rebuild his confidence.


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