Final OTAs

Posted: June 8th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Final OTAs

The Eagles had their final day of OTAs on Thursday. There will be a mandatory mini-camp next week and after that we’ll have Training Camp.

Here are your links for the day:

Jeff McLane

Jimmy Bama

Sheil Kapadia

Brandon Lee Gowton

PE.com

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We’ll begin with an interesting nugget from Jeff.

  1. What’s up with Isaac Seumalo? The third-year offensive lineman once again didn’t participate in team drills. While it hasn’t appeared that he’s injured, a source close to the situation said that the third-year offensive lineman has an upper body strain. Seumalo has participated in individual drills. He’s jumped in for a handful of plays during the offensive installation period. And his only other involvement in drills has been as the lone center – read: he just snaps the football – during 7 on 7s. One theory for his limited participation was that the Eagles didn’t want to risk injury to a player they’re trying to trade. The injury basically shoots that idea down. But how much could Seumalo be worth if available? Teams have the film from last season. He could provide versatility. And offensive linemen are rare commodities in the NFL. I just don’t see him fetching more than a low draft pick or some other team’s failed project. Seumalo is only 24, so it may be too early to give up on the former third rounder, but his star has certainly fallen in two years. He could merely be a career backup.

It certainly is possible that Seumalo could have suffered an upper body strain while lifting weights in the past couple of months. Let’s hope that is what’s going on.

While Seumalo struggled last year, he has shown NFL ability. You don’t give up on guys like that lightly. We see how Nelson Agholor struggled before finally having things come together for him. Seumalo isn’t some project. He has size, skill and ability. For some reason, the potential of 2016 just wasn’t consistently there last year. The Eagles would love Seumalo to bounce back and show he’s worth keeping around to develop for the future.

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DE Joe Ostman got a lot of mentions.

BLG – Today is the second day in a row where Joe Ostman stood out to me. He notched a would-be sack on Joe Callahan. Now, the quarterback did hold on to the ball for a considerable amount of time, so that helped, but still. Last year’s NCAA sack leader has shown the ability to generate pressure in practice. The Eagles are already deep at defensive end so it would be ideal if they could hold on to Ostman for the fuutre.

FD – 15. Sudfeld entered the drill as the second-team units took the field. After a completion to Shelton Gibson, the defense took over. Tight coverage on the back end allowed the defense to get home for “sacks,” and undrafted free agent Joe Ostman was seemingly the benefactor, posting three “sacks” at the end of practice. The undersized pass rusher makes up for his lack of length with great technique and effort off the edge, and I believe he’ll be a player to watch this summer.

Interesting that Fran sees Ostman as a player to watch. Fran isn’t prone to hyperbole so this is a player he’s genuinely impressed by. You can talk about the fact these were coverage sacks or the fact they came in non-contact practices. The key is that Ostman found a way to stand out. He got people’s attention. You can bet he got the coaches attention as well.

He will need to have success in TC and against starting blockers to really be considered possible roster material, but it is good that Ostman is flashing and making people take notice of him. I mentioned the other day that I think he’s a good fit for the Wide-9. I also think he’s the kind of ultra-competitive guy who will go just as hard in practice as in the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl. Effort isn’t everything, but it means a lot.

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WR Mike Wallace impressed.

Jimmy – Mike Wallace had a nice leaping grab today in traffic. This isn’t exactly high level analysis here, but he’s a guy who “looks the part.” Again, as we noted back in March, a whole lot of wide receivers changed teams this offseason, and many of them got huge paydays. Of the receivers changing teams (or staying put, but landing new deals), Wallace was the second-most productive of the group over the last two seasons.

Jeff – During the first set of team drills, Foles made two strong successive throws to receiver Mack Hollins and receiver Mike Wallace. The second toss was a little high, but Wallace impressively snagged it out of the air. He’s had a nice spring so far and should be more than just a deep threat.

BLG – Mike Wallace made a really impressive leaping grab in traffic on a throw from Nick Foles. The veteran wide receiver has quietly had a nice spring. He’s caught just about everything thrown his way and he doesn’t struggle to get open. Seems like a pretty capable replacement for Torrey Smith, which is what everyone expected.

This offense can be even better if Wallace has a good year. Torrey Smith was fast, but inconsistent. Wallace is more productive and more talented. You have to really appreciate how good Howie Roseman can be. The Eagles upgraded from Smith to Wallace…and saved money. That’s impressive.

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Ronald Darby played the slot.

Sheil – We have our third different slot corner of the spring (Sidney Jones and De’Vante Bausby were the first two). Ronald Darby plays inside with Rasul Douglas and Mills on the outside. He breaks up a pass over the middle intended for Wallace.

BLG – Ronald Darby, who took some reps as a nickel corner today, broke up a Foles pass intended for Wallace. Wallace called for a flag, so there may have been some holding, but I’ll give Darby the credit here. I thought he covered receivers well for most of the practice. One example was when Mack Hollins went deep and Darby was there with him the entire way.

Darby has the kind of build you expect a nickelback to have. My question is whether he has the instincts. Darby is athletic and physically gifted, but he showed last year that he guesses too much. That’s bad outside, but can be even worse over the middle.

The coaches are going to give everyone a look in the slot. May the best man win.

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WR Rashard Davis made a good play.

Sheil – Agholor is not participating in this portion of the team drills. Ward had replaced him, but now it’s Rashard Davis. Davis catches a ball in space and puts a tremendous move on Elijah Qualls as the offensive players go nuts. Brandon Brooks imitates Davis like he’s Russell Westbrook performing a Eurostep.

Jimmy – A receiver who did some nice things today was Rashard Davis. He had a nice hands catch away from his body on a sharply thrown ball, and he juked the crap out of a linebacker who fell to the ground (didn’t catch who it was) on a run after the catch.

Davis’ appeal to the Eagles is undoubtedly his punt return skills. At James Madison University in 2016, Davis had 15 punt returns for 426 yards (28.4 per return) and 4 TDs.

The Eagles signed Davis last year in the preseason. I remember Mike Mayock desperately wanting the other team to punt the ball to Davis. Mayock had seen Davis show some big time moves in practice and he wanted to see what the young man did in a game. Davis didn’t get a chance to show off his skills.

The Eagles like his potential as a returner and slot receiver. That doesn’t mean he’ll pan out, but there is something there. He has NFL potential.

*****

Steven Means made a good play.

BLG – I’ve written about this in previous offseasons but I’ll never get tired of Steven Means doing his sack celebration during non-contact practices. Means flew off the edge and notched a would-be tackle for loss and started celebrating like he just sacked Tom Brady in the Super Bowl. I genuinely appreciate his enthusiasm. Here’s a clip of what the celebration looks like, in case you were curious.

Fran – Soon afterward, Steven Means knifed into the backfield on a toss play for what would have been a tackle for loss on Matt Jones. Means dropped the hammer with his celebration behind the line of scrimmage, as the energy level continued on the defensive side of the ball.

Guys like Means bring energy to practice. I can’t tell you how important that is. It keeps everyone going and makes things more alive, more fun. Football practice can be tedious, unless you have the right guys around you. Means isn’t going to let anyone get bored, especially when he’s making plays.

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