OTAs Roundup

Posted: June 7th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 1 Comment »

The Eagles had another day of practices open to the media. As much as they were dying to write about third string O-linemen, somehow the headliner of the day was Carson Wentz. Crazy, huh?

Wentz continues to surprise us with how far he’s come this quickly. He began participating in 7-on-7’s this week. He was limited today, but the fact he’s out there in a group setting like that is incredibly impressive. Throwing in individual drills is fairly simple. There is no pass rush in 7-on-7’s, but you still have a more advanced setting. The QB has to make reads and move around a bit. This is a long way from real football, but Wentz continues to make progress and impress every step of the way.

It is natural to say “Slow it down, big fella.” His body needs time to heal and build strength. Still, some guys are freaks and are at their best when they really push themselves. It certainly looks like Wentz fits in that category.


We’ll start with Sheil Kapadia and a blurb he’s got on CB De’Vante Bausby.

12:51 – Covering the slot once again is De’Vante Bausby (Sidney Jones did not participate in today’s practice). Bausby comes up with a red-zone interception of Foles, demonstrating excellent body control. I asked Bausby afterward to break down the interception, and he offered what might be the most detailed description of an OTA rep I’ve ever heard.

“So the first one, we got a tight split from one and two,” he said. “Me and [Ronald] Darby got a tight split from one and two. I was inside, Darby was outside. And we just gave each other a heads-up that we might get a rub play where the receivers might [have] one go in, one go out, and we might have to switch off for everybody to stay locked on.

“We stayed locked on on that particular one, and it was Nelly [Agholor], I believe, Nelly was the receiver. He gave me a fade, but I kept my eyes on him versus looking back at the quarterback, and he gave me a fade-stop, which put me in good position. If I would’ve put my eyes on the quarterback when he gave me the fade, I would’ve been out of position.”

Then Bausby gets Nate Sudfeld for another pick. And later, he breaks up a Foles pass in the end zone. Bausby is officially a player to watch this summer. He’s really played well during the practices we’ve watched.

For those who wonder about the value of these limited practices…read that carefully. Bausby is talking about making pre-snap reads and communicating with the outside corner as to how to handle a play. You don’t want to do that in Training Camp. You start that now so that you can fine tune it in TC.

There is a lot of praise for Bausby right now and it is easy to get excited for him. At the same time, remember that arguably the best nickel in the league last year was Patrick Robinson and he looked awful at this time of the year. Awful. Granted, Robinson was mainly playing outside last spring, but the point is still that we need to keep things in perspective.


Jimmy Bama actually talked about someone who hasn’t done much at all in the OTAs.

• In the three practices the media has attended, Isaac Seumalo has not participated in any way during team drills other than to serve as the shotgun snapper during 7-on-7’s, 2-on-2’s, and 3-on-3’s. In other words, he has done no blocking at all. This is the role that is typically reserved for the fourth string center, if there is one. At times in the past, this job went to Jon Dorenbos.

Seumalo does not appear to be injured in any way, so his near non-existent role during OTAs is interesting. Clearly, Seumalo would be the second string center if the season began today.

So why isn’t Seumalo participating in team drills? I’d ask him, but he’s never around during locker room sessions. One theory could be that the team is keeping him from getting injured and potentially shopping him.

As we noted a couple weeks ago, Seumalo is a player who would make sense for the Eagles to trade. A year ago, after an encouraging rookie season, Seumalo was being thought of as a long-term replacement for Jason Kelce at center. Now? Not so much. Kelce was arguably the best center in the league last year and is now a Philadelphia legend, while Seumalo was a rare disappointment on a Super Bowl winning team full of overachievers.

Seumalo has already played five different positions (LG, C, RG, RT, TE) in his two years in the NFL, and is the type of versatile offensive lineman smart teams covet. With so many teams around the league in desperate need of offensive line help, some team out there might find it worth parting with a mid-to-late round pick for Seumalo.

That situation deserves a continued look as the spring continues.

This is certainly not an encouraging start for Seumalo. It would help to know why he’s practicing so little. If he’s dealing with a minor injury, that would change the situation. It could be that the Eagles are shopping him around the league.

Seumalo showed good potential as a rookie. He then was disappointing last year. Teams are so desperate for OL help that they would focus more on the potential. He is young and versatile. Of course, that is also why the Eagles could keep him around despite the strange start to this offseason.


Jeff McLane highlighted s0me plays from the passing game.

7. Here’s a play-by-play (of sorts) from drills involving the first team units: With Cox absent, there wasn’t one projected starter on the defensive line. Derek Barnett and Chris Long were the first team ends, and Destiny Vaeao and Elijah Qualls were the tackles. Corey NelsonKamu Grugier-Hill and Nathan Gerry were the first-team base linebackers. I can’t imagine that front seven would elicit much fear in opposing offenses, but we’re three months from actual football. Foles had a couple of impressive downfield throws to tight end Richard Rodgers during 7-on-7s. Running back Jay Ajayi dropped a dump off from Foles during team drills. Dallas Goedert pulled in a Foles pass that was slightly behind him. The rookie tight end has looked agile.

8. The second team: Sudfeld connected with receiver Shelton Gibson on a deep corner fade for a “touchdown.” Some defenders signaled that Gibson had stepped out of the back of the end zone, but the offense celebrated. Wentz took second team reps during 7-on-7s. That amounted to all of four plays. He hooked up with the familiar hands of Zach Ertz on his first two tosses, found Goedert on a crosser, and hit receiver Mike Wallace on a slant. Sudfeld jumped back in with the second unit during team drills and was stymied by Bausby and the unblocked Grugier-Hill, who also batted a pass to the ground.

Rookie TE Dallas Goedert gets mentioned a couple of times in there. I think he is going to prove very quickly that he’s the real deal when it comes to catching passes. Goedert has impressed just about everyone who has seen him as a receiver. The big test for him will be dealing with the physicality of the NFL.

Goedert will have to fight through grabbing, pushing and some borderline wrestling moves as he learns to get open. Then there are the LBs who are smart enough to know you can knock the crap out of receivers that haven’t gone five yards downfield. Goedert has the size and strength to handle this, but adjusting to that kind of physicality can take some players time.

There is also the question of blocking. Goedert needs to show he can be an effective blocker. That’s as much about effort and technique as anything. It will be a lot of fun to see how good this young man is as a rookie.


Brandon Lee Gowton offered a variety of notes.

• Avonte Maddox notched a nice pass breakup on a ball thrown to Tim Wilson. Wilson called for pass interference but the refs didn’t agree with him. Just good, physical play from the rookie corner.

• McLeod absolutely rocked Jay Ajayi on a short pass in the flat. It looked accidental in the sense that I don’t think McLeod meant to run into him that hard. Hard to totally avoid contact in “non-contact” drills.

• Richard Rodgers has a reputation for being slow. After getting to watch him in a few practices, I totally get where that comes from.

• Undrafted rookie free agent Joe Ostman beat third string right tackle Matt Pryor while rushing off the edge. Ostman (generously listed at 6-3, 255) looks pretty small for a defensive end. It wouldn’t be hard to mistake him for a linebacker. Despite this, I’m still interested to see what he can show this offseason. His college tape was too enjoyable for him to be a total nobody.

• Carson Wentz update: The Eagles’ franchise quarterback continues to look good in practice. Wentz participated in 7-on-7 drills for the first time in a practice that was open to the media. He previously did some 7-on-7 work earlier this week, according to a report from ESPN (Doug Pederson confirmed as much). Wentz’s reps in 7-on-7 were limited. He only took two at a time; four in total. Three of his dropbacks were short passes (within 10 yards) completed to Zach Ertz and only to Mike Wallace. Wentz did more work in 4-on-4 drills. He looked good stepping into his throws and delivering accurate passes. When the rest of the team was going through 11-on-11s, Wentz took off his brace to run some sprints on an empty practice field. One last Wentz note: the Eagles played country music for the entire practice. I’ve never experienced that since I started attending practices in 2013. Just another sign this is really Wentz’s team.

Figured I had to post some actual practice notes on that Wentz fella.

I’m excited to see Avonte Maddox play. I don’t know if he’ll push for the nickel job this year or if that will mainly be a battle between Bausby and Sidney Jones. I just think Maddox is going to be a player we’re going to love watching.

Rodgers…can’t say I’m excited by him.

Ostman is a guy I go back and forth on. There are times when I see NFL potential. There are other times when I see a try-hard guy from a mid-major who doesn’t look like NFL talent. I do think he chose the right scheme for him. Ostman is an excellent fit for the Wide-9.


Fran Duffy and Chris McPherson posted good notes.

7. The lines went off to the side as another 7-on-7 session broke out. Here’s the play-by-play:

  • Nick Foles took the first two reps at quarterback and completed both passes to tight end Richard Rodgers, first on a crossing route for a sizeable gain followed by a throw to the flat.
  • Wentz stepped in next and posted a pair of completions to Zach Ertz, first on a crisp corner route and then on a shallow crossing route. Both passes were right in-stride.
  • Nate Sudfeld took the fifth rep and completed a pass to Dallas Goedert right over the middle for a short gain.
  • Foles took the next two snaps, hitting Goedert down the seam for a would-have-been first down before hitting Ertz on a post route down the field.
  • Sudfeld went back in, with the first completion to a non-tight end in Greg Ward before hitting Rodgers on a crossing route.
  • Joe Callahan got his first rep and checked the ball down to Wendell Smallwood underneath.
  • Wentz re-entered for a pair of throws, completing one pass to Goedert in the flat before hitting Mike Wallace on a slant route. That last throw was a bit behind Wallace, who had to slide to make the catch.
  • Sudfeld got two more reps, first hitting Corey Clement for a touchdown to the left before throwing the first incompletion of the drill. The third-year quarterback tried to hit Tim Wilson on the left side but Rasul Douglas was tight in coverage.
  • Callahan wrapped things up with a checkdown throw to undrafted free agent Anthony Mahoungou. – FD

11. If you go through Fran’s play-by-play, the top three tight ends – Ertz, Goedert, and Rodgers – were consistently involved in the offense. This progress is critical after the Eagles lost Trey Burton and Brent Celek in the offseason. He also noted how the Eagles utilized Ertz lined up wide of the formation allowing another tight end to line up in the traditional manner. – CM

The Eagles are going to throw to TEs on a regular basis. Using multiple TEs really can give a defense fits. You can move Ertz around and then find ways to mix in Goedert and Rodgers. Or one of the other young guys if they should win a spot.


One Comment on “OTAs Roundup”

  1. 1 Eagles News: Malcolm Jenkins breaks silence and explains why he held up signs - NFL News said at 12:24 PM on June 7th, 2018:

    […] OTAs Roundup – Iggles BlitzJoe Ostman is a guy I go back and forth on. There are times when I see NFL potential. There are other times when I see a try-hard guy from a mid-major who doesn’t look like NFL talent. I do think he chose the right scheme for him. Ostman is an excellent fit for the Wide-9. […]