Ups and Downs of Spring Football

Posted: May 18th, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 1 Comment »

It is mid-May and that means a couple of things. The long cold winter is behind us and OTAs are in full bloom.

Dave Spadaro made an interesting point in a recent column. He was talking about the OTAs and offering some useful reminders.

Remember last spring when defensive backs coach Cory Undlin rotated a handful of players through the nickel cornerback spot? De’Vante Bausby emerged from the spring as a leading contender to play the position, based on what the media saw, and he didn’t even make the 53-man roster.

This is important for a couple of reasons. First, Bausby got a lot of reps with the starters so people read into that. Spring time depth charts can be highly deceptive. Coaches aren’t always sure what they’ve got so players may get a lot of looks, but that doesn’t mean the guy is locked in.

Bausby did play well, which caught everyone’s eye. But that’s another thing to watch. We can get a lot of false positives in the spring.

The Legend of Donnel Pumphrey was based on some spring practices. Pump was deadly in space and looked quick and athletic. He got to the preseason and didn’t do anything. Putting on pads and playing in game situations or actual games made a significant difference.

Other times, we read things incorrectly the other way. Patrick Robinson looked horrible in the spring of 2017. Some wondered if the team might let him go before Training Camp. Robinson stayed and got better. Once he moved to the slot, he became a standout and ended up making one of the most significant plays in Eagles history.

I hope you didn’t mind having to sit through that again.

A lot of people forget that Nick Foles did nothing in the summer of 2017. His elbow was hurt and he missed virtually all of Training Camp and didn’t play in the preseason. Here’s what one hack had to say.

It cost the Eagles $7 million in dead money this offseason to get rid of Chase Daniel. In other words, Daniel is counting for $7 million against the Eagles’ salary cap this season to play in New Orleans. Foles, meanwhile, will count for $1.6 million against the Eagles’ cap in 2017, and $7.6 million in 2018.

Acquiring Daniel for the contract he signed was clearly a major miss. If Foles’ arm is simply not going to reliably cooperate, his signing will just add kerosene to the Chase Daniel dumpster fire.

When asked if Foles would play next week in the fourth preseason game against the Jets, Pederson didn’t know.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I haven’t made up my mind yet and where I’m at with that. [That’s] kind of where I’m at right now with that one.”

It’s a bad sign if Foles misses the entirety of the preseason because of “soreness.”

Things worked out okay.

It was fair to wonder about Foles and his arm. He was a ghost that summer. The Eagles were cautious with him because he was a veteran and knew the system. They didn’t feel the need to run him out there for summer games when the risk wasn’t worth the reward.

Sometimes things do match up.

Kamu Grugier-Hill had the best spring and summer of his young career in 2018 and that carried over to the regular season. Nelson Agholor looked like a changed man in the spring of 2017 and that proved to be right on the money. Dallas Goedert stood out last spring. You could just see he was the real deal.

That’s what makes spring football so complicated. It really can be hard to figure what is legit and what isn’t.

It will be interesting to see which players shine this spring and which ones are for real. Sounds like that might be a good topic for a post.


One Comment on “Ups and Downs of Spring Football”

  1. 1 蚂蚁乐居 said at 4:31 AM on May 19th, 2019: