Time For Mini-Camp

Posted: June 12th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 37 Comments »

This week is the Eagles final OTAs of the year.  After this it is on to Lehigh for Training Camp.

There aren’t a whole lot of exciting angles to this week.  It is the only mandatory camp so it’s possible that Andy Reid will do some different things.  No contact is allowed so I’m not sure he can really change up much of what he does.  We’ll see.  The one thing we all agree on – stay healthy.

The OTA practices are somewhat boring to us, but they can be very helpful to the young/new players.  It gives them a chance to learn in a casual environment.  This is the time where you set the foundation for Lehigh, which is where  you set the foundation for the regular season.  Things change up at Lehigh.  Players are in pads.  There is live hitting.  Fatigue sets in.  It is hard to concentrate, let alone learn, when you are gasping for air and your body is sore from top to bottom.

This is the time to learn, both technique and scheme.

* * * * *

Sounds like Dave Spadaro is seeing the light:  ” The defensive line is loaded and I will say this: Every time I look up, Derek Landri is making plays from his tackle position.”

Praise be to Landri.

* * * * *

The Eagles reportedly worked out veteran Punter Brad Maynard.  He’s no Sean Landeta, but Brad was in the same draft class as Duce Staley.  Duce went 71st overall, Brad 95th.

The Eagles still have high hopes for Chas Henry.  They do want some decent competition for him.  They talked to a free agent P back in March, but that didn’t work out.  Now they’re looking around.  You want Henry to win the job, but you do need to push him a bit.  Adding a veteran means the guy could offer up some tips/advice to Chas.  Bobby April is an expert, but actual P/PKs always know little things that even coaches don’t because they have actually been on the field and done it under pressure.

Ryan Tydlacka is already here, but he’s a young guy that is learning as he goes.  I’m not sure he’s actually pushing Henry all that much, but that is purely a guess.

* * * * *

I’m not a fan of fantasy football at all, but it gets discussed on Twitter by some of the people I follow.  They make it sound like Shady McCoy will be one of the first players taken in FF drafts.  Evan Silva has him 3rd overall.

* * * * *

Rookie CB Cliff Harris is one guy who will be absent from the OTAs.  Oregon graduates this weekend (18th maybe).  He’s free at that point, but OTAs are done.

I’ve never heard an official explanation on the rule.  My guess is that this is something the NFL did to appease the NCAA.  The NFL wanted to encourage kids to stay in school for the spring semester and graduate so they told the players “you can’t practice with us until post-graduation”.  If players can’t practice, why not stay in school and get the degree.  Again, just a guess.

A lot of players do skip the spring semester so they can prepare for the Combine and Pro Day workouts so maybe this is a rule that ought to be amended.

* * * * *

Michael Vick was not happy with being ranked 70th among the Top 100 players in the NFL, part of an NFL Network show.  His response, “That’s a joke.”

Personally, I’m not fired up one way or the other.  The NFLN’s Top 100 has proven to be a joke so it isn’t worth getting worked up over it. There is one good angle.  Eli didn’t make the list at all last year.  I don’t know if it motivated him, but I would imagine it did.  Eli responded the right way…on the field.  Let’s hope Vick does the same.

* * * * *

NFL Gimpy has his new MAQB column up.

* * * * *

On the lighter (and uglier) side of things…Jimmy Bama is having fun with ugly profile pictures of NFC East players.  No GQ material to be sure.    I do want to go partying with Kyle Orton.

Jimmy altered one pic for scientific purposes.  All I can think of is…”Get in my belly.

37 Comments on “Time For Mini-Camp”

  1. 1 damccomas said at 10:02 AM on June 12th, 2012:

    curious as to what constitutes a DL “making plays” in non-contact drills?

  2. 2 Yuri said at 10:31 AM on June 12th, 2012:

    Good question. Just like in the article linked from Football Outsiders (not too informative, but making salient points).

  3. 3 Anders Jensen said at 11:33 AM on June 12th, 2012:

    I really doubt point 2 and 3 when it comes to the Eagles (crappy teams like the Jags and the Texans when he played for them might be a different story). Job aint won or lost in OTAs alone and therefor point 2 makes no sense to me. Also point 3 isnt an issue for the Eagles as they simulate there NFCE oppennets in OTAs and TC (might be why the Eagles in general play really well against em)

  4. 4 austinfan said at 7:13 PM on June 12th, 2012:

    You’re not eliminating anyone with talent in OTAs, you have almost 90 players right now, so if someone gets cut, it’s because they looked so unathletic (or were so dumb coaches got tired of explaining the obvious) that the team figured they might as well look at some other marginal players.

    Coaches understand the limitations, D Johnson won’t make the teams in OTAs, he may get more snaps once TC comes to see if he can maintain his play. On the other hand, when Gilyard and R Johnson don’t shine in OTAs, that’s a bad sign, because quickness is supposed to be their forte.

    With DL, all you’re gonna note is explosiveness, but for Graham (injury) and Hunt (added 10 lbs) and Dixon (questions about conditioning), that’s still important. Being quick off the snap ain’t enough , but it is a start.

  5. 5 TommyLawlor said at 10:36 AM on June 12th, 2012:

    Getting penetration and to the RB or QB. They aren’t hitting, but in the 11 on 11 drills the OL/DL are facing each other, just in a limited capacity. Derek isn’t a great athlete so the fact he’s doing well in these drills speaks to his motor and competitive spirit. Generally the OTAs are all about athletes.

  6. 6 ultramattman said at 10:29 AM on June 12th, 2012:

    I would take Lesean #1 overall in a fantasy draft. McCoy, Arian Foster, and Ray Rice are pretty much the only surefire, proven studs in the RB market this year. All will be gone in the first five picks of just about any draft. After that, RB gets a lot sketchier.

  7. 7 Ben Hert said at 7:31 PM on June 12th, 2012:

    The thing that bothers me with taking McCoy so highly is that Reid came out and said he gave Shady too many touches last season, so he won’t be seeing the field as much, and the fact he isn’t running behind Jason Peters will affect his play as well.

  8. 8 ultramattman said at 7:50 PM on June 12th, 2012:

    Reid said the same thing about Westbrook, every year, and his workload never changed. Reid can’t resist once there are real games on the line.

    The Jason Peters thing is a much bigger concern. Still, true stud feature backs are a rarity these days. McCoy’s as safe a #1 pick as anybody.

  9. 9 Anders Jensen said at 8:53 PM on June 12th, 2012:

    He said snap, not touches. McCoy was the RB with most snaps last year, but a few RBs touched the ball more. I think he will get around the same amount of touches, but he will get less snaps.

  10. 10 Matthew Verhoog said at 9:53 AM on June 13th, 2012:

    Last year I stole McCoy with the 11th pick, I would have taken him first

  11. 11 TommyLawlor said at 11:07 AM on June 12th, 2012:

    Per Jeff McLane, Eagles are bringing in 3 players for tryouts:

    DL Frank Trotter
    LB Ryan Rau
    WR Raymond Webber

    Trotter played DE and DT at Memphis. He is small for DT, but was very productive and played beside Dontari Poe. Trotter has an excellent motor.

    Didn’t watch Rau or Webber play. Rau was an earlier tryout for us. He looks like MLB material. Plays hard, but is a bit stiff.


    Webber is from the 2011 draft class. Big guy. Physically dominant vs I-AA competition in his highlight package.


  12. 12 Anders Jensen said at 11:36 AM on June 12th, 2012:

    Trotter sound like a typical Washburn guy

  13. 13 Anders Jensen said at 11:24 AM on June 12th, 2012:

    I think Cliff Harris is really suffering for been in a quater system+been an UDFA. This was his time of year where he would show the coaches what he got and why they need to focus on him. They wont have the time to do that in TC. Also an athletic CB like him should stand out in OTAs

  14. 14 TommyLawlor said at 11:29 AM on June 12th, 2012:

    Harris is definitely behind. Good news for him is that the personnel guys who studied him like him a lot. They’ll push for the coaches to really work with him. Cliff is a UDFA, but a very talented one. If he was a kid from Central Oregon Tech…he’d already have one foot out the door.

  15. 15 TommyLawlor said at 11:33 AM on June 12th, 2012:

    I read the story today about VY suing a couple of former financial advisor/agent types. He is going after Major Adams and Ronnie People.

    I’ve never had much money, but if I ever stumble into a million dollars to invest, it won’t be with Major and Ronnie. Those guys sound like bouncers down at the local strip club.

    VY was so great at Texas, but has been so erratic in the NFL. He’s won too much to be called a total bust, but he’s heading in the wrong direction in the prime of his career. Not good. And he is a mess off the field, despite the fact he’s not a criminal or anything like that. Crazy.


  16. 16 Steve H said at 1:33 PM on June 12th, 2012:

    VY needs a stabilizing force in his life. I don’t think he has a serious mental illness, but he’s definitely not completely sound in his thinking. Sports teams have to offer those kinds of services I’d imagine, get him a good shrink and have him really take that seriously and it might pay big dividends for the young fellow.

  17. 17 A_T_G said at 9:18 PM on June 12th, 2012:

    I thought that stabilizing force was supposed to be playing behind a guy who lost it all and then won it back and playing for the best QB coaches in the game. If he didn’t find the light here, I don’t have high hopes for him.

  18. 18 Steve H said at 11:45 PM on June 12th, 2012:

    Not in his football life, in his personal life.

  19. 19 teltschikfakeout88 said at 12:40 PM on June 12th, 2012:

    Tommy in reading Spads update it seems everyone is an all pro…….or will be…..or could be…..sigh this the only place to get fair and balanced coverage of the eagles and you would say that you are at times a bit too optimistic…

  20. 20 TommyLawlor said at 12:51 PM on June 12th, 2012:

    I am an optimist by nature. Sometimes that is good, sometimes bad. I’m at least cognizant that I think that way and I admit it.

  21. 21 Eagles1991 said at 1:26 PM on June 12th, 2012:

    Agreed. Although I’m a optimist myself….jaded perhaps.

    Tman I have quietly followed your work since the EMB days. I don’t post much, but I dont have a lot to say (typically). I am curious of your thoughts on which Eagle will improve the most this year.

    For Offense – Jeremy Maclin

    For Defense – Brandon Graham

  22. 22 Steve H said at 1:34 PM on June 12th, 2012:

    You and Brian Solomon are the ying and the yang of the optimist/pecimist Eagles fansite world.

  23. 23 teltschikfakeout88 said at 1:40 PM on June 12th, 2012:

    Agreed on your point Tommy, my real point was that with Spads it would appear all is well….book your tickets to the SB or when he is down on a player…it is just not really believable (like cooper not making the team). In fact it is really hard to for me to take any of his opinions seriously. I stay away from his stuff as much as possible. In comparison to you, we know our teams warts and those themes are consistent even if you are optimistic….the updates and discussion are based upon realities…which why this is the first place that I come when seeking out discussion on the Eagles.

  24. 24 iskar36 said at 3:07 PM on June 12th, 2012:

    I used to read Spad’s stuff fairly regularly. Not because I thought he gave a fair view of things, but every now and then you could pick up hints from him about pending moves. Now though, his overly optimistic view on every Eagles player gets a bit frustrating to read because it is often so biased that it fails to grasp reality. The best example of that was when they brought in Lorenzo Booker. Spads had him penciled into the Pro Bowl and was the cheerleader in the whole Booker hype. I appreciate what he does on the website, and some of the inside coverage can only be found there, but you just have to accept Spads for being what he is, and that’s a PR person for the Eagles.

    On the other hand, Tommy, while he is also very optimistic when it comes to the Eagles, is optimistic within realistic/reasonable expectations. Also, he will acknowledge an optimistic view as being that and will engage in a discussion over it. Spads just gets angry when someone questions the Eagles. On top of all of that, Tommy actually provides in depth analysis as only he can.

  25. 25 D3Keith said at 6:07 PM on June 12th, 2012:

    I think Spads is a lifer, and I doubt the Eagles pay much to a writer type, but if that job ever opened up, I wonder what the competition would be like to land it.

    I’d write for the Eagles.

    I wonder if the writer has access to the coaches’ tapes. I’m sure you aren’t allowed to reveal too much but it would be great to really understand the inner workings.

  26. 26 iskar36 said at 6:26 PM on June 12th, 2012:

    Oh, Spads definitely gets a ton of inside information which he can’t reveal. That alone would make the job a lot of fun. I don’t want my above comment to be taken for more than what it is. I think Spads is excellent at what I perceive his job is to do. The Eagles have one of the best sites of any sports teams. As a hardcore fan though, when you are looking for in depth analysis and critical reviews of the team, the PE website is not setup for that purpose.

  27. 27 Anders Jensen said at 8:56 PM on June 12th, 2012:

    I love what Spads is doing for the Eagles webpage. How many teams have there DL coach sitting and talking with a report in a relaxed environment? Hell how many teams have there newly signed players sit and chat like that and with get that stuff all the time.

    I also think Spads job is very demanding and I can understand he gets pissy when the callers keep calling in on the same subject and whine and whine.

  28. 28 A_T_G said at 9:25 PM on June 12th, 2012:

    Having access to that inside info which he can’t reveal probably makes it very difficult to be unbiased in his coverage. Granted, part of his job is to get fans that visit the website excited and buying merchandise, but it is probably tough to be down on a guy when the team is down on him but you can’t reveal that.

  29. 29 Håkan Sandström said at 1:35 PM on June 12th, 2012:

    Praise be to Landri.

    All hail Landri.

  30. 30 Håkan Sandström said at 1:41 PM on June 12th, 2012:

    All hail Kelce.

  31. 31 ACViking said at 2:07 PM on June 12th, 2012:

    RE: Who Benefits from the Rule Barring Harris (and similarly situated Rookies) from the OTAs

    T-Law’s written about the NFL’s ridiculous rule barring rookies from OTAs if their college class hasn’t graduated. See Cliff Harris. The rule exists only because the NFLPA has agreed to it. Without the union’s consent, the rule would likely violate the Anti-Trust laws.

    Presumably, this rule was the product of an informal compromise between the NFL, NFLPA, and NCAA to keep players “in school” and attending class until graduation. (Otherwise, the NCAA would/could require coaches to keep scouts off the premises during the year and not allow players to use college facilities for on-campus testing post-Combine.)

    The question is “WHY?” — given that the rule is certainly now, if it was not always, a joke.

    I guess the NFL wants to say it doesn’t encourage kids to leave school early. And the NCAA maybe gets a handful of rookies actually graduating — which is nice when the coach visits a recruit and touts not only the school’s draft record but graduation record. (I have no clue what the statistics show, but I’m betting the rule only marginally impacts graduation rates.)

    But with the level of competitiveness and amount of money at stake, any college player who can afford it — or get financing — drops out of college after the Bowl season to prepare for the Combine, on-campus workouts, and rookie mini-camps. That more or less eats up the last two quarters, of 2nd semester, of a rookie’s college year.

    Andrew Luck — the consensus No. 1 or 2 even before Bowl season — took no classes during the Spring at Stanford. If the consensus No. 1 or 2 is dropping out, could a guy like Harris afford not to do the same? Hell, no.

    So, at a very practical — let’s say, “economically driven” — level, the NFL rule is foolish and and counterproductive. When the No. 1 overall pick of a 2-14 team can’t practice with his new team, the coach, GM, and owner can’t be happy.

    So who benefits? This is where the rubber hits the road for me.

    The colleges? Doubtful . . . to the point of science fiction. From January to May, nearly every able-bodied draft-eligible college player, as I noted above, is preparing to compete in the NFL or at rookie camp. The last 2 quarters of his college’s academic year are lost.

    So the winner is? The NFLPA’s members at the fringes of team rosters.

    They get a jump on rookies, especially guys from the 5th round to post-draft free agency. (Curt Coleman was clearly an exception — because he not only grasped the defense, but executed and caught some luck along the way.)

    A team would have to have a pretty broad minded coach to go out of his way to level the field for guys like Harris.

    The NFLPA does a lot of good things for the players. This rule is not one of them.

    I could be dead wrong about this rule. But the way it plays out, Harris is hurt. And Marsh and Lindley are helped.

  32. 32 TommyLawlor said at 2:32 PM on June 12th, 2012:

    Interesting angle. It does help fringe veterans. And that group is crucial to the NFLPA. Makes sense.

  33. 33 iskar36 said at 3:17 PM on June 12th, 2012:

    I think this makes a ton of sense and probably is the at least very close to the truth. That being said, I would guess PR also plays a significant role. The NFL is very image-conscious. Regardless of whether it has a functional impact or not, I’m sure it’s better PR for the NFL to take the stance of them wanting to make sure players graduate before going to the NFL than letting players drop out of classes immediately after being drafted to join their NFL teams.

  34. 34 Cliff said at 11:30 PM on June 12th, 2012:

    Kurt Coleman also had a rep for being a very heady player. Learning the playbook wasn’t ever going to be a problem for him.

    And I agree about the ridiculousness of the rule. I think the easiest, best fix is to just say no OTA’s until the end of June.

  35. 35 aerochrome2 said at 5:54 PM on June 12th, 2012:

    Interesting interview with westbrook. Banner comments from 3:00 minutes on with some interesting anecdotes (mainly about he would personally put down a player’s talents/worth to their face as a justification for not paying them more [rather than just sticking with raw numbers]) sorry if already posted. http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/06/12/westbrook-talks-t-o-eagles-concussions-more/

  36. 36 Midnight_Greenville said at 7:13 PM on June 12th, 2012:

    Good interview. What I found most surprising was the stats they put up while he was explaining why the Eagles will go the SB this year. When they showed records from last year, they also showed point differential for the year. Either I never knew this, or I forgot, but the Eagles had the largest positive point differential in the division by far. In fact, the Giants had a negative differential for the year. Really makes you shake your head. But, I think it shows how mediocre the Giants really were during the year. Clearly, you don’t have to be great to win the SB; just hot at the right time (which we seldom are).

  37. 37 aerochrome2 said at 7:41 PM on June 12th, 2012:

    Yeah– I had remembered that about the Giants but actually had no idea the eagles were plus 63– that is unreal.