Some OTAs Talk

Posted: May 31st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 32 Comments »

The Eagles had another practice that was open to the media today. Hopefully we’ll get some good info from those in attendance. This year’s OTAs have been very different from what we’re used to. Under Andy Reid the systems didn’t change that much. There was less schematic installation. New guys had to learn everything, but most of the guys around them could help teach. That’s not the case this year. Everyone is learning.

Also, the practices have been mostly closed. I think the media has seen four practices so far. And that’s been spread over three weeks. You can’t make much of an evaluation based on that. Guys have to look sensational or awful to really catch your eye. And even then…this isn’t football. This is practice in shorts. The Damaris Johnsons of the world are going to impress you. Interior OL and DL can’t do much so there just isn’t much to evaluate.

Jimmy Bama did write up some practice notes. Real good stuff…so go check it out.

* * * * *

The hot topic of the day is guys missing practice. Early on this sounded like a big deal. Jason Peters wasn’t there. Nor was Kenny Phillips. Both Cary Williams and Shady McCoy weren’t on the field. What the heck?

Don’t rush to judgment.

Peters is dealing with a personal issue. Jeff Lurie referenced this the other day. If the big man knows about it, this is a legit situation.

Phillips missed today because his wife is giving birth (or about to).  No problem with that at all.

McCoy was there early today. He lifted and worked out, but then left. I can live with this.

Williams missed today to go to his daughter’s recital. This is one of those things that is so, so hard to comment on. Part of me is furious when I hear that. Football players have special jobs. That is great sometimes, but not so much at others. Skip the recital. Have your wife make a video. Go celebrate tonight by taking your daughter out for some PBRs (see what a good parent I would be?).

The other part of me says that fans rip on players for being partiers, chick magnets, and criminals. Here is a guy being a good parent. Can we really rip him that much?

Context is crucial, though. Cary has missed several OTAs. He got married. He had dental work done. He had some work done on his house. The wedding is a totally legit excuse. That is planned months ahead of time and you have no idea when OTAs are going to be held since you don’t know what team you’ll be on.  You can argue that he should have chosen late June when there are no OTAs, but there could have been other factors that forced the wedding to be held when it was.

I don’t think we can just dismiss Williams absences as nothing. He is a free agent. He’s coming to a new team. He’s got to learn the scheme. Williams must get used to his teammates and the coaching staff. Williams made $1.927M last year. He’s set to earn about $2.41M this year. That figure goes up big time in each of the next 2 years.  It would behoove him to have a good year and earn that 2014 money.

The biggest fear you have with Williams is a sense of complacency setting in. I don’t think that will ever happen on the field. Off the field is a different story. Most people lose some edge as they get married, they get older, and they get some money. That’s just how life goes. Williams has made more money in the last 2 years than in the rest of his life. That could affect him. Williams isn’t a gifted player. He’s not a great athlete. He’s a grinder that outworks you. If he lets up, that could take just a small bit of his competitive advantage away.

Maybe Williams is just adjusting to life changes and he’ll be lights out in Training Camp and then good during the season. I’d love to tell you he’s going to be a star CB for us, but that’s not real likely. I’ll gladly settle for solid.

We have too little info to judge Williams fairly right now, but this will look bad if he struggles this year.  The good news is that the Eagles structured his deal so they can get out of it if they want. Let’s hope for everyone’s sake, that isn’t necessary.

* * * * *

OTAs have always been voluntary. There is a difference, though. Under the new CBA they are truly voluntary. In the old days, that was wink-wink, nudge-nudge voluntary. In other words…Be There!

Players now seem to be figuring out that they can skip the OTAs if they want. Most players won’t do that because they see the value in going to practice. Still, expect this trend to grow. Patriots LB Brandon Spikes is working out on his own. Some think he’s doing that to get in top shape since this is a contract year for him.

It will be interesting to see how all this plays out. If guys skip camps, do they start to not get re-signed? Do they fall out of favor with the coaches? Or is all forgiven if the player is good in TC and the regular season? This is new so we don’t really know how it will work. Coaches tend to be control freaks. Having players be able to say “I didn’t want to come” will take some getting used to. Clearly the players won’t be that obvious, but their excuses will tell whether their absence is legit or pure choice.

There are some mandatory camps. The Eagles have one coming up next week (4th-6th). Players who aren’t there will be in trouble. Training Camp is mandatory. Hopefully this year tackling in the secondary will go from voluntary to mandatory. Would make defense so much more effective.

* * * * *

Kevin Turner’s having a golf tournament in a couple of days. Here is the info:

WHAT: Kevin Turner’s second annual ALS awareness celebrity golf tournament, plus lunch, silent auction and dinner
WHEN: This Monday, June 3, starting with lunch at 11:30am, tee time at 1pm.
WHERE:  The Medford Village Country Club (28 Golf View Dr., Medford, N.J. 08055).
Ricky Watters, Irving Fryar and Mark McMillian are among the former Eagles already confirmed for this event.

You guys ought to take part in this if you can. It supports a great cause and involves some great former Eagles.

Kevin is my favorite Eagles Fullback and he seems like a heck of a guy. Anything you can do to help, please do.


32 Comments on “Some OTAs Talk”

  1. 1 Iskar36 said at 5:01 PM on May 31st, 2013:

    In terms of Cary Williams, I agree with your take on it. It’s definitely a noteworthy thing, but it isn’t something that we can over analyze… yet. We want players to put forth every effort they can to be successful, and skipping an OTA, whether or not in reality it is a big deal, just comes off as not putting forth that every bit of effort you want. Having said all that, assuming he is working hard on his own and isn’t ignoring learning the schemes and things, he shouldn’t have any real disadvantage once TC starts. The question is more of an issue of whether or not he is focused and dedicated, and we will find that out closer to the season.

    The one thing I will say, some reporters have brought up an interesting fact that I’d be curious to hear other’s opinions on. The Eagles did not have to provide a reason for Williams absence. They could have just said he is absent for personal reasons. They have done that with other players (Peters for example). To me, using that excuse simply sounds better from a PR standpoint because it makes it seem like there was an important, unavoidable, possibly emergency situation that created the issue. I think given that he has missed a few OTAs already, people may have still reacted, but stating he is missing it because of his daughters dance recital seems to make it worse. It makes it seem like maybe it was a bit less serious of a reason or less valid of a reason to skip an OTA practice. Could the Eagles have provided the reason as sort of a subtle message to Williams? Basically stating, “We can’t make you be here, but we will also not cover for you if you’re not going to be here.” They are not necessarily throwing him under the bus, but maybe providing some added incentive and trying to keep a player accountable for skipping a voluntary practice.

  2. 2 A_T_G said at 5:16 PM on May 31st, 2013:

    Interesting take. Do we know if it was only the Eagles that made it public? If Cary put it out there, that would call into question the timeline of events in order to support your idea.

  3. 3 Iskar36 said at 5:32 PM on May 31st, 2013:

    I went back and looked at the tweets that came out at the beginning of practice (when I first saw that they first reported Williams wasn’t there) and all the reporters were reporting the same thing in effectively the same way.

    Zach Berman

    Cary Williams is at his daughters’ recital, not present at practice. Kenny Phillips is absent because of the birth of his child.

    Jeff McLane

    Cary Williams is once again not here. He is attending his daughter’s recital.

    Tim McManus

    Cary Williams is at his daughters recital. Not here.

    Les Bowen
    Cary Williams has found a new reason for missing an OTA: daughter’s recital

    Jordan Raanan

    Missing #eagles at OTAs: Kenny Phillips (wife expecting), Cary Williams (daughter recital), Peters (personal) and DeSean (hammy)

    Those tweets were all sent out basically at the exact same time. I’m inferring here and guessing, but I would assume that would imply that the Eagles were sending out a mass message to all the beat reporters about who was there and who wasn’t rather than an agent or Cary providing those details, but I have no evidence for that. It just seems that the fact that it went to a bunch of reporters at the same time, and along side all the other players missing, it was not coming from Cary specifically.

  4. 4 Geagle said at 7:51 PM on May 31st, 2013:

    Good stuff. Interesting thought…and real dope of Iskar to go back and look at the timeline….

  5. 5 A_T_G said at 11:19 PM on May 31st, 2013:

    I agree, that definitely sounds like something that came from the team.

  6. 6 TommyLawlor said at 5:48 PM on May 31st, 2013:

    I’m sure the Eagles did make this public. Chip Kelly might be sending him a message.

    Kelly defended Williams in regard to his wedding and the first OTAs. Now, this might be getting annoying.

  7. 7 D3Center said at 10:22 PM on May 31st, 2013:

    It could just be that Peters is going through something very personal and doesn’t want it made public so the team is respecting his wishes. Also I have no problem with an NFL player being a good parent for a change, so the dance recital doesn’t bother me.

  8. 8 Iskar36 said at 11:13 PM on May 31st, 2013:

    In and of itself it doesn’t bother me. Here is what I wrote over on

    “To me, the issue with Cary Williams isn’t skipping this practice for his daughter. Good for him for putting his family first. The issue is whether or not this is an ongoing trend. McManus put out a long list of different reasons why Williams has skipped OTAs, and not all of them are necessarily the same as being a supportive father to his daughter. Still, right now it isn’t a huge deal. If he is working out hard, making sure to understand the schemes and stay in shape, and once mandatory camps and TC arrives, is here when he is expected to be, this is an absolute non-story. However, if he is not dedicating himself to practices come TC, that is in fact a major issue. I don’t think it makes sense to blow this out of proportion now, but at the same time, it is worth noting.”

    The point of making it publicly known though is to try and create the public pressure on Williams without violating any rules and forcing him to show up. Basically, by saying it publicly it forces Williams to at least think, “Will it be embarrassing for me to skip another practice?” Take Peters as the counter example, by saying “personal reasons”, even though he has apparently missed a lot of practice time, no one seems as concerned with him as with Williams.

  9. 9 D3Center said at 11:44 PM on May 31st, 2013:

    My point was more that Peters missing for “personal reasons” seems to be against the norm for what the team is doing since they also gave the exact reason for Phillips missing practice. I was thinking that the reason behind Peters missing for personal reasons is that he doesn’t want everyone to know what is going on because its serious, whereas the other players reasons aren’t serious and so the actual reason is given.

  10. 10 Tumtum said at 12:40 AM on June 1st, 2013:

    Ugg I hate tablets just deleted a fairly long post.

    The short of it: I watched Williams closely last year and really hoped we would sign him. When we did I delighted in the fact that my friends who are ravens fans thought it was an awful signing, because it was those same friends who caused me to watch him so closely last year. I knew how well he played down the stretch when they seemingly missed it.

    However this attitude is already wearing thin on me. You don’t go to work because you h have to. You go to work because you take pride in what you do. If he has lost that pride, hew will certainly not exile like he did last year.

  11. 11 TommyLawlor said at 1:16 AM on June 1st, 2013:

    Sorry about your post, but you can be glad Chris Dickerson dropped that bomb on the Tigers. Great end to a strange night.

  12. 12 Tumtum said at 8:10 AM on June 1st, 2013:

    I really love that guy! If only he could play second. Wish I could have gone last night, but I went weds. I guess that’s not a great excuse. Mayhaps Sunday for Guasman.

  13. 13 the midatlantic said at 6:30 PM on May 31st, 2013:

    Look at this family and tell Cary to miss his daughter’s recital for an optional spring practice, haha:

  14. 14 jshort said at 7:02 PM on May 31st, 2013:

    They might have reported it that way for his wife, perhaps to light a fire under his ass. ” Cary get your lazy ass to practice, momma needs a new pair of shoes.” I doubt she’ll be shopping at Wal-Mart.

  15. 15 Geagle said at 8:55 PM on May 31st, 2013:

    “Hope the Coocamunga cracker killers pay well, or it’s back to the ghetto(Baltimore lol) you go”-Micheal Rappaport(next Friday)

  16. 16 Geagle said at 8:56 PM on May 31st, 2013:

    He looks like an ornery velociraptor. Hope he plays angry for us too, now that he got paid

  17. 17 Tumtum said at 12:43 AM on June 1st, 2013:

    Oh no she looks like she is ready for her role on Philadelphia football wives!

  18. 18 Kevin_aka_RC said at 7:18 PM on May 31st, 2013:

    Asante Samuel was a great CB for us from 2008-2010 while missing every single voluntary OTA AND having a monster deal. It didn’t matter. Cary Williams is doing the same thing.

    I can easily make the argument that Williams has “something to play for” that most single people don’t. That should be the incentive to show up and play well. Besides, there’s no D in the NFL more versatile than Baltimore…Williams should be fine schematically.

  19. 19 Geagle said at 8:29 PM on May 31st, 2013:

    Not to mention, no matter what scheme you decide to play, it’s not like there are a million variations of what you can ask a corner to do…

    fact of theater is, I doubt any franchise will ever have 100% attendance at voluntary OTAs…if your QBs or Lineman(especially Dlineman) miss a practice, it’s a big deal…but a veteran corner? If he comes into camp making mental mistakes, and then carries them into the season, I will BBQ his ass for missing OTAs…but IMO a veteran CB, should be able to know what he is doing come training camp, since he has two months to study his play book, and there aren’t many different things a corner can be asked to do….It’s not like our Dlineman, who never 2gapped before, and will be having to shift with offensive motion, and switch between 3,4, and 5 man lines with different techniques and gap responsibilities….Cary can’t show his worth anyway til he is able to get physical with recievers at camp…I’m waiting for Camp reviews and preseason before I crucify him for these OTAs

  20. 20 Geagle said at 7:49 PM on May 31st, 2013:

    Something that always stuck in my head that is really friggin UFC president Dana white, and father of two children, is one of the busiest men in the world…so he has someone at all his kids sports games, and recitals, so they can video tape the events and stream them to him and he watches the. Live wherever he is at in the world…that always stuck with me, thought it was really really cool…..wonder how much that costs him?

  21. 21 jshort said at 7:55 PM on May 31st, 2013:

    Wonder if that’s tax deductible?

  22. 22 Geagle said at 8:44 PM on May 31st, 2013:

    Cary Is not some young player..this will be his 7th training camp. I’m not trying to just dismiss this, but I’m not ready to get out the pitchforks, and torches just yet…Cary is a curious case for me, because he has been in the league for a while, but he only really played consistently on the outside these past two seasons…so while normally, you would know what you are getting in a guy with his experience, I don’t think he is done growing as a player. I thought he got better as the season went along, and I think he still has room to grow…I know he is No shut down, game changing corner, but I’m not sure how so many people discredit a Super Bowl winning QB who just held his own against Peyton, Brady and Kapernick led offenses on the biggest stages?
    I get the complacency concerns and they are certainly valid..but he is a very feisty, disciple of Ray Lewis who came into the nfl as a long shot, who fought and worked to finally get to the point that he reached these past two I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt, like I do with everyone but Vick lol, until he screws it up…and while missing OTAs for me is not ideal..I’m going to wait to see what effects his absences has on his play before I judge

  23. 23 barneygoogle said at 9:56 PM on May 31st, 2013:

    Maybe it was his agent who was having the dance recital.

  24. 24 barneygoogle said at 10:08 PM on May 31st, 2013:

    Cary Williams should only go to the kid’s recital… if it’s at Carnegie Hall. Suppose Vick, Foles and Barkley all decided to go to the recital with him? What would that do to practice?

  25. 25 Flyin said at 11:00 PM on May 31st, 2013:

    Here is another must read of today’s practice…

  26. 26 Flyin said at 11:52 PM on May 31st, 2013:

    I am so excited and positive about the Eagles this season… I felt it was necessary to put a positive spin on the Cary situation.

    Chip Kelly said he is football smart. Therefore, he should be able to catch up quick. Cary says the cream rises to the top when the pads go on… I like the confidence and attitude.I think his attitude is similar to Chip’s. Just hope they don’t clash.

    Cary is coming off a SB team that played a month or so longer than most other players on this team. Plus the post season is so much more intense and demanding, it takes a toll on you physically and mentally. Not only that, he just got married and has a family. Goes to new team and city… has to work all that at as well… it’s a good time to let the body recover and not over do it, as well a, getting his personal life situated in a new city and spend a memory with his daughter that will last a lifetime. Because, soon enough it will be balls to walls football and sacrifices to the family life will be made.

  27. 27 Tumtum said at 12:37 AM on June 1st, 2013:

    Ugg I hate tablets just deleted a fairly long post.

    The short of it: I watched Williams closely last year and really hoped we would sign him. When we did I delighted in the fact that my friends who are ravens fans thought it was an awful signing, because it was those same friends who caused me to watch him so closely last year. I knew how well he played down the stretch when they seemingly missed it.

    However this attitude is already wearing thin on me. You don’t go to work because you h have to. You go to work because you take pride in what you do. If he has lost that pride, hew will certainly not exile like

  28. 28 Flyin said at 12:47 AM on June 1st, 2013:

    Get thicker skin.

  29. 29 TommyLawlor said at 1:18 AM on June 1st, 2013:

    Be nice to the newer guys…or I’m gonna make you go watch Demetress Bell clips on YouTube. That’s so bad even the Geneva Convention won’t allow it.

  30. 30 Tumtum said at 8:23 AM on June 1st, 2013:

    Ugh double post. Tablets. He certainly didn’t slam me with any your momma jokes. So my feeling weren’t hurt. Just the status of my man crush.

    Mainly my point is the dude has over achieved to get to this point in his career. I hope he hasn’t lost his edge, or even that the Superbowl didn’t remove the chip on his shoulder. I take it slightly personally because my jerk friends will never let me live it down if he plays anything like hew did in the first 10 or so weeks last season. That’s right… If he plays like he did last season. Not so out of the realm of possibility.

  31. 31 Flyin said at 2:06 PM on June 1st, 2013:

    I hope you know I was kidding around with that comment. I have the same concerns and I hope he proves to be a good team player and team mate. We don’t need him causing drama and distractions.

  32. 32 Flyin said at 1:59 PM on June 1st, 2013:

    I was going to put a smilie face at the end, but I feared prophet would pm me.