Saturday, August 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

What they're saying: A recap of Eagles OTA coverage

On Monday and Tuesday this week, the media had access to Eagles practices. OTAs will continue through Wednesday and Thursday, but we'll be sitting those practices out. Eagles minicamp will pick back up next week (the media will be in attendance for its entirety) from Tuesday to Thursday, and the assistant coaches will be available on Monday. Until then, here's a recap of what they're saying about Eagles practices.

What they're saying: A recap of Eagles OTA coverage

Eagles running back LeSean McCoy and wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)
Eagles running back LeSean McCoy and wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)

On Monday and Tuesday this week, the media had access to Eagles practices. OTAs will continue through Wednesday and Thursday, but we'll be sitting those practices out. Eagles minicamp will pick back up next week (the media will be in attendance for its entirety) from Tuesday to Thursday, and the assistant coaches will be available on Monday. Until then, here's a recap of what they're saying about Eagles practices.

• SI's Don Banks checked in on Eagles OTAs this week. Banks focused on Darren Sproles.

But as I survey the mid-June NFL landscape, the offseason addition that comes as close to can't-miss as any is the Eagles' savvy acquisition of running back/return man Darren Sproles, the proven and productive chains-moving threat who came via trade with New Orleans for the bargain price of a fifth-round pick. Just as I was when the Chargers let him leave for the Saints in 2011, I was stunned New Orleans deemed the diminutive Sproles a luxury they couldn't afford, crowded backfield and all.

• Birds 24/7's Sheil Kapadia's running diaries are always great.

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12:13 - Foles looks sharp during 7-on-7s, completing a deep out to Arrelious Benn in front ofCary Williams and then connecting with Zach Ertz in front of Earl Wolff. Mark Sanchez, meanwhile, loves him some Jordan Matthews. He goes to the rookie wide receiver on four consecutive passes with the second team.

I'm not sure we'll know much about Jeremy Maclin until he gets into game action, but he's certainly been sure-handed. I can only remember one drop in the practices we've watched.

Foles delivers the ball of the day. He fakes a handoff and rolls to his right. On the run, he delivers a beauty to Maclin down the right sideline. Williams has good coverage, but the throw is perfect.

• Brandon Gowton of Bleeding Green Nation also does a great job with his practice notes.

I saw Nate Allen leave practice near the beginning of practice while the team was stretching. He didn't look noticeably hurt. Later, Eagles second year safety Earl Wolff told the media that Allen left due to illness, not injury. Wolff filled in with the first team during Allen's absence.

• The Inquirer's Jeff McLane had some notes on the kicker competition.

Henery recently told me that he spent more time this offseason trying to improve his strength. His kickoffs weren’t as deep as the Eagles would have probably liked late last season. I asked Kelly if Henery’s leg has looked stronger this spring. “Yeah, I think he’s gotten a little bit stronger in terms of the distance he’s kicking the ball and in terms of where we are placing the ball during kickoff drill,” Kelly said. “Excited to see where it is, especially when we get into some real live situations. The tough thing with the kickers is we can’t rush them, we can’t do anything. A lot of times right now it’s like they are going out on the driving range and hitting balls. It’s not real live action for them.”

I wrote this last week and will again: I have a hard time seeing Henery not winning the job this season, unless they bring in more competition.

• Chris McPherson of the Eagles' Mothership has a video of who has impressed at Eagles OTAs so far. Mark Sanchez's remarks on Jordan Matthews are very interesting.

• NJ.com's Eliot Shorr-Parks offers up 5 Eagles who have impressed him so far, in picture form.

In case you missed it at the Red Zone:

• Eagles OTA practice notes.

The overwhelming feeling here among the media is that Mark Sanchez has looked bad so far, and I don't disagree. However, he has also occasionally looked pretty good. For example, on Monday, he completed a really sharp out route in traffic. He also hit on a nice throw into a tight window down the seam. Those are the plays where you can see why the Eagles brought him in.

And then there are moments where his passes are nowhere near anyone. Sometimes he's clearly throwing the ball away toward the sidelines, which is fine, and then there are other times he's throwing to empty spaces in the middle of the field, where it's difficult to figure out what he's trying to do. When you see passes that don't make any sense, more than likely they're miscommunications. Sanchez is still learning the offense. If he continues to make a high number of weird throws in August, it'll be more concerning. But in June, on a new team, his erratic play so far is probably to be expected.

• Here are all of Nick Foles' 13 glorious/terrible slides last season.

Follow Jimmy on Twitter: @JimmyKempski

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