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Practice Notes: Second Week Of OTAs Begin

Posted Jun 2, 2014

The Eagles opened up their second week of Organized Team Activities on Monday at the NovaCare Complex. Here's a look at what took place on the field ...

  • Linebacker Mychal Kendricks returned to the field after missing Thursday's OTA due to a thigh contusion. There were no issues as Kendricks participated in all individual, 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills.

  • The entire team was present at Monday's OTA except for rookie safety Ed Reynolds, who is unable to participate due to the NCAA graduation rule.

  • The Eagles trained under sunny skies with the temperature in the mid 80s. That didn't dampen the players' spirit on the field. Prior to the start of the final 11-on-11 drill 90 minutes into the session, chants of "Let's go D" came from the defensive sideline.

  • Monday offered the media its first opportunity to watch rookie wide receiver Jordan Matthews in action after he was selected by the Eagles in the second round of the NFL Draft. Matthews worked exclusively out of the slot with the second-team offense. On the last second-team rep during an 11-on-11 drill, Matthews caught a pop pass from quarterback Mark Sanchez and raced down the middle of the field for the touchdown. In fact, he ran every catch to the end zone. Matthews also was part of the crowd of players who fielded punts which included, in no particular order, Darren Sproles, Riley Cooper and Damaris Johnson.

  • The Eagles have invested a lot of resources into special teams this offseason between the trade for Sproles and the addition of players such as linebacker Bryan Braman and safety Chris Maragos. During gunner drills, you'll even see starting members of the defense involved such as another new safety - Malcolm Jenkins. Now, Jenkins wasn't signed for his special teams prowess. The Eagles valued his versatility and it was on display Monday. Jenkins lined up at times in the base defense as the slot cornerback. He also stood up and blitzed the A-gap.

  • Another encouraging sign for the special teams is the return of Jason Phillips, who was signed to be a special teams demon last offseason only to have his year wiped out by an ACL injury. Phillips is taking part in all individual, 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills during OTAs working in as an inside linebacker.

  • Another player who is coming back from injury is wide receiver Arrelious Benn, who also had his 2013 season ended prematurely by a knee injury. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound fifth-year wideout worked in the second-team offense as an outside receiver along with Ifeanyi Momah. Benn looks smooth getting in and out of breaks and doesn't seem to be slowed down by the injury.

  • Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin also appears unimpeded by his knee injury from 2013. Maclin looks fluid running vertical routes. On a bubble screen during an 11-on-11 drill, Maclin weaved his way in and out of traffic with no hesitation. On the final play of practice, Maclin went up for a back-shoulder throw from quarterback Nick Foles in the end zone and landed hard on the ground. Maclin was on the ground for a few moments, but got up and walked off the field under his own power. He later offered this update ...

  • Alex Henery nailed what appeared to be a 49-yard field goal attempt during a move-the-ball session during 11-on-11s. He had plenty of distance remaining on the kick.

  • There is a lot of optimism regarding Zach Ertz as the tight end enters his second NFL season, but don't forget about Brent Celek. The versatile veteran lines up as both an in-line and flexed-out tight end. During the final 11-on-11 drill, Celek got the offense into the red zone after hauling in a laser over the middle from Foles. Earlier during 7-on-7 drills, the two also connected on a beautiful post-corner route.


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