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Week 1 Of OTAs In Books And ...

Posted May 24, 2012

There were three practices, with no pads, so take the following for what it's worth: I know you want to know everything about every practice, even if this is minus tackling and who knows what it all means when August rolls around? ...

The coaches watch all of the tape and make their evaluations and constantly grade and consider their options and then get on to the next day. Of all the things that happened during Week 1 of the Organized Team Activities, how much will matter when the pads go on? That remains to be seen. These practices are to build the foundation for those players new to the system, to give them a fighting chance when training camp begins.

The depth charts are going to change, that's for sure. After one week, three whole practices, this is what I think I think I know about the Eagles early in this 2012 season ...

  • The rookie class has a chance to make a very significant impact. Linebacker Mychal Kendricks looks extremely athletic. He wasn't perfect in coverage, so don't get ahead of the game here, but Kendricks has the skills to run with tight ends down the field. He made a lot of plays. And Kendricks showed in a very short period of time that he has excellent timing on the blitz of the edge. He's off to a great start. So is cornerback Brandon Boykin, who is going to challenge for the nickel cornerback job. Boykin is a feisty, athletic player. Fletcher Cox and Vinny Curry looked quick off the ball and they got a lot of reps, but it's very difficult to tell right now about those two without the pads on.
  • I believe that quarterback Nick Foles is better than the Eagles maybe thought he would be at this stage. He throws a nice ball. He has great size standing tall in the pocket and he has thrown the ball with good accuracy. Foles is No. 3 on the depth chart in my book.
  • Maybe you are tired of me focusing so much on seventh-round draft pick Bryce Brown, but I don't care. Brown has a ton of talent. He's smooth catching the football. He has size. Can't wait to see this kid with the pads on. Can he block? Can he break tackles? Can he take hits?
  • This may be the deepest defensive line I have ever seen here. How many linemen can the Eagles keep? If they all stay healthy, it's going to be interesting to see. Both Cox and Curry appear to have what it takes to be the real deal.
  • Can't tell you too much about the offensive line. It isn't fair without pads. I can tell you that it's going to be a blast watching one-on-one drills with the offensive line and defensive line in training camp.
  • Damaris Johnson and Chad Hall are going to have quite a battle in training camp. I see those two competing as role players. Johnson is really impressive in and out of his breaks. He plays at a very high tempo. He has quickness and speed all over Hall. But Hall can play running back, does very well on special teams and never makes a mental mistake.
  • Not sure how it is all going to shake out, but the Eagles are definitely interested in a different look at linebacker with Kendricks at SAM, DeMeco Ryans in the middle and Brian Rolle on the weak side. Jamar Chaney is competing on the weak side and Casey Matthews is in the middle as a backup. Akeem Jordan has a chance to win a job on the strong side.
  • Chas Henry has kicked the ball very well in these practices. He is much more consistenet than he was a year ago. Good start for him.
  • How is Mike Kafka looking? Truth is, as I see it, he threw the ball better and better during the week. I thought he had some ups and downs early, but he had a really strong day on Thursday. He seems to have some zip on the ball, too. Trent Edwards didn't deliver the football with the spiral and the consistency that he wanted.
  • Really hard to make a read on the safety situations without pads. It looks to me like the entire secondary is much more aggressive and confident. They know the scheme. The coaches are demading. Nnamdi Asomugha was sensational all week. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie made plays. And I think Nate Allen is primed for success. Kurt Coleman seems firmly ahead of Jaiquawn Jarrett at the moment.
  • Don't count out Riley Cooper for this roster. He is playing very well in the camp.
  • The Eagles practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of next week at the NovaCare Complex to wrap up these two weeks of OTAs.
  • Finally, my sleeper alert: I like wide receiver Jamel Hamler, whom the Eagles signed to the practice squad last December. He looks good on the field at 6 feet 2, 195 pounds. I don't know if he can crack this talented group, but Hamler is someone who flashed on the field for me.

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