Philadelphia Eagles News

An Eagles To-Do List For The Weeks Ahead

The building is quiet. At the NovaCare Complex, where the energy level and action have been bustling since the offseason began, it's vacation time for the players and coaches. Only those players taking part in injury rehabilitation and medical treatment are around. The rest are scattered as they rest and recover and prepare for their Training Camp report date of July 25. That doesn't mean, however, that the Eagles are completely silent. There _is_ a list of things to do for this football team looking forward …

  • Get everyone healthy. It may not happen exactly in time for the start of Training Camp, but there are some players still working on getting back to full health, with quarterback Carson Wentz, offensive tackle Jason Peters, middle linebacker Jordan Hicks, and running back/return man Darren Sproles leading the list. All four took part, to varying degrees, in last week's mandatory minicamp. How those four came through the spring was encouraging. Safety/special teams ace Chris Maragos, recovering from a knee injury, appears to be still a ways away from getting back on the field. Some of the younger players, including running back Josh Adams and safety Ryan Neal, didn't take part in the minicamp because of injuries and lost out on some valuable practice reps. All in all, the Eagles are a pretty healthy group. Those players who are still heavily into their physical rehab will push during the next five weeks.
  • The NFL has not yet set a date for its annual Supplemental Draft, but there some defensive backfield prospects – Mississippi State safety Brandon Bryant, Western Michigan cornerback Sam Beal, and Virginia Tech cornerback Adonis Alexander are the three highest rated – who could get drafted. Only two players – wide receiver Josh Gordon and offensive tackle Isaiah Battle – have been selected in the Supplemental Draft since 2011 – but that could change this year. Will the Eagles take a chance? While they lack depth at safety, they are loaded with young talent at cornerback. I guess it would be surprising to see the Eagles use a reasonably high (fifth round or higher?) on a supplemental player. The Supplemental Draft is held annually in July before Training Camps kick off.
  • You can be sure the team will keep its eyes open on transactions around the league. Positions of need? Well, linebacker might be one after the injury to Paul Worrilow. Anything else? I think Cameron Johnston will have his chance at punter heading into camp and the preseason. Otherwise, this roster looks pretty, pretty, pretty good.
  • Then there is the matter of signing veteran players who are still on the streets. Safety Corey Graham, who played such a valuable part in last year's Super Bowl run, has been mentioned as a possibility by the coaching staff. Graham knows the system, has a high football IQ, and allowed the Eagles to move Malcolm Jenkins into a quasi-linebacker position in 2017. It worked beautifully. If it happens, it's likely to be something that goes down in mid-to-late July.
  • As the coaching staff reviewed everything that happened in the spring, there is an optimism that the Eagles are going to have some truly competitive positions in camp and throughout the preseason. There are going to be some difficult roster decisions to make, notably at running back, wide receiver, offensive line, and cornerback. Along with that, the Eagles are going to have some young players they want to eye up for practice squad spots. It's always a tricky situation making sure to give enough reps to players to make a fair judgment as far as where they are now in their development and also get a sense of where they could be in a season or two. And yes, that includes a long-term project like offensive tackle Jordan Mailata, who made significant strides in the spring but is still just dipping the toe of his size-18 feet into the NFL experience pond.
  • This isn't really a "team" item, but it also is in its own way. Brian Dawkins will be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, August 4 and yes, it's a huge deal. It won't affect Doug Pederson and the 2018 team, but the organization has a significant role in Dawkins' weekend as there are parties and events planned around the enshrinement. The Hall of Fame Game is on August 2, the Enshrinement is on August 4, and the Concert for Legends happens on August 5. Check out profootballhof.com/enshrinement for all the information.
  • This is a nervous time of year for NFL teams with players out on their own for the next month-plus. Pederson's message about "what are you willing to sacrifice" (see the video above) to the players includes times like these. It's important for the players to continue training, to keep their heads screwed on right, and to stay out of trouble. Unlike past years, there is no rookie and selected veteran report date prior to the veterans report date. The entire team will be here on July 25, with camp to open on July 26. Players need to be ready to go 100 percent starting on the 25th when they report to the NovaCare Complex.

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