The Eagles' first Organized Team Activity of the spring kicked off Thursday morning. Head coach Doug Pederson provided the media with some updates before the start of practice, which for the first time this offseason will feature 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills.
Three players are not in attendance: defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, punter Donnie Jones, and tackle Jason Peters. This part of the offseason program is voluntary and Coach Pederson said that there are "no worries with them going forward." The mandatory minicamp takes place in June.
- Isaac Seumalo will work in with the first-team unit at left guard, while Jason Kelce remains at center following his second Pro Bowl season in 2016.
"Jason's the guy," Pederson said.
- A receiver to watch: Nelson Agholor. Pederson said that the addition of wide receivers coach Mike Groh has "lit a fire" under Agholor, the former first-round pick who is coming off a disappointing 2016 campaign.
"Nelson's attitude has been great. He's worked extremely hard this offseason," Pederson said. "He's done a great job already this spring."
- Pederson also remains high on what Jordan Matthews can contribute to the offense even after the team signed Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith, and drafted Mack Hollins and Shelton Gibson.
"Jordan's been a big part of this offense and he's still a big part of this offense," Pederson said. "He's a tremendous slot receiver. That's where I see him fitting in."
- The biggest thing that Pederson has seen thus far from second-year quarterback Carson Wentz? "Leadership."
- Timing will be a big focus of the OTAs for Wentz and his receivers. Again, this is the first time the offense will line up against the defense. As a former quarterback, Pederson understands how valuable this time is, especially with all of the new receivers to throw to.
- What does Pederson want to see from Jeffery in the spring? "Steady improvement in the offense. He's really stood out in Phase Two running routes."
- Pederson said that he plans to mix and match the rotation at running back more than he did in 2016. With LeGarrette Blount now in the mix, there are more options for the Eagles' coaching staff. Now is the time to experiment before "before we get too deep into Training Camp."
- Who will work with the first-team unit at cornerback? Jalen Mills and Patrick Robinson.