Philadelphia Eagles News

Three Things To Watch As OTAs Begin

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Phase Two of the offseason workout program officially began on Monday, May 1. See photos from the team's on-field practices.

Organized Team Activities begin at the NovaCare Complex on Tuesday. Over the next three weeks, the Eagles will have 10 OTAs before the mandatory minicamp from June 13-15. During the OTAs, live contact is not permitted, but it will be the first chance for the players - both rookies and veterans - to line up against each other in 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills.

At 10:45 a.m., head coach Doug Pederson will address the media prior to practice. You can watch it live here on PhiladelphiaEagles.com, the Eagles Mobile App, @Eagles on Twitter, or on Facebook.com/PhiladelphiaEagles.

Here are three things that will be worth watching during the first OTA session:

1. No Question About The Starting QB

A year ago, the Eagles used the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft on quarterback Carson Wentz, but Sam Bradford was the starter all through the preseason. The Eagles traded Bradford eight days before the start of the regular season, and Wentz became the first Eagles quarterback since 2008 to start all 16 games.

Since the season ended, Wentz underwent Lasik surgery to improve his vision and met with biometrics coach Adam Dedeaux to hone his throwing mechanics.

This is Carson Wentz's team now. Sure, it will take some time to tweak the timing and chemistry with his new teammates at wide receiver, but the quarterback will set the tone in practice as well as the barometer for what the Eagles can do in 2017.

2. Athleticism Reigns Supreme

This is the time for the skill-position players to shine. No contact. No fear of getting laid out by a defender lurking in the middle of the field. Running backs and wide receivers can roam free. With so many new faces, there is a lot to see here. Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery was described as a "freak" in the early stages of the offseason program, and has been a Competition Winner for the Eagles.

Rookie wide receivers Shelton Gibson and Mack Hollins have different body types. Gibson is 5-11, 191 pounds; Hollins checks in at 6-4, 221 pounds, but both players were big-play threats in college. Rookie running back Donnel Pumphrey, the FBS all-time leader in rushing yards, has been called the next Darren Sproles. Before anyone puts him near the same category as the Hall of Fame talent, how comfortable does Pumphrey look catching the ball out of the backfield? His versatility will dictate how much the Eagles can put on his plate.

3. First Peek At The Depth Chart

The preseason opener isn't until August 10, but the OTAs will provide a glimpse of how the coaches are grouping the players. Who lines up as the starter at left guard? Veteran Allen Barbre? Second-year man Isaac Seumalo? Free agent addition Chance Warmack? Will Jeffery line up on the outside at wide receiver with another new player in Torrey Smith, or does Nelson Agholor get a chance to redeem himself? Where will the rookies be on the defensive side of the ball – particularly defensive end Derek Barnett and cornerback Rasul Douglas? Will the coaches give Douglas a chance to push either Patrick Robinson or Jalen Mills for a starting spot?

Lots of questions to answer, and no concrete ones will be provided on Tuesday. But there are plenty of interesting storylines to follow in the weeks ahead before the Eagles break for the summer.

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