Alshon spikes, Douglas shines: Ten takeaways from today’s Eagles OTA action

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The Eagles kickstarted the week with another OTA practice. While rain may have dampened the mood, it certainly didn’t take away from the intensity of the day. Media members watched on as the Eagles got to work on Tuesday, with many noting their observations on social media. Here’s what we learned from today’s action:

 

 

Fletch is back:
Call off the riots, Fletcher Cox has returned to voluntary workouts. It was never a big deal to begin with, but the franchise DT is back at the NovaCare Complex practicing with his teammates. Cox made the initial statement of intent via snapchat, sharing his location with those who viewed the story. The “Man-Dog” fielded questions from the media after practice, who were keen to learn what kept him from participating last week, but Cox was honest and straight to the point.

 

Absentees:
For those who were worried about Cox, strap yourselves in for this one. There were several players absent from today’s practice, but some had very valid reasons. For instance, Tim Jernigan’s child was born today, so from everyone here at Philly Sports Network, congratulations to Tim and his family! Elsewhere, the following players were missing:

LeGarrette Blount/Alex McCalister/Darren Sproles/Ron Brooks: Family/Personal reasons
Jordan Matthews: Knee tendinitis
Vinny Curry: Sickness
Marcus Smith: Nobody has any idea. 
Donnie Jones/Jason Peters: No definite reasoning that we’re aware of
Mychal Kendricks: Limited due to a hamstring injury


It will be interesting to see where Marcus Smith is actually hiding, as he’s realistically the only player listed whose roster spot could be in immediate jeopardy.

 

Alshon goes off:
Number 17 is wasting no time making an impression on the Eagles brass. After setting the tone early on during the first day of OTA’s, just over a week later the narrative appears to be the same. From a strong work ethic to a competitive spike in the face of Rasul Douglas, Jeffery isn’t taking OTA’s lightly…which is EXACTLY the message he needs to be sending as a veteran on the roster.

Now his spot may be secure as the starter this year from an outside view, but if he approached OTA’s with a laid back attitude, it would likely brush off on those around him. It’s great to see such fire being displayed early on, hopefully further embedding the competitive environment Pederson envisions.

 

Aggy’s bounce back carries more weight:
When reporters saw Nelson Agholor for the first time since the end of last season, many praised the crispness of his routes, and new energy so to speak. One week later, and it’s those same impressive catches and strong work ethic that seemed to be just as fluent.

There’s still a long way to go, but the apparent fire that has been lit in the belly of Nelson Agholor is still burning brightly.

 

Rasul Douglas flashes on a dark day:
The Eagles got their first real glimpse of what Rasul Douglas brings to the table today. The rookie cornerback was reportedly draped over everything that came his way (except the Alshon spike). After honing his craft against Shelton Gibson throughout his West Virginia days, Douglas was now starting outside against some premier NFL receiving threats and holding his own to say the least.

Pederson named Mills and Robinson the starters heading into OTA’s, but it hasn’t taken Douglas long to throw the Cat amongst the Pigeons.

 

A rocky day for Wentz:
Just like last year, Carson Wentz has endured a rollercoaster OTA period so far. The Eagles quarterback would be placing balls perfectly one moment on a touchdown pass to Nelson Agholor, before struggling later on. Again, it’s only early and the regular season is still 99 days away…but it is interesting to see just how bright the spotlight is shining on Wentz at this stage.

 

Grymes is back with a vengeance:
Last year, former Edmonton Eskimo Aaron Grymes turned heads as an undrafted free agent. The Eagles corner would top off his strong offseason, with an impressive interception that would lead to an AC-joint injury, eventually leading to his rookie season ending before it had a chance to start. One year later however, and it’s the same story for Aaron Grymes.

You can read about just why the Eagles dipped into the CFL for cornerback help here.

 

Green-Beckham still struggling:
DGB didn’t exactly get off to a hot start last week, and it doesn’t look like he’s been able to take a huge step forward as OTA’s unfold.

The writing could be on the wall for the former Titan if his form doesn’t begin to change, especially given the intensity of competition surrounding him.

 

 

Could Goode displace Mychal Kendricks?
With Mychal Kendricks being limited due to a hamstring injury, it was actually special teams ace, Najee Goode, who stepped up to the starting spot. The Eagles and Kendricks fairytale might already be staring at a bitter end, and if Goode can continue to flash as he did today, it might just prove to be enough for the Eagles to decide that they can survive without the once esteemed linebacker.

 

Some experimentation at CB:
After declaring Mills and Douglas were the two outside starters, the Eagles decided to move Jalen Mills into the slot, handing an outside role to Rasul Douglas. This could be due to the absence of Ron Brooks, but it’s worth noting that Mills did see a fair amount of time in Nickel formations during his rookie year.

This is the perfect opportunity for Douglas to prove himself worthy of a starting role, while Mills has yet another chance to express his versatility. The cornerback competition is wide open at this stage, so it’s great to see some minor tweaks this early, enabling players to really push and shine at numerous spots.

 

 

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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