It’s all about culture: Ten takeaways from today’s Eagles OTA action

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For the final time during OTA’s, Doug Pederson met with the media ahead of a team practice, with reporters staying to observe the Eagles being put through their paces once again. With several taking to Twitter to share their views, here are ten takeaways from today’s practice.

 

Absentees:
There were still several Eagles who missed today’s action. Among those absent was quarterback Nick Foles, who may become the second Eagle during OTA’s to become a Father! Elsewhere, LeGarrete Blount, Marcus Smith, Jason Peters, Destiny Vaeao, Donnie Jones and Jordan Matthews missed practice with varying reasons.

 

 

Alshon is still doing Alshon things:
This one doesn’t need explaining, just watch.

One handed catch? Yup.

Toe-drag-swag? Yup.

Oh this year is going to be fun…

 

Pass rush is eating….
Today appeared to be one of complete defensive dominance. From edge rushers running rampant, to some near-fights, the pass rush was simply making mince meat of the Eagles offensive fronts.

We all know just how powerful the Eagles Defense is poised to become, but it’s encouraging that even with pads off, that level of aggression is still shining through and keeping the offensive line in check.

 

The Green Goblin rises:
It’s been a relatively quiet OTA period for second year cornerback Jalen Mills, but he may finally be hitting his stride. Starting on the outside today, Mills looked to flash more than a handful of times just as he did one year ago.

What stands out to me is the receivers he’s working against. Both Jeffery and Smith have had strong OTA periods, so seeing the young cornerback hold his own once again is certainly a good sign.

 

Topsy-turvy day for Wentz:
Today may have summed up the entire OTA period for Carson Wentz. The Eagles quarterback flashed with some beautiful passes, but then endured some extremely rocky moments just a few series later.

It’s clear that there’s still a long way to go, but with proceedings being so early, there’s no reason to be concerned with the inconsistencies reported. Wentz proved time and time again last season that development was the biggest word to take into account when examining his play…and it’s a word still very prominent now. The work ethic and leadership have received nothing but praise from all who have spoke on the topic, and with months before the regular season starts, there’s plenty of time for Wentz to put on a “Sam Bradford” worthy pre-season campaign. Because we all know how much that means…right? Don’t panic.

 

Agholor continues to turn heads:
Meanwhile, one player who has consistently stood out has been Nelson Agholor. The USC product appears to be making big plays every time the media are present, which hopefully bodes well given the competition he faces for the WR2 spot.

It’s great to see Agholor approaching OTA’s with a fresh mindset and producing day in and day out. One can only hope that this trend continues deep into the regular season and that Mike Groh’s new culture really has ignited a fire under the belly of an incredibly talented wide receiver. Training Camp will act as the next proving ground for Agholor, and there will be plenty of eyes waiting to see if he continues to grow under Groh.

 

Gibson starts slow, again:
One of the narratives that has been overblown is that of Shelton Gibson’s drops. Unfortunately, the rookie wide receiver out of West Virginia hasn’t had the easiest time catching passes during OTA’s, which has led to a fair amount of unwarranted coverage. But again, given the nature of the Eagles struggles last year, it’s something that people are going to be watching for.

It’s good to hear Groh and the rest of the corps were encouraging Gibson, because that’s exactly what the situation should entail. As opposed to breaking players down or focusing on the negatives, building on what Gibson has done well and ensuring that he doesn’t feel that dip in confidence, has to be a priority. It’s great to see the new culture already working its way into the DNA of receivers across the board, and hopefully by the time Training Camp arrives, the drops narrative will have been forgotten.

 

Secondary scrap unfolds:
The Eagles have interestingly rotated their starting DB’s once again, with Rasul Douglas resuming outside duties after an impressive showing last time around. The rookie cornerback selected in the third round by the Eagles has been one of the bright spots of OTA’s, and now with a chance to prove his worth outside over Patrick Robinson, the secondary scrap is well underway.

With 11 corners vying for roster spots, it’s going to be an enticing battle to keep an eye on, but at the head of the pack, the momentum is already swinging toward the WVU standout who continues to make big plays when it counts.

 

Underdogs flash:
Aaron Grymes has picked up from where he left off last year, while Mack Hollins continues to show the prowess he caused jaw-dropping reactions with on day one. Fifth-round pick, Donnel Pumphrey, also left a sour taste in the mouth of Jalen Mills. But Jimmy Kempski’s eloquent description says all you need to know.

With so much competition across the board, there’s bound to be times where guys lower on the depth chart shine through, and that’s becoming a reoccurring theme. It may not seem like much, but it’s those small flashes now that could make all the difference by the time Training Camp rolls around.

 

 

Competition is the name of the game:
We all know the environment Doug Pederson was striving to create…and he may have just pulled it off. When writers are observing the energy of players and the intensity, it’s generally a good sign. But if an offensive lineman goes after a defensive tackle, that says a lot about just how intense the practices are getting.

Under Chip Kelly, it was rare to see fights break out at Training Camp, let alone OTA’s. Pederson’s unrelenting attitude that ensures players know every snap means something, every rep counts, and every day matters, means that players have a unified attitude when it comes to voluntary workouts. Unless your name is Marcus Smith…

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