The Eagles are holding their rookie minicamp this weekend and to kick off proceedings, Doug Pederson met with the media. Here’s everything you need to know.
In a weekend where five draft picks, ten UDFA’s and 27 tryouts are all trying to make a strong first impression at the NovaCare Complex, somehow, the first question Pederson was asked pertained to Carson Wentz and his involvement so far.
It makes sense, kind of. Wentz is coming off another season-ending injury, but it’s May. We haven’t even hit OTA’s yet and the Super Bowl winning Head Coach gave a predictably colder response.
“His involvement? Not going to get too specific or detail a lot of the things, but he’s been working. I’m encouraged by his progress and where he is at, and just looking forward to the next few weeks with him.”
Wentz may well be limited during OTA’s and maybe even Training Camp, but it’s not as if finding out ‘he’s doing really well’ in May where it’s all conditioning and a different style of workout before OTA’s would tell us anything anyway.
Wentz is progressing, which is nice to hear…but ultimately this is the kind of scenario everybody expected.
It’s no secret that the Eagles are stacked at tackle and lack some bulk at interior positions. While players like Seumalo and Matt Pryor do quell those concerns, the fact that the team brought in 4 IOL players as UDFA’s says a lot. When asked about cross-training his tackles as a short-term fix, Pederson had this to say.
“Yeah. And listen, that was part of our plan all along since I’ve been here is we cross-train a lot of guys. That’s a big part of the success we’ve had being able to – a guy like [OL] Isaac [Seumalo] for instance. He’s played tackle, he’s played center, he’s obviously secure at guard right now.”
That bold part to me speaks volumes. The Eagles like Seumalo at guard and he’s likely the starting left guard moving into next season. Will the team deem it necessary to find developmental depth or even a starter just in case Brooks isn’t healthy enough to play in week one? Who knows.
As for Andre Dillard and Jordan Mailata, those are two names who face a slightly different cross-training scenario. Pederson fielded questions about both of his young offensive tackles who could be on different career paths. One is a first-round rookie, the other, a seventh-round selection who had never played the sport until a year ago.
“Andre is different. We’re just trying to get his feet wet with the playbook and get him moving around. At this time, we’re just going to kind of keep him where he is at and let him play there.
(Talking on Mailata) “This is a guy that I think we can cross-train, and maybe we cross-train him at both tackle spots, left tackle, right tackle. He’s second year now in our system and this will be a big off-season for him. He’s a big-bodied guy, and I think he’s athletic enough. “
“We’ll see how it goes once we get into phase three. Obviously training camp we’ll know more when the pads come on. But we’re going to continue, especially the young players. Having versatile linemen that can play multiple spots helps us.”
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Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports