The Eagles had their first, full organized team activities today. And there were quite a few interesting observations fans should be aware of as the team enters the Doug Pederson era.
Here’s a look at 10 things to know about after Philadelphia finished it’s first full practice Tuesday:
1. Carson Wentzhas a lot to learn
Wentz took reps with the third team and overthrew quite a few receivers. He was soaking up the experience like a sponge, and appearedto improve as practice progressed.
“He’s a guy who is clapping, rallying, cheering on his guys,” Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said after practice. “If a guy makes a mistake he says ‘lets do it again.'”
2. Key faces absent
Fletcher Cox and Darren Sproles were absent from practice Tuesday, as well asa few others — like offensive lineman and recent draft pick Isaac Seumalo. Pederson said he wanted Cox to be there but also understands why he is not (he wants a new contract). Sproles– who was rumored to be demanding a trade was absent due to his desire to spend time with his family, according to Pederson.OTAs are voluntary, so no need to panic, yet.
3. Loose atmosphere
In stark contrast to the blaring music and breakneck pace of Chip Kelly practices from previous years, Pederson seemed to move his at a more leisurely, yet brisk pace. He also focused a lot of time on 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills.
4. Sam Bradford welcomed — we think
On the field at least, things seemed peachy for the Birds’ presumptive starting quarterback. Bradford surrendered last week after his trade demand went unfulfilled and he appeared comfortable on the field. At no time did he look uncomfortable or scorned by teammates.
There was a lot of chatter on the field during team drills, with the defense chirping and communicating pretty well for this early stage. Offensive players, too, were verbalizing with great frequency during and in between plays.
6. Lots of drops
You can blame the rain or blame the rust, but there were a bevy of drops during practice Tuesday — key missed from Josh Huff and Ryan Mathews, among others, fueled a little frustration.
7. Stellar secondary
Typically, when playing without pads the offense has the edge. But Tuesday, Jim Schwartz had his already looking to be indefense in tip-top shape. There were a handful of impressive interceptions and even more swats and tips from defenders.
8. Back in the huddle
Another stark contrast to the recently departed Kelly era is seeing the Eagles’ offense huddle up before each play — something they hadn’t done at all since Andy Reid left town in 2012.
9. Take precaution
A handful of key Eagles players participated in individual drills and not team ones, including Nolan Carroll, Jordan Hicks and JaCorey Shephard.
10. Chase Daniel is really small
He is listed as being 6-foot tall, but standing next to 6-foot-4 Sam Bradford and 6-foot-5 Carson Wentz on the field Tuesday, the Eagles back up quarterback looked pretty tiny. He was solid but not impressive during his first full team Eagles practices.