10 things we learned from the Eagles' OTAs Tuesday (Nelson Agholor scores, timing issues at line)
Which Eagles players impressed, and who was a let down as the second week of practices begins in South Philly?
The Eagles began their second week of OTAs— with the vast majority of players present at the NovaCare Complex Tuesday.
Here'sa brieflook at 10 interesting observations Eagles fans should be aware of from the latest Birds' practice, open to the media earlier Tuesday afternoon:
1. Happy birthday Nelson Agholor
Eagles second-year wideout Nelson Agholor celebrated his birthday Tuesday and made sure to score some touchdowns in honor of his big day. A lot of them. The USC product literally took every single catch, all practice long all the way to the end zone, regardless of where he caught the ball on the field and regardless of the drill or situation.
After one impressive diving end zone catch at the end of 11-on-11 drills, an amped up Agholor was heard yelling "still caught it with all that holding!"
2. Doug Pederson is a hands on coach
Doug Pederson is still a pretty athletic guy. How do we know that? Watch him coaching. The guy is all over the field, rushing in to the huddle at times to listen in on his quarterbacks calls one minute, and giving Zach Ertztips on his technique the next.
3. No shows
Like last week, Darren Sprolesand Fletcher Cox were not at practice again. Joining them on the absent list are wide receiver Reuben Randle (out for bladder surgery), and Ryan Mathews (illness).
4. Solid Smallwood
In the absence of Sproles and Mathews this week, Wendell Smallwoodtook fulladvantage of his increased reps, making darting cuts on the ground and flashing slick hands in the air. Fellow backfielderKenjon Barner also got a bevy of reps, and each running back appeared to make the most of the opportunities.
5. QB overthrows
As can be expected this early in the offseason, Sam Bradford, Chase Daniel and Carson Wentz were all a bit too strong with their deep throws during practice Tuesday. They were, however, fairly accurate with their mid-range throws.
6. Timing issues
Another expected setback was the great frequency of offside andfalse start penalties committed by linemen in practice. Players are still learning snap counts and on both side of the ball made mistakes as they waited for a snap.
7. Give it up for Givens
One of the most impressive performers was newly acquired Eagles veteran wideoutChris Givens, who made short, middle, and deep grabs all over the field Tuesday.
8. Under center
In 11-on-11 drills, the Eagles spent a lot more time snapping the ball directly under center (as opposed to out of the shotgun)than they did under Chip Kelly in recent seasons.
9. More coaching
Another juxtaposition to the Kelly years, Pederson's slower practices — with huddles and all — seemed to allow for a lot more hands on coaching from the entire staff in between plays.
10. Top tight ends
The Eagles shelled out a lot of money on tight ends a few months ago, inking Zach Ertz and Brent Celek to new deals. The emphasis the offense will place on tight ends is evident already, as each (along with Trey Burten and Chris Pantale) got a lot of attention in practice.