Eagles OTAs observations: Kelce already teaching his future replacement

Eagles OTAs observations: Kelce already teaching his future replacement

The Eagles wrapped up their Organized Team Activities on Wednesday with their sixth and final practice of the spring.

The team will now break until July 26, when they begin to report for training camp.

So these observations will have to hold us over for a month and a half. Enjoy:

1. The Eagles had pretty good attendance during OTAs, Nick Sirianni said, but they were missing a few key players on Wednesday. They were without DeVonta Smith, A.J. Brown, Lane Johnson, Josh Sweat, Javon Hargrave and Jalen Reagor. Remember, these practices are voluntary.

There were a few players out there who weren’t practicing. Among that group: Tyree Jackson, Richard Rodgers, Brett Toth.

But we did see the return of Fletcher Cox, Jason Kelce and Jordan Mailata, who were all missing from last week’s practice open to reporters.

2. We already know the role Kelce had scouting Cam Jurgens and we knew he’d be more than willing to mentor the rookie from Nebraska. We’re already seeing that in action. Last week, when reporters were at a practice, Kelce wasn’t there. This week, he was and he spent some extra time working with Jurgens between drills, going over technique and little tips. It was fun to watch and will likely be a theme of training camp.

These two guys are going to spend a lot of time together over the next year and the Eagles hope it’ll put them in a good position for the future of the franchise.


3. After a bunch of dinking and dunking earlier in practice, the highlight of the day came on back-to-back deep balls late from Jalen Hurts. On the first one, he hit a streaking John Hightower, who got behind Avonte Maddox and Anthony Harris and caught a beautiful pass in stride from Hurts. He celebrated with a little NSFW hip thrust and then was joined by his teammates for the same motion. They were flagged by the staffer in the end zone.

The next play was another 40+ yard bomb from Hurts to Quez Watkins, who burned James Bradberry down the field. This pass was a bit more wobbly but it did the job. Hurts celebrated this one with a little dance. Strong finish from the first-team offense after a slow start.

4. As nice as those two deep balls were, I didn’t think either was his best pass of the day. There was another play that, sure, took a long time to develop, but Hurts eventually rolled to his right and threw an absolute strike about 25 yards to the right sideline for Greg Ward, who hauled it in. Hurts has had his arm strength questioned, but this throw proves that it’s in there. That’s a really tough play to make and it made me tilt my head a bit.

5. Some depth chart items:

• The right guard spot still belonged to Isaac Seumalo on Wednesday. The rest of the line remained the same but without Johnson, Jack Driscoll filled in at right tackle.

• The Eagles’ first-team defense to start in 7-on-7s was Darius Slay, James Bradberry, Avonte Maddox, Kyzir White, T.J. Edwards, Anthony Harris and Marcus Epps. The first-team offense (to start) was Jalen Hurts, Miles Sanders, Quez Watkins, Zach Pascal, Greg Ward, Dallas Goedert and Jack Stoll in 12 personnel. Boston Scott also worked in there on offense and Davion Taylor on defense.

• Second-team defense: Zech McPhearson, Mac McCain, Josiah Scott, Davion Taylor, Kyzir White, K’Von Wallace, Andre Chachere. Second-team offense: Gardner Minshew, Jason Huntley, John Hightower, Deon Cain, Britain Covey, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside.

6. In some 7-on-7 drills, the Eagles had Derek Barnett out there. That makes some sense because the overhang players will occasionally have to drop into coverage. You don’t want to see it too often, but it’ll be a part of their defense. We saw Kyron Johnson dropping too.

7. Kenny Gainwell has the best hands of the Eagles’ running backs but he had an uncharacteristic drop in the flat. But he made up for it later with a nice grab and a stutter step move on Kyron Johnson that had the rookie left in the dust.

And keep an eye on Jason Huntley this summer. He’s undersized but the running back is fighting for a roster spot and his speed is undeniable. He put on the burners down the left sideline on Wednesday.

Sanders even had a nice grab on air:


8. The best defensive play of the day came on a pass that Minshew tried to sneak in to Covey. But White made a diving PBU and knocked the ball into the hands of Taylor, who picked it off. Maybe it wasn’t the best decision but it was a heck of a play by White.

9. The Eagles had some punt return drills on Wednesday but Reagor was absent. So the punt returners were Ward, Scott, Covey, Gainwell and Watkins, in that order. They all fielded their punts cleanly.

10. Several former Eagles were out watching practice today: Dick Vermeil, Irving Fryar, Frank LeMaster, Ron Jaworski, Barrett Brooks.

Stupid Observation of the Day: Nick Sirianni had some fun on Wednesday, trying to egg on the guy with the boxing glove pole to knock out the football during ball security drills. It didn’t work. No fumbles.

#Eagles #OTAs #observations #Kelce #teaching #future #replacement

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