The 2016 Eagles take another step forward on Tuesday morning, when the team begins its voluntary OTAs.
The first round of OTAs goes from May 17-19, followed by May 24-26 and May 31-June 3. The OTAs lead up to the mandatory minicamp June 7-9.
After then, it's a long layoff until training camp begins in early August.
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While OTAs are technically voluntary, the Eagles will have near-perfect attendance. One guy who likely won't be in town is defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, who is waiting on a new contract extension.
OTAs are termed "Phase Three" by the 2011 CBA. In Phase Three, there's still no contact or shells allowed, but players can wear helmets. There's also no one-on-one drills, but team offense vs. team defense is allowed. Always be wary of the stories of greatness from players wearing shorts in May.
While they're sometimes overanalyzed, OTAs are still important. And here are some of the biggest Eagles storylines we'll be watching this week:
Sam Bradford ended his "holdout" last week and returned to the NovaCare Complex. He hasn't spoken publicly since before the Eagles moved up to the No. 2 pick to take Carson Wentz. A lot has happened since then.
Bradford will speak at the podium on Tuesday at some point between 2 and 3 p.m., when he'll field questions from the media members in attendance. Why did he leave? Why is he back? What happens now? Etc. Hearing Bradford speak for the first time in a while should be interesting.
When speaking last week, Wentz said he expected to meet Bradford on Monday, so we should be able to ask both about their early interactions.
This will be the first look at the entire team together, so it'll be a good chance to see the Eagles' new-look defense that is transitioning from a two-gapping 3-4 under Bill Davis to an attack-style 4-3 under new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.
We kind of have an idea of what Schwartz wants the defense to look like based on his previous stops, but these weeks will give everyone an idea of how the Eagles' personnel will fit.
Pederson as a head coach
Way back at the NFC coaches breakfast at the owners meetings in Boca Raton, Fla., Pederson was asked about how he planned on splitting his time as a head coach. The OTAs will be our first glimpse into that.
Pederson is obviously a former quarterbacks coach and an offensive coordinator, but as a head coach, it'll be important for him to spend time with the defense too. That might be tough on him, but it's important from a team-unity standpoint. He doesn't want the Eagles to be an offensive team under him and a defensive team under Schwartz.
Starting with the starters
Because team offense will go against team defense, we might get a chance to see who the starters are at certain positions like left guard, defensive end and cornerback.
Earlier this spring, the left guard spot was being occupied by Allen Barbre, which meant Stefen Wisniewski was a backup. But since then, the team drafted Isaac Seumalo. (Seumalo won't be at OTAs because Oregon State operates on a quarters system).
At defensive end, Vinny Curry and Connor Barwin were the starters earlier this spring, which meant Brandon Graham will be coming off the bench.
Obviously, all that could chance as players battle for roster spots and starting positions this spring and summer.