The Eagles on Tuesday begin their Organized Team Activities, the next step toward a 2022 season with high expectations.
Back on April 25, the Eagles began their offseason workout program. Thanks to the NFL-NFLPA, the offseason is separated into phases. The beginning of OTAs marks the start of Phase 3 for the Eagles.
Their OTA days are as follows: May 31, June 2-3, June 6-8. Reporters won’t be at the NovaCare Complex until later this week.
Here are some key storylines to follow this spring:
Take it easy
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Under Nick Sirianni, the Eagles are big on rest and they’re going to get plenty of it this spring. This time last year, the Eagles were in danger of missing most of their spring workouts so Sirianni met with some leaders on the team to come to a compromise. It was really the first big win of his coaching tenure and it got most of the team together for workouts, while eliminating the mandatory minicamp in mid-June. The Eagles are pretty much doing that again.
This year, the Eagles are having just six days of OTAs, well short of the CBA limit of 10. And they aren’t even going to have full practices on those six days.
“We are transitioning away a little bit more from 11-on-11s this year. We are not going to see those this year,” Sirianni said. “I think you guys know we have two weeks of OTAs and look forward to getting a lot of good work done with our individual, get a lot of individual where we can work on our fundamentals. Then we’ll be doing 7-on-7 because it helps our skill guys and quarterback in making the read and different looks he's going to get.”
The Eagles are also just one of two teams league-wide that won’t hold a mandatory minicamp. The other team without one is the Bengals, who are coming off a Super Bowl appearance.
Sirianni really wants to protect his players and thinks this is the way to do it. After an encouraging first season at the helm, he has to feel vindicated about his methods.
Seeing the new guys
We got a chance to see the Eagles’ draft picks at their rookie minicamp earlier this month, but this will be our first chance to see the big-name free agent acquisitions out at practice. So we’ll see A.J. Brown catching passes from Jalen Hurts. We might see James Bradberry covering DeVonta Smith. And we’ll definitely see Haason Reddick rushing the passer … he just can’t hit him yet.
No, these practices won’t be like training camp and we won’t have a chance to learn a ton about the Eagles from our brief glimpses. But just seeing these guys on the field will be an appetizer before training camp later in the summer.
Watch the depth chart
The Eagles aren’t doing 11-on-11 drills, which will make it hard to learn a ton about things like the defensive scheme. But there will still be some opportunities to figure out some depth chart stuff.
Among those issues is the right guard position. Brandon Brooks retired and Nate Herbig was released and is now with the Jets. So who’s the starter between Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson? The candidates are presumably Isaac Seumalo, Jack Driscoll, Sua Opeta and perhaps even rookie Cam Jurgens. We’ll at least likely see who lines up in that spot in individual drills.
We might also get an idea of pecking order at other positions too. How will the linebackers rotate? Who are the top cornerbacks after Darius Slay and Bradberry? Will the edge players and SAM linebackers go through position drills together?
Even from abbreviated practice and a short viewing window, there are still some answers to find.
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