Eagles Wake-Up Call: Opportunity For Smallwood

USA TODAY Sports

USA TODAY Sports

Just about every time you looked up, there was Wendell Smallwood.

The Eagles are a bit short-handed at running back at the moment. Darren Sproles has been absent all offseason and Oregon rookie Byron Marshall is among those impacted by the NFL graduation rule. That left the likes of Ryan Mathews, Kenjon Barner, Cedric O’Neal and Smallwood to carry the load as OTAs got underway at the NovaCare.

Duce [Staley] gave me a lot of reps. I was with the twos and the threes,” said Smallwood following Tuesday’s practice. “He’s telling me I’ve got to get my motor going. He wants me to be contributing to this team so I definitely think I’m going to have to get a lot of reps and have to get better.”
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A Different View From the Inside On Bradford

Jordan Matthews, Sam Bradford

Malcolm Jenkins and Jordan Matthews reminded those gathered around them Tuesday of a fundamental truth about the NFL: it’s a business.

“There’s 52 guys in here that feel like they’re overworked and underpaid. That’s just the reality of it,” said Matthews. “Everybody wants more money. Everybody wants this and that.”

For proof, reporters simply had to shift their eyes down the locker room some to the vacant stall typically occupied by Fletcher Cox. The standout defensive tackle has been missing all offseason as efforts to re-up his contract continue. Darren Sproles, too, has been a no-show, which reportedly has something to do with trade discussions that were held over draft weekend. Yet there has been very little external blowback, particularly compared to the storm that Sam Bradford‘s recent actions created. Read more »

Bradford: It Was Condon’s Idea

Sam Bradford

Sam Bradford did his part to help the narrative that the “holdout” and accompanying trade demand was an agent-driven decision.

Speaking to the media for the first time since all of this went down, Bradford said that he placed full confidence in Tom Condon to navigate the situation, and it was Condon that ultimately chose this path.

“I was told [about the Eagles trading up to the No. 2 spot] Wednesday, participated in the practice on Thursday and then I believe Friday is when Tom called me and felt like we needed to take some action,” said Bradford.

So it was his idea?

“Yeah.” Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: OTAs Preview

USA TODAY Sports

USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles begin OTAs today. This morning’s session starts at 10:50 and is fully open to the media. Our first chance, then, to check out the 2016 squad led by first-year head coach Doug Pederson.

Here’s the full schedule (with the four media access days in bold):
— May 17, 18, 19
— May 24, 25, 26
–May 31, June 1, June 2, June

As a reminder, contact is not permitted  but teams are allowed to conduct 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills. Here’s what we’re looking for as practices get underway:

Bradford’s behavior

Sam Bradford is scheduled to address reporters in the auditorium this afternoon. It will be his first public comments since demanding a trade following the Eagles’ move up to No. 2 to select Carson Wentz. How Bradford conducts himself from this point forward will impact the health of the locker room, for better or worse. Will he be fully engaged, or noticeably distant? Will the presence of Wentz motivate him or knock him off-kilter? Will he do his part to form a decent working relationship with the rookie, or ice him out? We get our first exposure to the Bradford/Wentz dynamic this week. Read more »

‘You Might Be the Next Freak’

USA TODAY Sports

USA TODAY Sports

At the Combine, Alex McCalister‘s formal interview card was completely filled up — both front and back — with teams trying to figure out exactly what type of prospect they were dealing with.

“Like if you Google my name, you read, you’re probably like, ‘This kid’s crazy,'” said McCalister, the 6-6 edge rusher out of Florida. “So just being in front of cats, just talking, showing who I really am definitely helped.”

There was plenty of explaining to do. Read more »

Wentz Takes Field For First Time, Talks Bradford

USA TODAY Sports

USA TODAY Sports

Their paths have yet to cross. The last time Carson Wentz was at NovaCare, Sam Bradford‘s holdout (or whatever you want to call it) was still ongoing. This time around, a photo was posted of Bradford getting ready to hop a plane out of town on the same afternoon that Wentz’s was touching down in Philly.

No conversations yet, either. Wentz told reporters on Friday that he has yet to reach out to Bradford and that the two haven’t spoken. That’ll likely change on Monday when both players are expected to be in the building, working together.

“Personally, I don’t think there will be a lot of tension,” said Wentz when asked if he’s anxious to smooth things out. “I think people might make it out to be but I think the coaches and everybody will be on the same page and I think it’ll be a really good working relationship for sure.” Read more »

Carson Wentz Signs Rookie Deal

Carson Wentz. (USA Today Sports)

Carson Wentz. (USA Today Sports)

Carson Wentz was a little delayed in getting to Philadelphia because of the NFL’s graduation rule, but once he did, he immediately put pen to paper.

Wentz signed his four-year deal Thursday on the eve of rookie minicamp. The entire Eagles’ 2016 draft class is now under contract.

Some details: Read more »

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