Eagles Wake-Up Call: What We’re Watching At OTAs

We get another glimpse of Eagles practice today at the NovaCare Complex. Here are three things we’re watching:

1. Where’s Lane Johnson?

The Eagles’ first-round pick lined up at right tackle with the second team last week. Second-year player Dennis Kelly ran with the ones.

“He’s been here three days,” joked Chip Kelly. “So for three days, he’s been the best offensive tackle we’ve ever drafted.”

It would be a major upset if Johnson didn’t eventually win the starting job. But we’ll find out today just how much he’s been able to pick up in a short period of time, and we’ll see how slowly Kelly and the coaching staff plan to bring him along.

2. Taking stock of the secondary

Last week, 2010 third-round pick Curtis Marsh and free agent Bradley Fletcher were the starting cornerbacks. But that was because Cary Williams had recently gotten married and was on his honeymoon.

Meanwhile, Patrick Chung and Nate Allen were the first-team safeties.

The names are different from a year ago, but the Eagles’ secondary is still a giant question mark. I’d expect to see Williams and Fletcher line up as the starting corners today, but we could see Kelly and defensive coordinator Bill Davis mix and match more safety combinations this week. Playing time is up for grabs in the secondary, and jobs will be won or lost in the coming months.

3. Outside linebacker competition

Trent Cole and Connor Barwin got the nod with the first team last week, while Brandon Graham ran with the twos. My head was spinning a bit, trying to wrap my head around Kelly’s practice methods. As a result, I didn’t spend much time focusing on how Cole and Barwin were being used.

Today, we’ll try to get a closer look at the scheme and see how the outside linebackers look performing the various tasks being asked of them.

WHAT YOU MISSED

The weekend roundup: Jason Avant gets a look on defense, and more love for Matt Barkley.

Michael Vick says his critics are ignorant and don’t know football. The QB also says Kelly taught him how to hold the ball properly to cut down on fumbles.

Tight end Clay Harbor is getting looks at outside linebacker.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

The Eagles will waive running back Miguel Maysonet, according to Adam Caplan. The Stony Brook product signed with the Birds as an undrafted free agent. He did not participate in last week’s OTA session because of the NCAA late graduation rule.

Ray Didinger of CSNPhilly.com does not think Donovan McNabb is a Hall of Famer, and he doesn’t think the Eagles should retire the No. 5:

I’m fine with the Eagles honoring McNabb and putting him in their Hall of Fame. He deserves that. But I heard some fans say McNabb is the greatest quarterback in franchise history and I’ve never agreed with that. He may hold all the records, but to me it’s not about numbers. The real question is, “Who played the position the best?” Anyone who was here to see the last championship season in 1960 would agree that Norm Van Brocklin played at a level that far surpasses any other Eagles quarterback.

COMING UP

Practice at 10:40. We’ll be at NovaCare. Can’t wait to see what dance moves T-Mac breaks out this week.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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