Notes: Allen Over Wolff; Sanchez No. 2

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Oakland Raiders
The camp battles might not have the same sex appeal of a Vick versus Foles, but there will be battles nonetheless this spring and summer. On Thursday, we got our first glimpse at how Chip Kelly is framing those competitions as the OTAs continued at the NovaCare Complex.

At safety, Nate Allen got the first team reps opposite Malcolm Jenkins while Earl Wolff ran with the second team.

“Me and Nate have a pretty good friendship and relationship. Basically we both know it’s probably going to come down to the preseason, but we’re both going to give it our all and may the best man win,” said Wolff.


A hyper-extended knee kept Wolff on the sideline down the stretch last year. Allen started all 16 games and had the best season of his career to date. The Eagles brought him back on a one-year deal.

"Nate played pretty good to me. I wasn't mad the first day we came back and I saw his name above mine. He deserved it," said Wolff. "I didn't end the year I wanted to, so I didn't deserve to be up there as the number one guy."

Backup quarterback will be another area to keep an eye on. For now, Mark Sanchez is running with the second team and Matt Barkley is with the third team.

"I didn't know what to expect. I just agreed with the coaches and that they know what is best for the team so I am just trusting them, keep working hard and try to make the most of my reps," said Barkley.

Do you read anything into it?

"That's your guys' job, I guess," Barkley replied. "It's not mine."

Sanchez, who signed a one-year, $2.25 million contract with the Eagles this offseason, underwent shoulder surgery back in October to repair a torn labrum. The veteran QB says that there is no soreness after three days of practice, and there were no noticeable signs that he was limited in the throws he could make.

"I've known Matt for a while, since USC. I hosted him on his recruiting trip. I think he's a great guy," said Sanchez. "There is a similar mentality across the board in that room in that everyone's competing. Regardless of what anyone says, we all want to play. Matt wants to start just like I do, just like G.J. [Kinne] does. And there's nothing wrong with that. You should want to play."

Kendricks sidelined, Matthews absent

Mychal Kendricks sat out of the latter stages of practice. He appeared to have his right knee wrapped. We'll provide an update when we get more information.  Update: It's a knee contusion, per Geoff Mosher. Kendricks expects to practice Monday when OTAs resume.] Najee Goode got the first-team snaps next to DeMeco Ryans during team drills.

Everyone appeared to be in attendance with the exception of Ed Reynolds (graduation rules) and Jordan Matthews. Matthews was at an NFLPA event in California and shouldn't miss any other time outside of today. Brad Smith was the third receiver along with Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper.

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  • JofreyRice

    Sanchez over Barkley–no surprise. As a backup, guy is making 5 times what Foles is making. They wouldn’t have invested that kind of coin if they didn’t envision him as the 2nd string QB, IMO.

    Allen over Wolff–surprised. They essentially let him go to test the water the way NO did with Jenkins, except in Allen’s case, no one wanted him at all. If they think *that* guy is the starting S, then what do they think of Wolff? Maybe just a nod to a vet to give him top billing in OTAs?

    • Cranky Caucasian

      Keep in mind it’s May. I think both those spots will be swapped come September.

      • Mr. Magee

        You see Barkley over Sanchez as the back-up? That would be a lot of dough to “waste” on a 3rd string QB. Not sure who’s better, but I can say confidently that I don’t like either of them at this point…

        • mtn_green

          Barkley is gonna rip it up.

        • anon

          2 turnover machines pushing themselves for a spot? rather we had a supreme no turnover game manager. it’s gonna be over under 4 turnovers per half when we get to preseason

        • Cranky Caucasian

          I don’t think Kelly cares who’s making what. He wants the best players to play. I think a fully healthy Barkley is going to look better this year than he did last and have a nice competition with Sanchez, but Barkley will be better.

      • shady25

        Yeah a couple of spots will. Especially on offense. I read that Joe Kruger was taking first team reps for Ced Thornton also.

    • aub32

      Like Wolff said, Allen finished off the year better. So he should be the starter. Also, there’s no guarantee that the Eagles were fine letting Allen walk. He didn’t have any offers, but we don’t know if the Eagles were willing to match offers up to a certain dollar amount, like they did with Mathis a few years back.

      • NickS1

        Nice points.

      • JofreyRice

        yeah, you could be right, but they certainly didn’t prioritize signing him, either.

        • aub32

          Why would they? Howie has seemed to have the right approach on our players recently. He avoided a bidding war for Mac and Coop but let players with one good year like Mathis and Allen test the water. (I know Coop only had one good year, but it was much better than Allen’s one good year)

          • JofreyRice

            are you counting last year as ‘good’ for Allen?

    • Token

      Im thinking, hoping, its to light a fire under Wolff here early on. But I also think the team really hated how Wolff sat out so long last year. You read how they talked about his injury, or Chip in pressers, they really felt he should have been out there the last few weeks. Wouldnt be shocked if the kid is in the doghouse, or atleast doesnt have a lot of the staffs faith right now.

      Safety as usual is a mess. We are left hoping a undrafted FA or something just comes out of nowhere and answers our safety prayers.

      • aub32

        Would you have preferred Ha Ha or Smith?

        • Mr. Magee

          Ha Ha – that’s a no brainer. How ’bout you?

        • anon

          smith – scheme built on lbs.

          • Mr. Magee

            could you elaborate… not sure what that means

        • paul from nc

          Ha Ha, no doubt

    • shady25

      I think Nate Allen earned it. He is the veteran and he had a solid year last year. Wolff got hurt, so he has to earn it again. If he really is better than Allen then it shouldn’t be a problem. I think it’s going to be hard to be out Nate Allen though.

    • tdub

      they just want the young guys to earn the position. If Wolff stays healthy he’ll beat out Allen

  • DeafDoc

    shouldn’t Huff be the back up 3rd receiver?

    • macadood

      I imagine he’s still working learning the playbook and new terminologies

      • DeafDoc

        but He should be already pretty familiar with this offense.

        • NickS1

          Think there was an article posted a little while ago where he noted that while the concepts are similar, there’s been some additions to the concepts as well as totally new terminology.

    • shady25

      Pretty sure he’ll be bumped up by the preseason. I wouldn’t read too much into the depth chart right now. Interesting to see that Marcus Smith is backing up Barwin and not Cole. Brandon Graham is backing up Cole. I still have faith in Brandon Graham, just like Nate Allen. First time they both had consistency at the same position.

      • anon

        smith is barwin, not as good a pash rusher as bg

        • shady25

          Not yet, but I think he will be pretty good.

      • tdub20

        if Smith were backing up Cole this early, than the push would be there for him to start ahead of Cole. It’s smart letting him backup Barwin. They’re similar players much like Cole and Graham are similar players. If you slot similar players at the same position then the scheme doesn’t change if someone goes out. it’s the best way for back-ups/younger players to learn the positions and what is expected. Once the techniques are there, then they can jockey for position etc. They expect Smith to be modeled after Barwin be able to rush, play the run, set the edge, and drop into coverage. That doesn’t happen overnight. Until he’s at least competent at all of those things he won’t start over anyone regardless of his athleticism or play making ability.

  • myeaglescantwin

    I know that Wolf has had some injury history, but i saw no jump from his game to Pryors.

    A year in this system should make this dude heads and tails above what he brought to the table last year.

  • OldDocRoss

    I’m assuming “Number 2″ is being used in its traditional euphemistic sense in the headline here.

  • macadood

    not quite related but Jairus Byrd underwent back surgery…doesn’t seem too serious but definitely makes me feel better about not picking him up

    • OldDocRoss

      This is probably one of those comments I’ll feel deeply stupid about in a few years, but I think the Saints overpaid for Byrd and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him start to decline sooner than later.

      • NickS1

        Many of us will feel a lot better. Saints fans, not so much.

      • anon

        well good for us saints felt the need to completely overhaul their secondary…one man’s trash is another man’s starter.

        • paul from nc

          King Dunlap is a case in point.

    • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

      and TJ ward had a warrant out for his arrest, for throwing a bottle at a female bartender’s head. you stay classy, denver.

      meanwhile, jenkins? he’s just selling fly bow ties. baller status. I like the guy already

      http://www.phillymag.com/shoppist/2014/03/18/eagles-player-malcolm-jenkins-is-making-bow-ties-and-bringing-them-to-philly/

  • Anebriated

    Love seeing the ESPN article about Ertz taking a big step this year. Noticed he barely spoke of his own play, instead heaped a lot of praise on Foles.

    Also in the news today… DJax pulled a hammy and is spending time on the sideline with trainers already.

    Jairius Byrd had back surgery recently…

  • brent

    foles in the regular season, sanzhez come playoff time

  • Larry

    Barkley will beat out Sanchez. Barkley will play very well in the pre-season games to win the back-up QB job.

    • shady25

      I think so too. I think they want to give Sanchez a chance to catch up that’s all. Barkley already knows the offense, Sanchez doesn’t. I think Barkley will turn out to be our version of Ryan Mallett.

      • anon

        What? best player is playing.

        • shady25

          I think Barkley will eventually beat out Sanchez.

  • PJ

    why did howie waste a 4th rd pick on barkley

  • anon

    brad smith above oregon guy?

  • daggolden

    My bold prediction this year. Not only will Nate Allen win the starting safety position he will lead the Eagles in ints with 5 and tackles with over 100. With his 2nd year in this system and healthy I have a funny feeling that the light goes on this year. Allen will also be a alternate in the pro bowl this year.

    • Mr. Wu

      And then pigs will fly out of his a$$

      • Brian

        You misspelled Cowboys.

    • UKEagle99

      100 tackles for our safety!! I sure as hell hope not! Who are we, the Dallas Cowboys? Geez…

      • daggolden

        Actually there were 8 safties with over 100 tackles last year with Eric Weddle leading the way plus another 8 with over 90. That’s half the league. Its a bold prediction. Thats all.

        • UKEagle99

          Oh you’re including assists? I assumed you meant solo, my bad.

          I’d love Nate to be the player we all hoped he would be, I’d settle for ‘solid’ at this point.

          As for your stats, I don’t think it’s fair to go from 100 to 90 and then declare that’s half the league! You do know most teams start 2 safeties, right? That’s 64 starters…

    • paul from nc

      Are you smoking the same thing as Snoop Dogg or Rob Ford?

  • juaniflaco

    I actually think the team likes Barkley, and if Sanchez doesn’t do well in preseason he might not make the team. Don’t forget Barkley was thrown into 2 games in a bad situation….had a lot of turnovers but moved the team up and down the field. With a year under his belt in the system should be a lot better.

  • paul from nc

    Isn’t saying who is 1st or 2nd team useless?
    Chip runs so many plays that he rotates everyone in different combinations.
    Shady may run some plays with the 3rd string OL. Does that really mean anything?

  • PaoliBulldog

    Eagles saved $2.75MM by replacing Vick with Sanchez. Hope we don’t have to test that decision.