Malcolm Jenkins and Earl Wolff meet in the NovaCare film room every morning at 7:30, before the building is filled and the day officially begins, to get some extra classwork in. There’s no question who is the teacher and who is the student when the film starts to roll.
“We’ll watch tape and even if it’s just practice [film] , go over some plays that he might have messed up and tell him what he should have seen, how to see the big picture of things, how to broaden his vision in his zones. Just little things that I had to learn early to kind of take that next step,” said Jenkins after Thursday’s practice.
“He’s been sitting with me. He’ll go over my notes. I’ll tell him when I see things. He’s a young guy that’s trying to get better.”
Wolff says that it doesn’t end in the meeting rooms. He has Jenkins guiding him out on the field as well.
“Like today, we were in Cover 3 and I was the middle safety. He said, ‘Earl. Every time the quarterback stares you down, he’s throwing it at the ‘X’ [receiver]’ every single time. And I noticed it as I went on. And it’s just those little things. He tells me something like that every day, gives me a tip. It’s a blessing to have him here. It’s a blessing to have him on this team.”
Wolff had an up-and-down rookie season. He showed improvement after battling through a steep learning curve early on and started six games for the Eagles, finishing with 37 tackles, five passes defensed and an interception. He suffered a hyperextended knee against the Packers in November, however, and played very little down the stretch as he struggled to get the leg right.
Wolff has been running with the second team early on in OTAs. Nate Allen is currently above him on the depth chart. Jenkins explained that the young safety played mostly as an in-the-box safety in college so when they asked him to play deep and man-to-man, a lot of it was unfamiliar. Jenkins is trying to help quicken the learning process.
“He’s been outstanding,” said Chip Kelly of Jenkins. “And Billy [Davis] has been excited about him, when you’ve watched him out there, it feels like he’s been in the system for a while.”
Added Wolff: “Great guy, man. Matter of fact, I was talking to one of the strength coaches yesterday and I was telling him, he’s making me a better player…I think he can elevate my game as well as elevate the guys around him.”
WHAT YOU MISSED
“He’s going to be a huge part of this offense.” Jeremy Maclin a full-go Thursday.
Sheil’s world famous (or at least Philly famous) running diary of Eagles practice is back.
Notes from OTAs: Mark Sanchez gets the early nod over Matt Barkley.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Jimmy Kempski with an update on the All-ACL team.
Of the Eagles returning from ACL tears, Jason Phillips looks like he is the furthest away from a full recovery. On the other hand, Arrelious Benn had a really good day. On one play he leaped up high for a pass, snagged it, and then looked quick darting up the field. Later he made a tough sliding catch. His play today was encouraging. I didn’t see Jeremy Maclin tested all that hard today, but will continue to keep an eye on him.
A heartfelt welcome back to Phil Sheridan, who wrote about Kelly’s quarterback, Nick Foles.
There are four quarterbacks in the meeting room. There’s only one running the first-team offense. That’s Kelly’s quarterback. That’s Foles.
“Chip’s cool,” Foles said. “He’s a fun coach to play for. You just continue to grow. I’ve got to keep getting better. If I don’t play well, it’s the NFL. I’ll be gone. I know that. That’s why last year’s stats don’t mean anything. The most important thing is for the team to be successful. To do that, the quarterback has to be sharp.”
More from our time with the team on Thursday.