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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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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 »
Chase Daniel, Carson Wentz and Sam Bradford. (Jeff Fusco)
It seems to be 1999 again in Philadelphia, and that’s just the way Jeffrey Lurie likes it. Doug Pederson is now Andy Reid, the first-year head coach; Carson Wentz is Donovan McNabb, the rookie quarterback drafted second overall; and Sam Bradford is Pederson, the veteran who is about to lose his starting job.
17 years ago, McNabb started by Week 10, and he attempted double-digit passes by Week 2. So could we see Wentz early on, even if it’s in a limited role as someone else starts?
“That’s hard to say when I got Chase Daniel sitting there,” Pederson said yesterday. Read more »
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 »
Carson Wentz. (Jeff Fusco)
Doug Pederson mentioned how Carson Wentz has “a long way to go” learning the Eagles’ offense, which is a sentiment the quarterback reiterated, but the head coach seemed pretty happy with his second overall pick after the first day of OTAs.
“Very smart, intelligent guy,” Pederson said. “We had no huddle issues with him, meaning he’s just spitting the plays out. As a quarterback, this offense can be a little wordy there, did a nice job with that. He sees the field extremely well. Big, tall guy. Good arm. Athletic. Some of the (run-pass option) plays during camp this past weekend, you saw some of the explosiveness.
“He’s a leader, too. You could see it a little bit today. He’s clapping, he’s cheering, he’s rallying the guys. If a guy makes a mistake, he’s like, ‘Hey, let’s get back. Lets get it again.’ That’s the type of guy Carson is.” Read more »
Carson Wentz and Sam Bradford. (Jeff Fusco)
Here’s what we saw as the Eagles took the field for the start of OTAs Tuesday: Read more »
Darren Sproles. (Jeff Fusco)
Darren Sproles has missed all of the Eagles voluntary workouts, Doug Pederson said today.
As OTAs began this morning, Ian Rapoport tweeted that the Eagles received trade interest during the draft for Sproles, and that the running back is “staying away from OTAs until its [sic] sorted out.” Rapoport added that the situation isn’t “filled with frustration,” but Sproles is on the West Coast with his family.
Pederson, however, said the Eagles have no interest in trading Sproles, and the 32-year-old doesn’t want to leave Philadelphia. Read more »
Photo By Jeff Fusco
Here’s what’s going on at the first practice session open to the media.
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Ty Powell. (USA Today Sports)
Hours before OTAs kick off, the Eagles signed tight end M.J. McFarland and linebacker Ty Powell, the team announced. To make room for the additions, they also released quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson and offensive lineman Brett Boyko. Read more »