Eagles Wake-Up Call: Unanswered Questions

What's going on with Jason Peters, and will Fletcher Cox attend mandatory minicamp?

Doug Pederson and Sam Bradford. (Jeff Fusco)

Doug Pederson. (Jeff Fusco)

The Eagles’ final OTA is today, and although a few practices have been open to the media, there are still a lot of interesting unanswered questions surrounding this team. Whereas some of these can’t be answered yet, some can, and hopefully they will be today when the locker room is opened up after practice.

How you feeling, Jason Peters?

There aren’t many too many Eagles who are more valuable to the team in 2016. If Peters stays healthy, and he and Jason Kelce are reliable up front, they can make up for whatever deficiencies Allen Barbre has. Between the addition of Brandon Brooks and talent of Lane Johnson, the right side of the Eagles’ offensive line isn’t much of a concern currently. However, if Peters can’t stay on the field, the lack of tackle depth could really hurt this team.

It’s too early to tell who will be the primary backup offensive tackle once the regular season starts, but Matt Tobin has been getting a lot of second-team left tackle snaps. Peters hasn’t spoken to the media since the end of last season, but I’m very interested in what he’s doing to stay healthy, and what his plan for this season is. Doug Pederson previously indicated he’d let Peters rest at various points during the week so he’s ready to go on Sundays, but that will be a very interesting and impactful management philosophy to follow.

What’s Andrew Gardner doing these days?

Sticking with the offensive line, I’d like to talk to Gardner about where he’s been practicing. I may be the only one on the Gardner bandwagon, but based off his play during the beginning of last season, I’m surprised he’s not mentioned more as a candidate to start at left guard. However, it’s unclear how the coaches view him.

During the Eagles’ first OTA, he was working as the third-string left tackle. You shouldn’t put too much stock into the depth chart at this point in the offseason, particularly off only one practice, but I’m curious if that’s been the trend for Gardner at practices that haven’t been open to the media. Unless Isaac Seumalo or Stefen Wisniewski are particualrly impressive throughout training camp, Gardner is my dark horse candidate to overtake Barbre if the job can be wrestled away.

Does Doug still expect Fletch and Sproles to show up on Tuesday?

My stance on the Fletcher Cox situation has been the same from the start: Eagles fans have nothing to worry about until Cox doesn’t show up to mandatory minicamp. Now that those required workouts are coming up next week, it remains unclear whether Cox will be there. Even if he’s not, I don’t think Eagles fans should be too concerned — missing training camp is when my alarm bells would start going off — but I wonder if Pederson is still as confident as he’s previously been that his star defensive tackle will be in attendance starting on Tuesday.

As for Darren Sproles, not only do we not know whether he will be in Philadelphia next week, but we don’t even know definitively why he’s not here now. While one report surfaced that he was “staying away from OTAs” until a potential trade for him is sorted out, Sproles tweeted that he’s not holding out for a long-term deal. We may be able to get clarity on the situation on Tuesday if Sproles shows up and addresses the media.


“We all feel like we’re in this as a family.” Jordan Matthews approves of the new offensive approach by the Eagles’ coaches.

Chase Daniel says the Eagles are ahead of where the Chiefs were in Andy Reid’s first year in Kansas City.


Malcolm Jenkins is working on lowering his drop count, writes Jimmy Kempski.

If only he could catch, we’d probably be talking about Jenkins as comparable to a player like former Ravens great Ed Reed. Jenkins realizes it. A season ago, he was the seventh alternate to make the Pro Bowl, which was laughable, frankly, but Jenkins said the perception of his game would be higher if he capitalized more on big play opportunities.

“That’s one of the things I want to improve on,” said Jenkins. “The biggest thing on the list of things that I want to get better at is taking advantage of those opportunities. I really felt like to a point that I’ve got a really good grasp on the defense, and what offenses are trying to do, and putting myself in those positions to make plays. So I’ve been doing extra catching, different ball drills, all that stuff.

“There was more of an emphasis of that this year than any other year… It’s probably my main focus this year.”

Stefen Wisniewski wants a starting spot on the offensive line, says Marc Narducci.

“I like the depth at that position right now,” Pederson said about left guard. “But, yeah, Allen Barbre is my guy, and he’s our starter.”

Wisniewski isn’t worried about that. He said that when he signed with the Eagles only one promise was made concerning playing time.

“I wasn’t promised anything [about a starting job], but I was promised the opportunity to compete, and that is all I can ask for,” Wisniewski said.


Doug Pederson will address the media at 10, while practice begins at 10:20.

Chris Jastrzembski contributed to this post. Chris is a rising junior at Syracuse University and will intern for Birds 24/7 this summer.