Eagles Finish Up Their Spring Work
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The Eagles finished up their spring work Thursday, cutting short their final mandatory minicamp practice by about a half-hour.
The team will be off for the next five-plus weeks until training camp begins on July 24 at the NovaCare Complex.
Over nine OTA sessions, cut from 10 by one paintball excursion, and three minicamp practices, the Eagles showed a revamped offense featuring free-agent receivers Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith. Also featured on occasion was the team's new bell-cow back, the 6-foot, 250-pound LeGarrette Blount.
The stars of the spring, however, might have been much-maligned holdover Nelson Agholor, who excelled in the slot while standing in for the injured Jordan Matthews (knee), as well as rookie fourth-round pick Donnel Pumphrey, an undersized scatback the Eagles were devising ways to get the football.
By Day 2 of minicamp, the Eagles also wrapped up an extension with Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters.
On the defensive side of the ball, Philadelphia is shaping up as having a bit of a dual-personality.
Many of the team's top players like Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Jordan Hicks and Malcolm Jenkins reside on that side of the football but so does the biggest question mark concerning the team, the cornerback position.
For most of the spring, veteran pickup Patrick Robinson and emerging second-year player Jalen Mills were starting on the outside with rookie third-round pick Rasul Douglas entering when the Eagles went to their nickel defense.
In the last two days of minicamp, two second-year players, C.J. Smith and Aaron Grymes, were getting reps with the first-team in place of Douglas.
Smith played on the outside with Mills in the slot while Grymes handled the inside receiver on his opportunities and Mills stayed outside
Rookie second-round pick Sydney Jones is still recovering from a torn Achilles suffered during his pro day in early March and still has a ways to go in his rehab.
ON-FIELD OBSERVATIONS, THE FINAL SPRING PRACTICE:
-For the second straight day, Carson Wentz was relatively sharp throwing the ball as the team put a heavy emphasis on red-zone work.
-On one occasion in the red zone, Wentz pitched it to Darren Sproles, who then tossed it to Trey Burton in the end zone. But, don't put a gold star on that one because the throw was shaky.
-The best past of the day was a strike to Agholor on a post pattern where the receiver beat Grymes. Agholor snatched a bullet out of the air for a TD.
-The Eagles' also worked on a red-zone play where Jeffery, Smith and Zach Ertz cleared out the coverage so Pumphrey could get the ball in the flat as well as the shovel pass made famous by John Elway with Wentz and Burton.
-For the second straight day Isaac Seumalo got some first-team reps at the center position and sailed one shotgun snap back to Wentz who made a brilliant save.
-The quick out to Jeffery is going to be a big part of this offense because of the receiver's size and catching radius.
-Douglas saw at least two flags during practice, one for holding and one for pass interference. Secondary coach Cory Undlin stuck up for the rookie with a couple of F-bombs directed at the referee.
-The defensive play of the day came from rookie linebacker Nate Gerry, who showed off his Nebraska safety skills by making a diving interception on a Matt McGloin pass. Safety Terrence Brooks also nearly picked off an overthrown Wentz pass to Mack Hollins.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen