Eagles Practice Report: Darby Takes His Turn in the Slot
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz has made it clear that he would be looking at a lot of bodies in the slot this spring as he searches for the heir apparent to Patrick Robinson, who left the organization in free agency for a big-money deal with New Orleans.
In the four OTA practices open to the media Schwartz has been true to his word, looking at Sidney Jones, De'Vaunte Bausby and now Ronald Darby at the position.
Darby, typically the starter at right cornerback, was moved inside in Philadelphia's nickel scheme on Thursday, the last OTA practice of the spring before next week's mandatory minicamp. Second-year player Rasul Douglas was inserted at RC with Jalen Mills stationed on the left side as usual.
Others used inside at times have been rookie Avonte Maddox and D.J. Killings but the first-team reps were split between four players in the OTAs, the three mentioned and Mills, who Schwartz confirmed got a few looks when he spoke to the media last week.
Ironically, Darby has already taken Robinson's old No. 21 and now might be in line for the same job.
OTA PRACTICE NOTES:
-There was a bot of a scary situation during 7-on-7 drills when Carson Wentz tried to connect with a leaping Greg Ward in the end zone. Ward came up empty when reaching for the football with Douglas in coverage, landing awkwardly on his shoulder and neck. The University of Houston product was down for a few minutes and ultimately carted off but looked OK. The injury could have neem something involving the head, neck or shoulder with a concussion certainly a possibility.
Ward did appear in the locker room after practice and indicated he was indeed fine and planned to be ready for minicamp next week.
-There were quite a few maintenance days for veterans on Thursday. Fletcher Cox and Nigel Bradham were out for the second consecutive day on defense while All-Pros Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson were given the day off on the offensive line. Stefen Wisniewski handled the first-team work at center in place of Kelce with Chance Warmack taking his spot at left guard. Left tackle Jason Peters continued to do individual work and group install with the first-team before giving way to Halapoulivaati Vaiti in team drills, Brandon Brooks was at his normal right guard position with Taylor Hart at right tackle.
-With no Bradham and Jordan Hicks just working through individual drills and group install, Nate Gerry and Corey Nelson worked with the first-team at LB with Gerry and Kamu Grugier-Hill getting second-team work. Gerry, meanwhile, was the player wearing the Go-Pro on his helmet Thursday.
-The throw of the day was Nate Sudfeld throwing a dart of a deep-seam route to rookie tight end Dallas Goedert.
-Members of the Milwaukee Brewers, including All-Star reliever Cory Knebel, were guests of Maragos, A Racine, Wis. native, at practice. The Brewers are in town to face the Phillies.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen
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