Plenty of Battles to Watch at Eagles Minicamp
Tuesday begins the final set of offseason workouts or practices for the Philadelphia Eagles before training camp officially opens August 2. The team will be on the field for a mandatory three-day minicamp Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, then take a six week break from any team activities before checking back to the Nova Care Center.
Up until now, all offseason conditioning, veteran minicamps, and OTAs have been voluntary. Starting Tuesday, that all changes, all players must report or face big fines, but the Eagles shouldn't have any issues now that Evan Mathis is no longer with the team.
The same rules that have been in place for the previous three weeks of OTAs remain for minicamp. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7 or 11-on-11 type of drills are allowed.
This three day period may be an opportunity to set some players apart on the coaches’ depth chart as they head to camp next month. At quarterback, Sam Bradford and Mark Sanchez rotated with the first-team offense, and are expected to continue to do that, with head coach Chip Kelly saying last week there’s no timetable for when Bradford might be ready to go full tilt - but it will not be this week.
Wide receiver will be worth watching with second-year pro Jordan Matthews and rookie Nelson Agholor hoping to fill the shoes of Jeremy Maclin who bolted to Kansas City this offseason. The battle for the third wide out spot will be one-to-watch as well with Josh Huff, Riley Cooper and Seyi Ajirotutu the most likely candidates.
On the offensive line, Matt Tobin, Andrew Gardner, and Dennis Kelly have all seen time at first-team right guard, with Allen Barbre getting most of the reps with the first unit on the left side, the team also signed veteran Jared Wheeler for depth. Veteran Jason Peters and third year proo Lane Johnson are entrenched at the tackle spots with Jason Kelce at center.
There’s an interesting battle at the tight end spot with last years starter Brent Celek competing for playing time with Zach Ertz. Veteran Trey Burton is also in the fold, but the story to watch here is, how much playing time will Ertz get this year after finishing the 2014 season strong. During OTAs, reports have been that Sam Bradford and Zach Ertz connecting on the field has been a "common sight".
With cornerback Byron Maxwell at one corner and Malcolm Jenkins at safety, the Eagles have two spots up-for-grabs in the secondary. At OTAs several players got quality work in at both corner and safety. Nolan Carroll and Eric Rowe have seen the bulk of work on the outside with Jaylean Watkins and rookies JaCorey Shepherd and Randall Evans at corner while Walter Thurmond has been the safety getting the majority of the reps, he is expected to battle with Earl Wolff, who missed OTAs recovering from knee surgery.
Stay with the Sports Bash Warm-up and the Sports Bash with Mike Gill all week long for updates from minicamp and follow us on Twitter @973ESPN.