Philadelphia Eagles OTAs: Latest Player Reports and Analysis
The pads have not yet come on, but a few Philadelphia Eagles players have already begun making waves at OTAs. OTAs give us the first glimpse of the new team under Chip Kelly and can show the direction the Eagles may be going in.
Being the first offseason of the Chip Kelly era, this new coaching staff is now getting a brand-new glimpse of the roster. Veterans are being seen in a different light, in regard to how the new coaching staff wish to use them, while rookies are going through their first experiences in an NFL environment.
Here are five players who have been catching the attention of the coaching staff, both good and bad.
1. DeMeco Ryans
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So far, DeMeco Ryans has been drawing rave reviews from the Eagles coaching staff. Eagles linebackers coach Rick Minter has stated, via Sheil Kapadia of PhillyMag.com, that Ryans is the "leader of our group" and that players naturally turn to him for advice.
Minter also put to rest concerns about Ryans' ability to adjust to the 3-4 scheme, stating his belief that all players who have the ability to play inside are not limited by scheme. Likely, what Ryans has shown to Minter on the field so far has contributed to his confidence in him.
2. Lane Johnson
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Lane Johnson has not yet made the splash that the Eagles have been hoping to get from him. It's still early, but the fourth overall pick has so far struggled to turn heads at OTAs.
Fundamentals can be fixed, especially for a player of Johnson's talent. With a full training camp ahead of him, it's too early to panic. But we can expect some possible growing pains from Johnson going forward.
3. Matt Barkley
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It's early, but so far Matt Barkley has been impressing. His quarterbacks coach, Bill Lazor, has stated that Barkley has turned heads ever since day one.
Barkley has shown excellent accuracy and decision-making so far. Lazor has also praised Barkley, via Tim McManus of PhillyMag.com, for his "extremely high football intelligence."
The pads have yet to turn on, but the future is looking bright for the Eagles' fourth-round pick.
4. Nick Foles
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It's still far too early to accurately tell who has the edge at starting quarterback, but Nick Foles has not exactly been a huge letdown so far. While most of the praise so far has been surrounding Barkley (and occasionally Vick), Foles has still earned his fair share of compliments.
Quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor has spoken highly of Foles' ability to process information quickly, as well as his composure in the pocket. It is Foles' calm in the pocket that is his biggest strength so far and would give him the biggest edge in the quarterback competition.
5. Michael Vick
Vick has been up and down so far in practice. There have been days in which he has looked much sharper than the other quarterbacks, but recently he has looked rusty. His accuracy has been inconsistent as of late.
Also noteworthy is that Vick claims that Kelly taught him recently how to properly hold a football to prevent turnovers. It's a bit worrying that Vick is learning such a basic skill this late in his career, and it may not bode well for him that he is spending time to correct such things.
However, it is still early, and Vick still has the advantage in the starting quarterback race. He and Foles are splitting time as of now with the first team, but Vick likely has the advantage due to experience and athletic talent.