As the Eagles closed their OTAs, head coach Andy Reid offered some interesting comments about the team.
When asked about the hot-button rookies Jeremy Maclin, LeSean McCoy, and Cornelius Ingram, Reid offered the following comment:
"I think all three of them, I think because the number of reps they got with the first group, I think they are ahead of where I thought they would be."
When Reid thinks about where these players would progressively be, he just groups them in with rookies. So being ahead of schedule on the Andy Reid chart might not be saying as much as we might think.
And there is a lot of posturing in all of Reid's press conferences, so I wouldn't get to high on that statement alone.
Still, it is a positive.
We know Reid usually leaves the defense to the defensive coordinator's discretion, but Reid offered up some good bathroom reading on the secondary and has been active in working with the defensive line—hands on.
He seemed genuinely content with the performance of the cornerbacks, specifically talking about great progress from Jack Ikegwuonu and Ellis Hobbs. If these guys can bring it in 2009, the Eagle secondary is going to be unbelievable.
The most exciting comment Reid made was regarding his confidence in Sean Jones to play both free and strong safety.
I think most Eagles fans want to see the ball-hawk, Jones, do his best to add value with Brian Dawkins' vacancy. Optimism is still pretty high on Quintin Demps, but Jones is a seasoned veteran with a history of making plays in the NFL.
Jones could be an X-factor for the Eagles' defense in 2009 if he can get the nod at free safety, a contradiction to the original assessment.
The mysterious Jon Runyan locker came up, and Reid did not deny or substantiate claims that Runyan would be an Eagle in 2009.
Reid did say, "We'll just see how things go down the road. Right now Jon is working his tail off to recover from that knee... and Jon is doing a great job of getting himself ready to play."
With all the young talent on the offensive line, the tackle position is not quite as deep as guard. Runyan would add great experience, depth, and stability at tackle.
Regarding Stacey Andrews' and Kevin Curtis' rehabilitation progress, Reid was confident in their readiness for training camp, but he was careful to specify that he did not want to rush their return—predictably wise.
To summarize Reid's assessment of the OTAs, he seemed very satisfied that all of the new players were able to effectively work through the entire OTA plan and playbook integration.
Nothing but good news from coach Reid, not that anyone would expect Reid to be negative with the new crop of talent and returning veterans—specifically pursuant to a non-contact optional training activity.
With the exception of Westbrook's ankle, the OTAs were relatively injury light, and that is fantastic.
Making lemonade from lemons: Had Westbrook not participated, the issue with his ankle may have come to light without an opportunity for surgery and rehabilitation prior to the regular season, and his 2009 performance would be diminished because of it.
The Eagles cut three players from the roster at the conclusion of the OTAs. Read More: Eagles Cuts
Last minute news break (updated 06-12-09 4:53 PM):
The Eagles released undersized DT Trevor Jenkins to cut the roster down to 80 in preparation for training camp.
My expectations for local punter, Ken Parrish, from East Stroudsburg are put on hold. He will be an Eagle for a little while longer at least.