Soft pretzel musings looking ahead to Eagles' OTAs...

Soft pretzel musings looking ahead to Eagles' OTAs...


Soft pretzel musings looking ahead to Eagles' OTAs...


I grabbed a Philly soft pretzel at Royal Farms yesterday…it was on sale for a buck…It’s rare to find such a delicacy in my neck of the woods. As I chewed soulfully on it I was taken back to the daze of my youth. Memories of recess time at St. Cassian’s grade school in Havertown came flooding back. In 4th grade I was awesome, dominating the playground with young Elvis and Dion DiMucci impersonations…but nothing I sang could beat the nickel soft pretzels they sold at recess!

The Eagles were a big deal back then…Timmy Brown was the must-have football card. Sonny Jurgensen was a close second.

I don’t recall anything resembling OTAs back then. I would think they had some kind of rookie camp prior to training camp in July, but I can’t really verify that.

Most of the veteran guys on the team had part-time jobs back then, with absolutely no collective bargaining incentives to even think of showing up for an OTA or a minicamp, voluntary or otherwise.

Guys stayed in offseason shape back then (or tried to) by playing celebrity basketball in a ton of exhibition events staged for local schools and charities.

Now it’s different. You don’t need to tend bar or sell insurance to stay solvent in the offseason. In fact, they PAY YOU A WORKOUT BONUS to show up at OTA activities prior to training camp!

Thank you, big TV money!

Anyway, I’m just shooting the breeze before Rookie Camp opens for the Eagles this coming Friday (May 11).

In more pressing news, the Eagles have a bit of a situation to work out at defensive tackle. Projected starter Tim Jernigan is reportedly out for four to six months after he had surgery on a herniated disc in his back, according to ESPN. Jernigan was a key cog in the Eagles defensive line, where he played next to Fletcher Cox and helped anchor the NFL’s top run defense.

So what now?

NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Dave Zangaro has a solid breakdown of how things might shake out in Jernigan’s absence. In the offseason, the Eagles signed former All-Pro Haloti Ngata to play as the team’s third defensive tackle, and there will be a ripple effect in the team’s defensive line rotation.

Elijah Qualls and Destiny Vaeao are two players who could see an uptick in playing time before Jernigan returns. And who knows what else Howie Roseman and the front office can put together before the season starts in September?

Here’s the rest of the day’s Eagles links:

How Philadelphia Eagles’ recent rookie classes fared in Year 1: Kasinitz [PennLive]

McShay’s way-too-early 2019 NFL Mock Draft: McShay []

NFL mock draft 2019: Clemson will dominate the first round: Kadar [SB Nation]

The Eagles need a slot cornerback. Could it be 5-9 rookie Avonte Maddox?: Domowitch []

While staying aggressive, Eagles QB Carson Wentz vows to pick spots better: McManus []

Two Eagles stars (laughably) land on back end of ‘NFL Top 100’ list: Kempski [PhillyVoice]

Roob’s 10 post-NFL draft observations: Frank [NBC Sports Philadelphia]

Five intriguing bottom-of-the-roster Eagles: Wulf [The Athletic]

Quest for culture: A look inside the Eagles’ ‘cohabitation matrix’: McManus []

As a result of the most recent collective bargaining agreement between players and owners, NFL teams must stick to a rigid offseason schedule. Eagles players were able to begin training at the NovaCare Complex April 16, but they weren’t able to have anything resembling practices during Phase 1 of the workout program, which lasted two weeks.

In Phase 2, Philadelphia can conduct practices with individual drills but no team drills for three weeks. Then when OTAs begin May 22, the Eagles will start holding 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 portions of practice, though they won’t be permitted to tackle or wear pads.

After 10 OTA practices, the Eagles can host a three-day “minicamp”. The only difference between the two is that minicamp is mandatory. Any player holding out for contractual reasons (or to stay home with their family) would get fined if they don’t show up from June 12 to 14.

That’s the agenda for the next month. Weird to think on, but once we get past the middle of June, training camp is a mere few weeks away. Preseason exhibition games soon follow.

When you win a world championship, time really flies.

Finally, this little tidbit that may have Nick Foles-ian implications:

The Eagles announced the signing of a fourth veteran quarterback.

Joe Callahan, a local product who went to high school outside Atlantic City, New Jersey, joined the team on a two-year contract. A former Packers backup, Callahan faces steep uphill odds to make the Eagles roster but should have an opportunity to impress coaches during spring workouts and training camp.

Even with Wentz injured, the Eagles have depth (for now) behind center. Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles remains with the team (for now), and third-year pro Nate Sudfeld could conceivably hold down the backup job until Wentz returns to the field.

In Callahan, Philadelphia has another signal-caller to work with receivers throughout the offseason. BUT WHY THE TWO-YEAR DEAL?

Callahan completed 5 of 7 passes for Green Bay last season in his lone NFL appearance after an accomplished college career at Wesley in Delaware. After passing for 5,063 yards and 55 TD’s in his senior season, Callahan won the 2015 Gagliardi Trophy as Division III’s best player.

He bounced around with a few teams in the NFL and eventually saw the field as the Packers’ backup after Aaron Rodgers’ injury last season.

Color me suspicious, but I’m thinking Callahan is the insurance policy just in case Howie Roseman gets an offer for Nick Foles he can’t refuse.


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