On to mandatory Eagles minicamp

On to mandatory Eagles minicamp

Eagles

On to mandatory Eagles minicamp

Show up or pay a hefty fine! Guess that means we’ll finally get to meet defensive end Michael Bennett. Let off some steam, Bennett!

A rookie defensive end who’s making some waves in a good way this week is Joe Ostman (top photo). He’s dominating pass-rushing drills so far. How that will translate to full-contact drills later in training camp remains to be seen. But for now, the undrafted kid out of Central Michigan has stolen the spotlight. Joe had 51 total pressures last year in college ball, with 13 sacks and 29 hurries in that mix.

Mike Wallace (the veteran wideout) is getting high praise for his enthusiasm, sure hands and route-running in workouts. He is obviously happy to be here.

Any real competition going on in a 3-day minicamp? Tommy Lawlor thinks it can be found at the weakside linebacker position:

“The release of Mychal Kendricks means that the weakside linebacker spot is open. Corey Nelson was signed in free agency to take the job, but Grugier-Hill looked good in the OTAs and is throwing his name into the mix.

“Grugier-Hill is a terrific athlete. He needs to show that he has the instincts to play on defense. He’ll also need to prove he can handle blockers when Training Camp starts. Grugier-Hill used his athleticism to fly around the field and make plays over the past few weeks.

“Second-year linebacker Nate Gerry is also trying to make his case for playing time. He was mostly on special teams as a rookie, but did play in the season finale and showed real promise. At the very least, Grugier-Hill and Gerry give the Eagles good depth on the outside.”

As far as competition for cornerbacks, I would advise waiting until training camp and preseason games before getting too excited about young challengers Sidney Jones, De’Vante Bausby and Avonte Maddox.

Same goes for Carson Wentz’ rehab progress from ACL surgery. Nothing we see in minicamp really matters except he is obviously a little ahead of schedule in his mobility. Don’t overdo it, Carson! Save it for September.

Rookie tight end Dallas Goedert? All indications so far are he looks like he belongs up here and can be a significant part of the 2018 game plan.

As for the injury to WR candidate Greg Ward on the final day of OTAs—he’s okay.

Ward leaped for a pass between two defenders, crashed into the ground and remained motionless and face down in the end zone. Trainers sprinted onto the field and examined Ward’s head and neck. After several minutes, they turned the second-year wide receiver over, and he sat up before walking to a cart with help from team personnel.

Ward will be back in action at minicamp. He thinks he suffered a neuroelectric shock known as a “stinger” when a cervical spine nerve is suddenly pinched or compressed against bone or cartilage. If that’s what it was, I can relate. It is an out-of-body experience when it happens. Happened to me when I was going for a left-handed layup against a big man in an amateur basketball league when I was about the same age as Ward. The shock and momentary paralysis soon passed.

It may never happen to Ward again. On the other hand, 40 years later, I am experiencing permanent ulnar nerve damage which I suspect is somehow related to that goofy play on the hardwood floor long ago.

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