OTAs begin this week, with the focus more on staying in shape and avoiding freak injuries than upon competition for starting jobs. Jimmy Kempski of PhillyVoice.com highlights what he thinks will be the “backup job” positions to key on:
- Sidney Jones at cornerback— he may be coming on as a challenge to join the “starting” nickel package in which Kempski thinks either Jones or Rasul Douglas could be moved to the outside whenever Jalen Mills drops inside to the slot.
- The 4th Running Back—that looks to Kempski like a toss-up decision among Matt Jones, Donnell Pumphrey, Wendell Smallwood and Josh Adams.
- Tight End #2— Rookie Dallas Goedert? We shall see. Some folks have their money on Richard Rodgers (former Green Bay Packer).
- Defensive Tackle—backing up Fletcher Cox and Haloti Ngata (since Jernigan will be out indefinitely with the back surgery recovery), you’ve got to look at Destiny Vaeao, Elijah Qualls, and UDFA Bruce Hector a little more closely than usual in OTAs.
- The 3rd Safety—Will we be missing Corey Graham? Nobody knows yet, he’s still unsigned. So keep an EYE on Jeremy Reaves, Stephen Roberts, Ryan Neal (all UDFA’s) along with Tre Sullivan, and to a lesser extent Chris Maragos, although Kempski views Maragos as a Special Teams Only kinda guy.
Then Tommy Lawlor has a great piece at Iggles Blitz which boils down the offensive philosophy of Doug Pederson into some very tasty evolutionary slices of his past influences.
This may be one of Lawlor’s Top 10 articles of all time. For me it answers the question some of us had when Doug was hired: Is he just going to transplant Andy Reid’s Kansas City Chieves offense here?
As Lawlor brilliantly points out, turns out Dougie crafted his own unique offensive approach for the Eagles from a whole bunch of eclectic sources, including a wide array of college and even high school playbooks.
For those of us who once worried that Pederson was going to be predictable on offense, Lawlor’s terrific study of his evolution as a playcaller makes a fascinating summer read.