On Friday, the Eagles wrapped up their final day of OTA practices. The local media was there to report on any on everything going on at the Linc.
Here are three takeaways from what the Philly media reported on during that final day of organized practices until training camp in August.
Michael Jacquet CB2?
Regardless of who’s running with the first team during OTAs, there’s a solid chance it’ll look a bit different once training camp is in full swing.
But for what it’s worth, the first team defensive secondary for the Eagles apparently consisted of Rodney McLeod and Anthony Harris at safety, with Darius Slay and Michael Jacquet III at the outside cornerback spots, and Avonte Maddox occupying the nickel.
There was some speculation that Maddox could be forced to play on the outside this year due to the very limited talent at the position, but I’m glad it seems he’ll be moving to the nickel where he’s more likely to have an impact.
While the outside corner position is still up for grabs, it’s noteworthy to point out Jacquet getting the first shot at it.
In his small sample size last year, Jacquet wasn’t very good. In two starts, he allowed a completion percentage of 71.4 percent and a passer rating of 137.5 when targeted, while giving up two touchdowns in the process. Most of that came against the Cowboys in Week 16.
I hope I don’t have to remind anyone of this depressing screen cap from that game.
It wasn’t all bad for Jacquet, though. In Week 8 when filling in for Slay, he played 30 snaps and ended the day by allowing just one catch on three targets, causing one pass breakup, and allowing a passer rating of just 45.1. That game, coincidently, was also against Dallas.
He had another nice outing against Arizona in Week 15, where he recorded seven combined tackles, one sack, two pass defensed, and one forced fumble. He played a total of 68 defensive snaps in that game, the most of any game last year for Jacquet.
There may be some potential in there that Jonathan Gannon could possibly unlock. I wouldn’t get my hopes super high, but it’s possible.
This CB2 situation will be a storyline we follow all throughout training camp and the preseason.
A heavy emphasis on competition, as expected
New head coach Nick Sirianni wasn’t lying when he harped on the importance of competition during his numerous press conferences throughout the offseason. The Eagles put a heavy emphasis on competition all throughout OTAs, and it was no different during their final day together.
DeVonta Smith and Travis Fulgham were pitted against one another in a game of Catch The Ball On A String, with neither coming out victorious because, well, neither of them ever dropped the ball apparently.
Sirianni also had some defensive backs competing in some sort of running drill. The HC described it as a backpedaling and racing drill.
There are some fans who scoff at the idea of constant competition and think of it as gimmicky or high school-esque, but I like it. Why wouldn’t you want your team competing with one another everyday at practice? They’ll only get better for it.
Not only that, but it creates a culture of hyper competitiveness and that’s the type of team I love. One that constantly fights in every game they’re in.
We’ll have to wait and see how it translates on gameday.
DeVonta Smith is clearly the best wideout on the team
DeVonta Smith buzz has been rampant all throughout the offseason, and once media members had the privilege of seeing him go to work on the field, every single one of them sang his praises.
I know he’s catching these balls without defenders and he doesn’t have pads on, but he just makes it look so effortless. Not only is he an outstanding athlete, but he’s a polished receiver who knows the intricacies of playing the position.
You can’t really say that about any other wideout on this team. Most of them have the athletic ability without the skill. Smith already has both of those boxes checked off.
He’s going to be one of hell of a receiver for the Eagles. I can’t wait to watch him on Sundays.
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