Philadelphia Eagles minicamp recap: What we learned

Now that the Eagles have finished their three-day minicamp, they get six weeks off before training camp starts on August 2. It wasn’t exactly a grueling trio of practices, but it was enough to get a good look at what some of the players can bring to the table. Since the practices were without pads, it’s obviously still limited what can be seen, but many players received positive endorsements from both Chip Kelly and teammates, which is always a good sign.

First team reps

Today, a couple more new guys got some first team reps: Travis Long and Nolan Carroll.

Matt Tobin also continued to work with the first team at right guard after Andrew Gardner got most of those reps on Tuesday. Long doesn’t really have a shot at starting at outside linebacker, but it’s worthwhile for him to get as many important reps as possible after he missed all of last season with a torn ACL. Chip Kelly seems really high on him, and with Marcus Smith really the only other outside linebacker on the roster, Long will need to make an impact.

As for Carroll, Eliot Shorr-Parks noted that he thinks he’d be the other starting cornerback if the season started today. For someone who I thought would be in danger of being released for his ineffectiveness last season and somewhat high cap number, Carroll has really seemed to step it up. Kelly was raving about him in a press conference during OTAs, saying lots of defensive backs on the team have stepped up, but he used his name specifically. Maybe the Carroll signing will work out after all.

Another guy who got first-team reps yesterday was Vinny Curry, and a bit surprisingly, at outside linebacker. With the small crew of guys at that position, it would be interesting to see if Curry would play a little OLB during the season. Like many of these guys switching around, it could just be trial and error. Regardless, they seem to be committed to getting Curry on the field more next year, something that definitely should happen.

Inside linebackers

Many writers have noted that Kiko Alonso is 100% after tearing his ACL last year, which is just what you want to hear. He had a dominant rookie season, and I’m sure a lot of people would love to see that happen again. He’s arguably the best inside linebacker on the roster right now.

Les Bowen also gave some encouraging news on DeMeco Ryans, the leader of the defense last year before getting hurt. The Eagles have a sensational trio of ILBs, but all have injury problems, so they’ll all need to be as healthy as possible come the regular season.

Speaking of injured inside linebackers, Mychal Kendricks appeared to injure his hand/arm in practice today, according to multiple reports.

As Geoff Mosher reports though, it seems like the injury is minor, although it did keep him out of 7-on-7s. My guess is that was completely precautionary though.

Quarterbacks

Sam Bradford took first-team reps in 7-on-7s today, something he hadn’t been doing earlier in minicamp. Mark Sanchez moved down to the second team, but has apparently continued to look the best out of all the quarterbacks on the roster. Bradford has looked a little shaky, especially today, according to reports.

It’s just one day of practice, but it would be nice to start to see him looking good. He’s still being held back a bit due to the ACL recovery, which makes me wonder if they’d decide to let Mark Sanchez compete for the starting job instead of just handing it to Bradford. I know they have to give Bradford time to recover, but he’s going to be rusty no matter what. If Sanchez is better, then that’s that. He should at least be competing if that’s the case.

As for Tim Tebow, it sounds like he’s doing nothing to warrant keeping him on the roster, except for the fact that it’s Matt Barkley behind him on the depth chart, who quite possibly is worse. It doesn’t sound like Barkley is getting any reps at all. Maybe he’s the designated water boy or something. Who knows.

All in all, it seems like there’s some development among the position groups in terms of who’s getting a lot of reps and who will be competing for the open starting positions. With a month and a half off now, we have to wait until August before we see them again. Let the countdown begin.

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