You know you're struggling for an original Eagles story when it's the final week of voluntary OTA's, it's June, and even the tweets coming out of NovaCare have slowed to a trickle. Monday's practice was moved inside the bubble to avoid a rainstorm which made a slow news day even slower.
Veteran and rookie players alike are ready to take off for a week. OTA's have just about served their purpose at this point. The coaching staff knows what they have now in raw materials. They have a feel for how rookies have adjusted to the tempo of the game at a higher level. They have a better sense of how the free agents may grasp the nuances of the Eagles system.
If you take all the reviews and impressions that have come out of OTA's this Spring, and sort all the raves into a separate pile, the most meaningful performance to me is the emergence of veteran free safety Nate Allen as the healthiest, strongest, fastest and smartest player he's ever been.
Nate Allen, 6-1, 210, 3rd year out of South Florida... by nearly all accounts of eyewitnesses at OTA's, Allen is completely rehabbed from his patellar tendon injury suffered two years ago, and is physically and mentally ready to up his game to a higher level. Sometimes we forget Allen was drafted in the 2nd round in 2010 and won a starting job at free safety as a rookie in the NFL. This was no flash in the pan.
You may have your own favorite "Most Valuable" performer nominee from OTA's. No doubt many rookies impressed in the passing drills. And veteran Darryl Tapp seemed to be on a mission to impress based on the number of defensive highlight tweets he received.
I picked Nate Allen mostly because of how little real information you can actually take away from OTA drills. Lots of guys can shine in drills which feature no hard contact or tackling. But the reports on Allen are overwhelming by implication. If Nate is as physically improved as they say, he is ready to uplift the entire level of safety play across the board for the Eagles. They won't need to shop around for a free agent or a trade at safety, either. And if Nate Allen at age 25 plays up to his highest capability and stays healthy, the Eagles could be set at FS for a long time.
You could make a similar case for "Value" for cornerback Curtis Marsh, who has also impressed in OTA's by his physical shape and his enthusiastic attitude. At 6-0 and 194 and with improved quickness by eyewitness accounts, Marsh has a chance to add depth to the Eagles in the secondary and on special teams. Again, here's a guy we tend to forget was a 3rd-round selection out of Utah State in 2011. You expect long-term value from a pick that high. Marsh is ready to begin to supply that value based on his OTA's in 2012.
With Rodgers-Cromartie out on Monday, Marsh took all of the first-team and most of the second-team reps, a sign that the Eagles will be using him for much more than special teams duty, to which he was limited as a rookie. Marsh on Monday proclaimed himself ready to start if needed. "Definitely, definitely," he said. "I feel I can cover anybody."
Not only that, but he can jam anybody on punt return and can beat anybody as a gunner on punt coverage. "I feel that's my best asset on special teams, playing the gunner," Marsh said. "I get to just run by guys and use my speed and fly."
TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE NOTE:
Fans planning to attend the Philadelphia Eagles' training camp in July and August at Lehigh University will need to adjust their schedules. The team confirmed on Monday that the main practices (with full pads and full contact) will be held in the afternoons, with only walk-through practices in the morning. Previously, the Eagles had run their training camps with the main practice in the morning, which was much more attended, and the walk-through in the afternoon. The exact schedules and the reasoning behind the switch have not been announced, but it is believed that coach Reid wants to more closely mimic the team's regular-season practice schedule, in which there's a morning walk-through with no pads, followed by an afternoon practice in which contact is permitted.
Gotta go tile the bathroom.
Man I really gotta learn channel blocking.
I even pulled out the "my back hurts" card - no good.
To the mastic I go.
When I went to lunch today, I noticed an old man sitting on a park bench sobbing his eyes out. I stopped and asked him what was wrong.
He told me, 'I have a 22 year old wife at home. She rubs my back every morning and then gets up and makes me pancakes, sausage, fresh fruit and freshly ground coffee.'
I continued, 'Well, then why are you crying?'
He added, 'She makes me homemade soup for lunch and my favourite biscuits, cleans the house and then watches sports TV with me for the rest of the afternoon.'
I said, 'Again, why the hell are you crying?'
He said, 'For dinner she makes me a gourmet meal with wine and my favourite dessert and then we cuddle until the small hours.'
I inquired, 'Well then, why in the world would you be crying?'
He replied, 'I can't remember where I live...'
@Palm Feathers You're dentures still in the shop?
Here's my opinion - that no one asked for.
I know I'm only a Smurf - not much of a contributer in the real facts.
I would be happy if the language were toned down a little. Biggest attraction here was that everything could be said and all here have the smarts to use funny ineundo instead of outright vulgarity.
I've stated how I feel about all of you SOB's - the ineundo part was / is one of the attractions here.
I don't tug on capes - period. Specially the capes that I support. Even the capes that I only understand 38%.
My story and I'm sticking to it.
OK - I'm done.
@Palm Feathers Well I'm guilty for my share of vulgar langauge. Until now, nobody had mentioned their distaste for it. But as that has now occured, I'll personally clean up my act. But those ineundos are still gonna flow!
@Palm Feathers I'm sorry. It's pretty much my fault anyway you dice it. Won't happen again.
I wasn't pointing out anyone in particular and there's no one here that needs to apologize to me - that's for sure. I'm not angry or leaving - your all stuck w/me.
I really do love it here - that means you guys.
I've contributed to the smut innuendo MORE than my share - I know.
Last thing I would want to do is change anyone - really.
If I were able to pose a Smurfy motion - I would pose that certain words would be taboo - off limits.
And - like I said - you guys are the real contributors here - not me.
Not to sound all Mary Poppins but YOU ALL have made this a Magic place.
Just seems lately we are all maybe lowering our 'Class' a little.
Welp,..my fish creole is in the final stages of baking. This gmish,.is breastakin',.I must say,..in spite of having to deal wiff da drivel of Spiffy,.who knows no bounds of decorum. Whos hungry?
as we all are.... as we all are.... where is Palmetto to tell Bri what to go tug on?
Serenity now! Serenity now!!
I'm sitting here in this godforsaken rehab clinic and there's about 10 different buzzer/alarm sounds going off at the same time and not one of these gawdamn workers are shutting them off!!! F my life.