The Philadelphia Eagles held an OTA practice open to the media on Monday and I was there to soak it all in. It was a fairly long practice (nearly two hours or so). Keep in mind that these are all non-contact drills at this point. Players aren't allowed to wear shells yet. There's only so much to be gleaned from players running around in shorts, but here's what I observed:
• Very important BGN weather update: Very humid today. The fields may have been a little wet from this morning's rain but I didn't see anyone slipping.
• OL Dennis Kelly and WR Jeff Maehl returned to practice on Monday. Both players didn't practice last week. Maehl made a great diving catch to connect with a Nick Foles pass at one point.
• Eagles Chariman and CEO Jeffrey attended practice today. He was seen talking with Nick Foles after practice. Were they talking about a contract extension? Foles was asked about this after practice and laughed it off. (Foles can't be extended until after the 2014 season is over.) Foles said they were just talking about practice and some other things. Here's a picture of the two together:
Foles hanging out with Lurie pic.twitter.com/SlhJ2xejz1— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) June 9, 2014
• Nick Foles didn't have his best day. He didn't look bad, but he had a few select bad plays. He overthrew a couple of wide receivers deep at one point, including Riley Cooper once. Even more shocking was that Foles was picked off twice during practice. That's the same amount of times Foles was intercepted during the 2013 regular season. The first interception came at the hands of depth cornerback Curtis Marsh. The second one was during a red zone drill where veteran linebacker DeMeco Ryans made a great play on the ball. Aside from these mistakes, Foles looked solid.
• Jeremy Maclin hauled in a short pass from Foles to remind everyone that he's showing no signs of injury despite a scare in last week's practice.
• Mark Sanchez was picked off by Nolan Carroll during 7 on 7s. Bad throw from the Eagles veteran. Carroll read the play the whole way and timed his pick perfectly. Carroll continues to look good in OTAs. Sanchez continues to struggle
• Whenever a QB runs out of options down field during a drill, they usually either take off running or check down. Every QB's favorite check down target? Darren Sproles.
• Brad Smith continues to take first team repetitions as the slot receiver. Rookie Jordan Matthews is still running with the second team.
• Rookie undrafted free agent tight end Blake Annen struggled with some drops in a tight end drill today. The drill involves Eagles assistant tight end coach Justin Peele throwing passes at the tight ends while they're facing away from Peele. They have to turn around and catch the ball as it's already in the air.
• Speaking of rookie undrafted free agents, offensive guard Karim Barton stood out to me during Eagles offensive line drills. Barton is listed at 6-2 but I'm not sure he's quite that tall. He's stout and strong and I've been impressed with his footwork at times. Could be practice squad material.
• I say it all the time: Chip Kelly loves special teams. During a phase of practice where there were a bunch of position drills going on, Kelly spent the most time watching punt coverage/return. Kelly took rookie receiver Jordan Matthews, who was returning punts, aside at one point during that drill to talk to him. No way to tell what they were talking about but perhaps just some pointers.
• G.J. Kinne only practices in limited reps since he figures in the team's fourth string QB, but I'll tell you, he hasn't looked bad in these OTA practices. Kinne had a series where he made two consecutive great throws. The first play involved him rolling out to his right and finding a Jordan Matthews in the middle of the field. The second play was a bomb to Eagles TE James Casey. Kinne also took off running a couple times today which made me remember that he's easily the fastest QB on this roster. I'm not sure that there's a place for Kinne on this roster with Sanchez and Barkley ahead of him, but he's giving it his all which is great to see.
• Jordan Matthews wasn't doing the thing where he runs an extra 10 to 20 yards after the play is over. Perhaps he was told to stop doing that by the coaching staff. There was one moment where Matthews couldn't resist breaking the habit. Matthews caught a pass from Kinne over the middle and sprinted down to the end zone.
• A number of Eagles were doing extra work after practice. Riley Cooper was running some sprints. Zach Ertz, Cary Williams, Davon Morgan, Josh Huff, Earl Wolff, and Kadron Boone were among the players taking catches from the JUGS machine.
• I heard from the following players after practice: Foles, J. Matthews, Jason Kelce, and Lane Johnson. More on that later.
Up next: The Eagles have three more practices this week but only Tuesday's session (tomorrow) is open to the media once again. Eagles mandatory minicamp starts next week.
Remaining Eagles offseason workout schedule:
OTAs: June 10-12.
Mandatory Minicamp: June 17-19.