Organized team activities give new players the chance to meet their new teammates and the chance to start learning a new system. So far this year, there have been a lot of opportunities for the new Eagles to get increased reps.
When Marlin Jackson went down in OTA’s, Eagles second round pick Nate Allen started working out with the first team. This is where the Eagles wanted Allen to be, but I’m not sure they wanted him to be there so soon. Nothing will be handed to Allen, but his odds of being the opening day starter have definitely increased with the injury to Jackson.
The day after Marlin Jackson went down with an injury, Stewart Bradley ended up injuring himself. Although his injury was not as severe as Jackson’s, Bradley was forced out of practice. Joe Mays has stepped into the middle linebacker position with Bradley out. Mays is a hitting machine but showed his youth last year in live game action. He is a developmental player and should really benefit from the extra reps.
With DeSean Jackson missing from practice and Jeremy Maclin missing a day due to a hamstring problem, Riley Cooper was able to get some reps with the first team offense. Cooper is an athletic kid who should be a good target for the Eagles as he has great size. If he learns the system, I think he could be one of those quiet, yet consistent targets much like Jason Avant.
With a death in the family, Asante Samuel is missing this week’s OTA’s. Samuel is an obvious starter at corner, but the side opposite him is way up in the air. With Samuel out, two players get the chance to run with the first team defense. This has allowed for all the guys competing for the other starting position to get extra reps.
While LeSean McCoy has been out this week with an ankle injury, Mike Bell is getting the starting reps at running back. Bell is no rookie, but it’s a good chance for him to learn the system and get acquainted with his new teammates. It also gives the opportunity for all the guys in the competition for the third running back position to get some more reps as well.
For the new Eagles, the injuries going around workouts have been a blessing in disguise. There are a lot of opportunities opening up and I hope that some of the young guys can jump on them.