OTA Observations: Maclin full go; Sanchez > Barkley

OTA Observations: Maclin full go; Sanchez > Barkley
May 29, 2014, 4:45 pm
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Jeremy Maclin (No. 18) and the Eagles participate in a team stretch before Thursday's OTA at the NovaCare Complex. (AP)

Wide receivers Jeremy Maclin and Arrelious Benn and inside linebacker Jason Phillips were each full participants for the Eagles at Thursday’s OTA, and they have been throughout the three-day camp.

All three suffered season-ending ACL tears in training camp last year that required surgery and ended their seasons.

Before practice, Eagles coach Chip Kelly said all three are “full go with everything we've done so far.”

Maclin took first team reps while Benn and Phillips worked with the return units. Benn re-signed with the team last week after getting released and agreeing to a pay cut.

Second-round pick Jordan Matthews missed practice to attend an NFLPA event, and fifth-round pick Ed Reynolds will miss the minicamps because his school, Stanford, hasn’t yet held its graduation ceremony.

Everyone else appeared to be at practice.

“Almost every single one has been here for the whole time,” Kelly said. “So this isn't the start for us. We started on [April] 21st. It's really the first full time that we can go against the defense.

“[I’ve been] so impressed with their attitudes and impressed with their work ethic. They know what we're trying to do.”

Some other observations from the first OTA open to the media:

• Mark Sanchez took the majority, if not all, of the second-string quarterback reps, behind Nick Foles and ahead of Matt Barkley. It’s a mild surprise, given that Barkley already has one year in the system and Kelly traded up to the top of the fourth round last year to take him, while Sanchez, the former Jet, missed all of last season with a shoulder injury.

• Inside linebacker Mychal Kendricks, tight end Zach Ertz and wideout Jeff Maehl each missed parts or all of practice. Kendricks was out with a knee contusion and expects to return Monday, the team's next practice. He was replaced on the first-team defense by Najee Goode. No word from the PR staff on the other injuries. Ertz said he’s nursing something minor that kept him out of team drills. Maehl appeared to not participate in any of practice.

• The storyline that won’t go away is the competition between Nate Allen and Earl Wolff for a starting safety position. Kelly said Allen is “the first guy up” right now and Wolff is with the second team, but Wolff logged some first-defense reps at practice.

• Matt Tobin, a promising lineman who made the team last year as a rookie free agent out of Iowa, anchored left tackle on the second-string line, with Allen Barbre manning left guard. Last year, Barbre was first off the bench at tackle.

• Remember Michael Bamiro, the 6-foot-8, 340-pound project offensive linemen who made headlines by successfully dodging the NFL and supplemental draft? Despite his offensive tackle frame, Bamiro appears to be working at right guard full time. That’s where he took his snaps. That could indicate the coaches weren’t thrilled with his development at tackle or that they’re more concerned about guard depth.

Kelly scoffed at the perception that Darren Sproles is more of a slot receiver than a running back.

“All of our running backs are all receiving options,” he said. “Everyone thinks Darren Sproles is a receiver. He's a running back and a really, really talented running back.”

Riley Cooper, armed with a new contract that paid him $10 million up front, had some bad drops early in team drills. Later, Foles executed a nifty play-action rollout to the right side and dropped a spiral past two defenders about 30 yards downfield to Cooper, who held onto the ball.

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