OTAs usher in a sort of lull in NFL excitement. You know news is certainly lacking when a photo of a duck on the practice field during Philadelphia Eagles OTAs makes news in the Twitterverse. Humans and animals alike are Eagles fans….WHO KNEW! As the days before training camp lessen there are a few players worth mentioning.
QB Mike Kafka – Not to toot my own horn, but I was accurate (much to the dismay of my friends) when I insisted that Kevin Kolb would be a bust for the Eagles. Kafka has the ability to step in and make a difference at the QB position for this Eagles team and I believe he is one to watch. Trent Edwards was picked up as a safety net in the event of injury, but I do not see him stepping in front of Kafka at all.
CB Joselio Hanson – Hanson has a lot of fight in him. Having lost his nickel spot last season to Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and gaining it back after injuries, Hanson finished the season inside playing the slot. The NFL Draft brought about a new challenge…fourth-round pick Brandon Boykin from Georgia. The buzz has been positive in favor of Hanson. I don’t see the Eagles starting Boykin over Hanson who has an abundance of NFL experience, but it will certainly be interesting to see how this all plays out.
CB Curtis Marsh – You almost cannot read an article about OTAs without seeing Marsh mentioned. After being drafted in the third round in 2011 he was forced to take his place behind Asomugha and Rodgers-Cromartie last season. Now he is one play, one injury away from starting and he knows it. He could be the starter in the 2013 season if the Eagles don’t re-sign Rodgers-Cromartie so look for Marsh (given the opportunity) to go all out.
TE Brent Celek – Even after surgery on a sports hernia and a repair for a torn labrum in his left hip, Celek is performing and practicing at top speed at this time. Can we say BEAST?! Celek is often an unsung hero of this team and in the NFL due to an overwhelming amount of talented players at the TE position. He can catch passes, but is a big, solid blocker as well…how do you think holes are created for RB LeSean McCoy to get through?
WR Jeremy Maclin - It is wonderful to see a healthy Jeremy Maclin on the field after the troublesome medical issues that surrounded and quite frankly, worried many Eagles fans prior to the start of the 2011 season. Expect him to have a break out season. Maclin has the potential to be a fantasy football players dream come true…ADD HIM!
Let’s be honest…Eagles fans are anxious to see this defense ignite. There is nothing like the tenacity and passion that Trent Cole, Jason Babin, Mike Patterson and Cullen Jenkins possess. Fans are expecting a lot from Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie this season. Defensive Coordinator Juan Castillo now has a year under his belt and no lock out to keep him from working with his group. Surely Castillo will benefit from having leadership like DeMeco Ryans on the team.