PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There was a time, not that long ago, when an NFL quarterback could sit down with their position coach or head coach in the offseason and watch film together, go over game plans and trade ideas. But since the 2011 collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the NFL Players Association, limits were placed on how much time players could spend watching film or working with coaches.
So one of the few benefits to the Eagles mandatory veteran mini-camp, which started Tuesday, was coach Doug Pederson being able to sit and watch film with his players.
It’s important in the maturation of second-year quarterback Carson Wentz.
“You know what, it’s beautiful, because we have a great facility across the street that we are going to utilize this afternoon and get our film in and get our meetings in this afternoon,” Pederson said.
When asked if the mandatory practice was more intense than the OTAs, Pederson said, “Not really. And the beauty of OTAs is it kind of just sort of prepares you for this. It’s just great to have everybody here and working. So I don’t think the intensity was any greater than any of our OTA practices.”
One interesting turn on Tuesday was the return of defensive end Marcus Smith. The three-year veteran and the Eagles’ 2014 first-round pick, considered by many a bust, was a no-show for the team’s OTAs. The Eagles opted not to pick up Smith’s fifth-year option, allowing him to become a free agent after the 2017 season—if he is still with the Eagles.
Then the Eagles made the following offseason moves: Drafted defensive end Derek Barnett in the first round, and signed former New England Patriot Chris Long.
Think they’ve missed Marcus Smith?
Smith claimed he was getting individual attention and he wouldn’t have otherwise received during OTAs.
“The only thing it did really was give us more of a three-deep rotation at practice today with Marcus back, and then obviously with [T] Jason [Peters] back,” Pederson said. “Given the fact that we had a full complement of guys, it gives us a little more depth and more rotation and more bodies to practice.”
The timer is ticking on Smith as an Eagle.