Eagles

5 takeaways from Doug Pederson's Eagles rookie camp press conference

5 takeaways from Doug Pederson's Eagles rookie camp press conference

As the Eagles kicked off their three-day rookie camp on Friday, Doug Pederson answered questions for about 14 minutes. 

“How about those Sixers, right?” Pederson said as he got to the lectern. “Stay alive, Game 7, love it.” 

Here are a few takeaways: 

1. Wentz’s health 

Doug Pederson didn’t want to talk too much about Carson Wentz’s health or recovery from a stress fracture in his back on Friday morning. This was his response when asked if Wentz will be ready for OTAs: 

“How does that pertain to rookie minicamp?” he fired back. 

While Pederson wouldn’t say definitively if Wentz will be ready for OTAs, which begin on May 21, he said Wentz has been on the field in recent Phase 2 workouts. Pederson said they’ll address it when OTAs arrive, so stay tuned. 

“Encouraged by his progress and where he’s at, just looking forward to the next few weeks with him,” Pederson said.  

2. Cross-training OTs 

Pederson was asked about his surplus of offensive tackles and if they’ll cross-train some of them to play interior offensive line. He said they like to do that and made it seem like the most obvious candidate to cross-train inside will be Halapoulivaati Vaitai. With Andre Dillard now on the team, that is the most obvious way to make Big V more useful. 

From this exchange with the head coach, here’s what to expect this spring and summer: 

Big V: To get some training at guard. 

Jordan Mailata: To get some training at right tackle in addition to LT

Andre Dillard: To learn the tackle position, primarily LT, first 

3. Vets in front of rookies 

While this rookie camp keeps veteran players away, the vets will join them at the NovaCare Complex for OTAs starting May 21. The top three draft picks are behind veterans on the depth chart for now. 

Andre Dillard —> Jason Peters

Miles Sanders —> Jordan Howard 

JJ Arcega-Whiteside —> Alshon Jeffery 

It might seem like a strange situation, and it is, but the veterans are expected to help the guys who might one day take their jobs. That’s one of the weird parts about professional sports. Pederson is looking forward to when the rookies get around these veterans. While Howard is new here, we’ve seen Peters and Jeffery be very willing to help younger players in recent years. 

4. The quarterbacks 

The two quarterbacks in camp are fifth-round pick Clayton Thorson and former AAF player Luis Perez. Pederson said there are a few things he can see from quarterbacks in this very limited camp: 

• How they command the huddle 

• How well they pick up the offense

• How well they toss the ol’ pigskin 

5. Goals for the 3-day camp 

Pederson outlined his goals for the three-day camp, which runs through Sunday: 

1. Come out healthy 
2. See how draft picks handle scheme 
3. Begin to see how to use these players 

Speaking about coming out healthy, Pederson had a black sleeve on his left leg after offseason surgery to his left ankle. He said he’s about 60 percent, but was running practice like normal from the middle of the field. 

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Roger Goodell makes statement as NFL admits fault, says it supports players' right to protest

Roger Goodell makes statement as NFL admits fault, says it supports players' right to protest

A day after some of the NFL’s biggest black stars called on their league to condemn racism and support their fight, the NFL has responded. 

In a 1:21 video, commissioner Roger Goodell did just that. 

Goodell gave his condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives to police brutality and then offered up the following statement: 

While Goodell didn’t specifically mention Colin Kaepernick, it seems like the NFL will not fight players who wish to demonstrate during the national anthem. In fact, Goodell said the NFL will “encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest.” 

Kaepernick began his peaceful protest nearly four years ago, back in 2016. 

This video from Goodell and the strong statement from the league comes just a day after Patrick Mahomes, Michael Thomas, Odell Beckham Jr. and more created a video asking for this type of response from the league. To the league’s credit, it came pretty promptly. 

In time, we’ll see what this means. It’s been an emotional week in the United States and this feels like a good start. But it also feels like a beginning for the NFL, a jumping off point. As far as players are concerned, this can’t be an empty statement. We’ll find out soon enough if there will be actions to back these words. 

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Michael Bennett has advice for white people trying to combat institutional racism

Michael Bennett has advice for white people trying to combat institutional racism

After a monumentally important week, former Eagles defensive lineman Michael Bennett has a message for white people who want to be more proactive in combating institutional racism.

Bennett, currently a free agent, and Patriots safety Devin McCourty appeared on Chris Long's Green Light podcast on Friday to discuss the ongoing national protests against racism, police brutality, and the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota.

Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was killed in Minneapolis last Monday night by a police officer in an incident caught on camera. The officer kneeled on his neck for an extended period of time while Floyd was handcuffed.

The trio of current and former NFLers had a lengthy and candid discussion about what has failed, and what needs to be improved, in the United States, and the whole thing is worth a listen.

One part in particular stuck out to me, when Bennett explained what white people looking to help should be doing:

I think now, with George Floyd, it's even shining more light on the racial disparity with the police system, and I think for our white counterparts, I think they need to do some studying.

[...]

I think white people need to start studying. As a black man, I can't tell you how to not be racist. I can't tell you how to be inclusive. I can't tell you any of those things. That's a self journey. That's a self awareness journey. I think African-American people have had to conform myself to fit in certain areas, whether it was in sports or in the culture, being told, 'You're too this, you're too that, you're too that,' and they're basically saying, 'You're too black.' Right? So now it's a situation where [...] you have to figure out your own journey, to really find out why people are feeling this way.

This protest, with George Floyd and these things, there's history behind it. I implore white people to do some research. Go look at Emmett Till. Go look at Steven Biko. Go look at Nelson Mandela, Patrice Lumumba. Go look at what happened to Medgar Evers, when he was killed in front of his house. Go look at what happened to those girls who were bombed in Alabama. Go look at it. It's the history here. Look at it. We talk about Martin Luther King, but look at the history and how Martin Luther King was treated, how he was chased, how he received assassination attempts on his life. This is the man you look up to.

It's a great point from Bennett. This week's protests are about Floyd's killing, but they're really about something larger.

The more you know about how we reached this current moment in history, the better you can try to move forward in a proactive way.

As NBC Sports Philadelphia's Reuben Frank noted this week, it's important to see athletes use their platforms to spread messages just like this one:

The more athletes and celebrities who use their platform to influence and educate and demand change, the more we have a chance to move beyond the racism, homophobia, bigotry and sexism that are so prevalent in our society.

Later in the discussion, Bennett gave his thoughts on Washington's football team:

LONG: Is there anything the NFL can do to prove they're actually on the players' side?

BENNETT: Of course there is. I think the Redskins can change their name. That's one way, that's a start right there. You say the league is not racist, and you have a team that literally has a racial slur for its name? The Redskins? What if it was the Whiteskins, or the Blackskins, or the Yellowskins? People would be upset, right? To me, that's one way.

It would certainly be a start.

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