For a few weeks now, Carson Wentz has been throwing to his new weapons, Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith, in an attempt to grow their chemistry.
Something was different on Tuesday.
"The biggest thing is we get comfortable on air and now all of a sudden, there's a body in the way," Smith said. "It's weird. But you have to get open against somebody. Just have to knock the rust off these next few days. A lot of us have been playing long enough. We just need to be where [Wentz] expects us to be."
On Tuesday morning, the Eagles kicked off their OTAs, the voluntary practices that lead into the mandatory minicamp in mid-June. And for the first time this spring, offense and defense went head-to-head in full-team drills (see 10 observations).
It was just the latest step in the progress of building a rapport between the quarterback and his top receivers, who were added during free agency.
"I don't think it's too tough," Jeffery said. "I think it's just working each and every day. He knows what type of player I am; I know what type of player he is. It just makes it better. Just keep working."
Wentz said in addition to on-field work, he and his new receivers (and new RB LeGarrette Blount) will be looking to sneak in as much extra time together as possible. That extra time will come in the locker room, in the training room, in the film room and in the cafeteria, wherever and whenever they can.
At least now, thanks to OTAs this week, they'll have tape against the defense to look back at and use to get on the same page.
"It's a work in progress," Wentz said. "No doubt about it. It's a work in progress with guys I've been here with a year now. It's just an ongoing process. You're putting in new plays, new routes, things are always changing. So it's a process, but I feel very comfortable with them at the same time. But again, we're still just going to continually build that relationship."
While Tuesday was just the first day of practice in a long process leading up to the season, both Jeffery and Smith showed off their respective skills.
While Jeffery is quiet off the field, he already made plenty of noise in Day 1 of OTAs.
"It's been great with him," Wentz said. "He plays on time, he knows what he's doing, his catch radius is impressive. That's the first thing that jumps out at me. I'm just looking forward to continuing to build that relationship."
Jeffery is the big receiver with a huge catch radius, while Smith is the speedier receiver, even though he still has good size at 6-0, 205 pounds.
Were both their skills on display at Day 1 of OTAs?
"Definitely," cornerback Patrick Robinson said, shaking his head.
Jeffery and Smith are still the new guys in town, but they both worked with the first team on Tuesday, while Jordan Matthews played in the slot (more on him here). (Nelson Agholor and Dorial Green-Beckham worked with the twos; rookies Mack Hollins and Shelton Gibson worked with the threes.)
For Matthews, playing in the slot with Jeffery and Smith outside should help him quite a bit in 2017. So the Eagles' slot receiver said he was glad to have them added to his team.
"Both of them bring a lot of production," Matthews said. "Both of them are playmakers in their own different ways. The biggest thing I like, too, is in a room full of guys, you need competition. That's going to be what elevates guys' level of play. When you bring in two guys like that, who have had production over a long period of time, and they're also willing to come out here and work during the voluntary part of the offseason, you're going to have everybody get pushed."
Matthews has spent a ton of time with Wentz over their year together and already has a great relationship and chemistry with his quarterback.
Now it's up to Jeffery and Smith to catch up. And they're off to a good start.