Every player on the Eagles active roster has reported to mandatory mini-camp in south Philadelphia, which is good news for the team and players. The media firestorm surrounding Fletcher Cox and Darren Sproles should come to an immediate halt. While both players missed voluntary organized team activities (OTAs) over the past couple weeks, they are here and here for a reason.
Cox has displayed that he’s about more than just a fat, bloated contract. Of course, he wants to be paid, but he’s not a selfish guy – at least not at the moment – and takes his position on the team as well as the team’s overall future seriously. He decided not to pull a T.O. and lift weights in his driveway. All indications point to him not pulling a maneuver as Emmitt Smith did when he held out in 1993. He’s in Philly. He’s ready to work with the new defensive coaching staff.
Sproles claims he skipped OTAs because of “family stuff” and indicated that the Eagles front office was ok with him not being in Philly. He also stated that earlier trade rumors that were rampant on Twitter simply weren’t true. While it does make sense to think the 33-year-old running back and punt returner who’s entering the last year of his deal might be looking toward future options, the fact remains that he’ll be suiting up this week at the NovaCare Complex.
When a new team is assembled during the offseason along with a brand new head coach, offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator, it is critical that all members of the team are full participants from the start of mandatory team activities. We’ve seen what happens when cohesion isn’t the case. There ends up being discord. And then unleash the Philly sports media. We can look at this point in time as the inception of the Pederson Era and the foundation for years to come. For this team, newer and older players, it’s a fresh start. Long gone are the Chip Kelly style practices and Bill Davis defensive schemes. Coming together, understanding the playbook and introducing new personalities is what should be at the forefront heading into this next Eagles chapter.