Originally written on Eagles Eye  |  Last updated 11/20/14

You know you're struggling for an original Eagles story when it's the final week of voluntary OTA's, it's June, and even the tweets coming out of NovaCare have slowed to a trickle. Monday's practice was moved inside the bubble to avoid a rainstorm which made a slow news day even slower.

Veteran and rookie players alike are ready to take off for a week. OTA's have just about served their purpose at this point. The coaching staff knows what they have now in raw materials. They have a feel for how rookies have adjusted to the tempo of the game at a higher level. They have a better sense of how the free agents may grasp the nuances of the Eagles system.

If you take all the reviews and impressions that have come out of OTA's this Spring, and sort all the raves into a separate pile, the most meaningful performance to me is the emergence of veteran free safety Nate Allen as the healthiest, strongest, fastest and smartest player he's ever been.


Nate Allen, 6-1, 210, 3rd year out of South Florida... by nearly all accounts of eyewitnesses at OTA's, Allen is completely rehabbed from his patellar tendon injury suffered two years ago, and is physically and mentally ready to up his game to a higher level. Sometimes we forget Allen was drafted in the 2nd round in 2010 and won a starting job at free safety as a rookie in the NFL. This was no flash in the pan.

You may have your own favorite "Most Valuable" performer nominee from OTA's.  No doubt many rookies impressed in the passing drills. And veteran Darryl Tapp seemed to be on a mission to impress based on the number of defensive highlight tweets he received.

I picked Nate Allen mostly because of how little real information you can actually take away from OTA drills. Lots of guys can shine in drills which feature no hard contact or tackling. But the reports on Allen are overwhelming by implication. If Nate is as physically improved as they say, he is ready to uplift the entire level of safety play across the board for the Eagles. They won't need to shop around for a free agent or a trade at safety, either. And if Nate Allen at age 25 plays up to his highest capability and stays healthy, the Eagles could be set at FS for a long time.

You could make a similar case for "Value" for cornerback Curtis Marsh, who has also impressed in OTA's by his physical shape and his enthusiastic attitude. At 6-0 and 194 and with improved quickness by eyewitness accounts, Marsh has a chance to add depth to the Eagles in the secondary and on special teams. Again, here's a guy we tend to forget was a 3rd-round selection out of Utah State in 2011. You expect long-term value from a pick that high. Marsh is ready to begin to supply that value based on his OTA's in 2012.

With Rodgers-Cromartie out on Monday, Marsh took all of the first-team and most of the second-team reps, a sign that the Eagles will be using him for much more than special teams duty, to which he was limited as a rookie. Marsh on Monday proclaimed himself ready to start if needed. "Definitely, definitely," he said. "I feel I can cover anybody."

Not only that, but he can jam anybody on punt return and can beat anybody as a gunner on punt coverage. "I feel that's my best asset on special teams, playing the gunner," Marsh said. "I get to just run by guys and use my speed and fly."

TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE NOTE:
Fans planning to attend the Philadelphia Eagles' training camp in July and August at Lehigh University will need to adjust their schedules. The team confirmed on Monday that the main practices (with full pads and full contact) will be held in the afternoons, with only walk-through practices in the morning. Previously, the Eagles had run their training camps with the main practice in the morning, which was much more attended, and the walk-through in the afternoon. The exact schedules and the reasoning behind the switch have not been announced, but it is believed that coach Reid wants to more closely mimic the team's regular-season practice schedule, in which there's a morning walk-through with no pads, followed by an afternoon practice in which contact is permitted.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao close to deal for fight

TJ Lang: Suh wanted to fight me after stepping on Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Hernandez jurors allowed to watch Super Bowl

Tiger misses cut: ‘I’m only doing this so I won’t get fined’

Roger Goodell grilled on Deflategate during presser

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rex Ryan: Seahawks need to ‘take the air out of the football’

J.J. Watt buys cabin in the middle of nowhere to train

Six teams have done background work on Peterson

NBA set to earn $700M through streaming deal in China

Wade Phillips is the best coordinator hire this offseason

Bill Belichick gives understated scouting report of Tom Brady

WATCH: Jimmy Butler throws down half-court alley-oop

President Obama zings Patriots over Deflate-gate

Each major conference's Player Of The Year candidates

Super Bowl XLIX preview and predictions: Patriots-Seahawks

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

Most unexpected MLB free agent signings of past 10 years

Five most villainous Super Bowls of all time

Super Bowl ad focuses on acceptance of gay athletes

Foster says UT boosters paid him $40-50K while in college

Ranking the repeat Super Bowl champions

Eric Decker to Sherman: Time your conception a little better

Could Katy Perry and Russell Wilson be dating?

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Obama zings Pats over Deflate-gate

Each major conference's POY candidates

Super Bowl XLIX preview and predictions: Patriots vs. Seahawks

The 13 things we want to see in Super Bowl XLIX

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

Tiger Woods, misses cut: ‘I’m only doing this so I won’t get fined’

Ranking the repeat SB champions

Roger Goodell grilled on Deflategate

Katy Perry, Russell Wilson dating?

Rex Ryan has advice for Seahawks

Super Bowl: Things you can't control

LeBron and the Cavs are ready to make a run

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.