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."

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.


Cam Newton calls out 'classless' Panthers fans

Report: 49ers to part ways with Harbaugh after season finale

Brad Stevens shoots down rumors he's headed to Hoosiers

Jameis Winston cleared in code of conduct case

Sherman: Patrick Peterson would be benched on Seahawks

Fans struck by lightning after Buccaneers-Packers game


Report: Philip Rivers playing through painful back injury

Report: Bears could have interest in Jim Harbaugh

Report: Shanahan interested in coaching next season

Report: Michigan has its eye on several NFL coaches

Report: Titans, Jay Cutler have mutual interest in trade

Phillies GM told Ryan Howard team is better off without him

10 takeaways from NFL Week 16

Tony Romo leads Dallas Cowboys to NFC East title

Ole Miss QB arrested after fighting, threatening bouncers

WATCH: Marshawn Lynch's ridiculous TD run

WATCH: Steelers' Gay draws flag for taunting teammate

WATCH: Three players ejected after Giants-Rams fight

WATCH: Dominic Raiola stomps on Bears player's ankle

WATCH: Arian Foster throws TD pass, drops scoreboard taunt

WATCH: Johnny Manziel leaves with injury after taking big hit

NHL has warned 22 players about diving

Nick Mangold wears NYDP hat to honor fallen officers

Five things we learned from the first day of bowl games

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.

10 takeaways from NFL Week 16

Cam Newton calls out 'classless' Panthers fans

Raiola stomps on Bears player's ankle

Bears interested in Jim Harbaugh?

Shanahan to return to 2015?

Browns interested in drafting Mariota?

Mullen wears funny Christmas sweater

RG3 returning to Redskins?

Tom Izzo hot after bad loss

Kings, Nets talking Deron Williams trade

WATCH: DeSean mocks Eagles

Vick: Winston is the future of the NFL

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

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

Company Info
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.