The quarterback situation for the Philadelphia Eagles has been a bit of an awkward one, but all three are practicing after a brief holdout for Sam Bradford. The results on the field have been mixed, at best.
Brandon Lee Gowton of SB Nation's Eagles blog, Bleeding Green Nation, recapped a rough day for Bradford on Tuesday that featured plenty of passes that were, or should have been, intercepted. That came one day after a report on Monday from Matt Lombardo of NJ Advance Media that said rookie Carson Wentz was ahead of Bradford in his mastery of Doug Pederson's playbook.
But with most of the compliments from reporters going the way of Wentz, Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich was quick to point out that Bradford has been spectacular ... wait, what?
OC Frank Reich on QB Sam Bradford: "Sam hasn’t only been good in OTAs, he’s been great. His production, everything about the way he has ...— Dave Spadaro (@davespadaro) June 1, 2016
Pt 2 Reich on Bradford: "has performed in OTAs has been, and it’s not an overstatement to say this, off the charts. He’s really been good."— Dave Spadaro (@davespadaro) June 1, 2016
Reich gets to see things that reporters don't, but that's a pretty gigantic gap between the negative reviews Bradford has got from the media and the "off the charts" performance that the offensive coordinator has seen.
The Buccaneers really, really, really believe in their defense
There's no shortage of optimism in offseason training activities (OTAs). Coaches and players throw around plenty of superlatives and compliments, helping to ramp up hype trains long before the regular season begins. But Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David took it to another level on Thursday.
"I think we can be the best defense ever, to be honest. I'm going to go out there and say it," David told Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times. "Put it on me. I'm going to say it. NFL history, Bucs history, anything. That's just the type of attitude we have."
Even being a top five defense in the NFL in 2016 would be a huge jump forward for the Buccaneers after finishing No. 26 in the NFL in points allowed last year. There were plenty of positives for the Tampa Bay defense, though. It was No. 10 in yards allowed and gave up just 3.4 yards per rushing attempt. Only the Denver Broncos were better at stuffing the run.
Adding Vernon Hargreaves and Noah Spence in the 2016 NFL Draft should certainly help too. First-year head coach Dirk Koetter is already impressed with the latter.
HC Dirk Koetter says he can see Noah Spence's talent, even before the pads have gone on, but he's been most impressed w/Spence's attitude.— Scott Smith (@ScottSBucs) June 2, 2016
But there's a difference between the Buccaneers being improved and being the greatest defense of all-time as David claims they can be. For now, it's the type of overly optimistic dreaming that OTAs produce in bulk.
Everyone is fighting everywhere
Scuffles between teammates are not uncommon in offseason practices, but things typically aren't as heated during voluntary workouts. Practices seem to have been especially contentious in the last week, though. In just one Oakland Raiders practice on Tuesday there were three (THREE!) different fights.
"I guess they enjoyed the long weekend or were fired up watching the Warriors close one out last night," Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said after the practice, via Scott Bair of CSN Bay Area. "I don't know."
It wasn't just the Raiders either. The Eagles and Buffalo Bills also had some altercations on the practice field.
Can't recall last time saw that in voluntary minicamp, two players -- 79 and 52-- taking swings at each other and need to be pulled apart.— John Wawrow (@john_wawrow) June 1, 2016
FIGHT! Eagles OL Allen Barbre and DL Mike Martin have to be separated by Kelce and Peters.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) May 31, 2016
There are no pads in these non-contact practices, so it's anyone's guess what everyone is so grumpy about. Take it easy, fellas.