Philadelphia Eagles: Don’t Make Judgments Based on OTAs

May 24, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson talks with quarterback Sam Bradford (7) during OTS
May 24, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson talks with quarterback Sam Bradford (7) during OTS /

People love to make early judgments in the offseason, especially regarding rookies, but Philadelphia Eagles fans should avoid this at all cost this year.

Not that there’s ever a good time to speculate beyond belief based off of a few plays against no defense in a May practice, but with a rookie head coach and a rookie quarterback, it’s especially important to keep things real and not try to cause controversy when there isn’t any.

Some media members love to make a big deal out of things and make observations based on things that are, at the end of the day, pretty insignificant, such as OTAs. In reality it really doesn’t matter until the players get onto the field during the regular season.

I know it’s still worthwhile to at least see how they look without pads and against no defenders, but if Carson Wentz throws a nice touchdown with nobody covering the receiver, or if Sam Bradford happens to throw one more interception than anyone else in a meaningless practice, should we really start to judge these players’ actual skills?

News flash: No.

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It’s silly. It’s also essentially meaningless. So many things will change from now until training camp, and then a whole bunch of things will change in the preseason too. People get too caught up in trying to make legitimate observations from 100 yards away or via other people’s reports that cloud our actual judgment. This is how people end up unfairly treating players and creating expectations that just can’t be met.

Last year, there was plenty of this. Remember when Nelson Agholor jumped up and made an incredible catch for a touchdown in the team’s first preseason game of the year? And then he led the team in receiving the next game in their blowout win over the Ravens. And then people said he needed to be Offensive Rookie of the Year or he’d be a bust. He certainly had a disappointing season, but he was a rookie on a bad offensive team…there’s only so much you can expect.

Example two: Bradford’s 10/10, 121 yard and three touchdown game against the Packers had people placing him on top of the highest pedestal possible. All of a sudden he was a legendary quarterback who would lead the team to the Super Bowl. And when he expectedly struggled in the first few games of the season, people were devastated and angry. “But he looked so good in the preseason!” Exactly, it was the preseason.

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Example three, and my favorite of all: People began reporting that Josh Huff looked jacked. Shall we jump to conclusions? So many people jumped on the Huff bandwagon and said he was going to break out and have 1,000 yards. And when he obviously didn’t, people were left disappointed and confused. “But he looked so strong in the preseason!” Exactly. It was the preseason.

Now I don’t want to make it sound like you can’t be excited as a fan or have expectations of any kind. But Philadelphia fans have been known for building people up, only to see them come crashing to reality and are left utterly disappointed. And that disappointment turns into anger towards the players for not living up to these incredibly unrealistic goals. Do you know how rare it is for a team to have two 1,000 yard receivers in the same year, much less three (or four)? These are the kinds of things Eagles fans need to stop asking for.

At the end of the day, everyone knows we’re all just dying for that one holy grail: the Super Bowl. But in between now and the time when they finally win it, let’s cool down with our wild expectations and take everything with a grain of salt. Just let the players play.