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May 28, 2015

Eagles OTA practice notes, May 28, 2015: The first glimpses of the new guys

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052815DeMarcoMurray Matt Slocum/AP

Eagles media got their first look at DeMarco Murray in an Eagles uniform today.

Thursday kicked off the first live Eagles practice of the offseason in front of the media. Unfortunately, team drills were waaaaay down on the other end of the practice fields, so it was very difficult to really say how anyone played today. Still, there were plenty of observations to be made. 

• The limited participants in practice were Sam Bradford, Earl Wolff, and Marcus Smith. Bradford jogged around a little and made some easy passes, but did not play in team drills. From the little I saw of him, his quick release is obvious. Earl Wolff remains a constant on the "limited participation" front. I don't want to write him off in May, but the coaching staff can't be thrilled that he's seemingly always missing practices and games.

• Free agent CB acquisition Walter Thurmond got some work in at safety. He stripped G.J. Kinne on one play (in non-contact drills), when Kinne got some reps at wide receiver.

• Nelson Agholor did not practice Thursday. He was an excused absence, as he was attending an NFL event. At one point, Jordan Matthews, Riley Cooper, and Josh Huff got reps with the 1's, with Matthews in the slot. Later in practice, it was Matthews, Cooper and Jeff Maehl, with Matthews on the outside. Matthews had previously said his role would be expanded by playing some on the outside. We saw that Thursday.

Matthews also got some reps as a punt returner, and he was fielding punts while holding a bunch of footballs. I believe at the end he had caught five of them:

Matthews, Darren Sproles, Miles Austin, and Kenjon Barner all got reps fielding punts. Sproles will obviously be the primary guy there this year, but Matthews could assume the Jeremy Maclin "make sure you secure it" role of a year ago if Sproles is hurt.

• Tim Tebow was picked off on a tipped pass at the line of scrimmage by rookie DE Brian Mihalik. Tebow's windup takes a lifetime. It's fairly easy for defensive linemen to get their hands up to bat passes when it takes the QB eight seconds (estimated) to get the ball out of his hands.

• After Chip Kelly's crazy first offseason with full control, there are a ton of new faces at the NovaCare Complex. Every year, the Eagles give out sheets to the media of the new faces. This year, it required two sheets:

New faces 1

New faces 2

• Emmanuel Acho worked with the OLBs today. Acho has some pass rush skills, so he makes sense among the back of the roster guys to move to OLB with the logjam at ILB.

• Quasi-GM Ed Marynowitz was involved in practice. He threw passes to defensive backs during interception drills. Marynowitz used to be a QB for La Salle.

• Cowboys running back Joseph Randle, who has done nothing in the NFL, noted that 2014 rushing champ DeMarco Murray left a lot of meat on the bone last year. ("Leaving meat on the bone" means that he didn't gain as many yards as he should have). Naturally, Murray was asked about those comments after practice. He took the high road, or perhaps a subtle jab, saying that Randle is "a good kid."

DeMarco Murray Joseph Randle

Follow Jimmy on Twitter: @JimmyKempski