Defensive end Michael Bennett and running back Darren Sproles were not in attendance as the Eagles opened OTAs on Tuesday.
Bennett’s absence is not related to his ongoing legal matter, according to coach Doug Pederson, who took Bennett’s absence in stride.
I really don’t have any concern going forward with him acclimating himself to the defense, he said. You’ve been around long enough to understand [defensive coordinator] Jim [Schwartz]’s style and what we teach and it fits his strength, and that’s roll off the ball as a D-lineman. It’s just a matter of getting him in here and getting him around his teammates.
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It is also the first time in Keenum’s seven-year career that he will work through OTAs, minicamp and training camp with the knowledge that he is the starter. After leading the Minnesota Vikings to an 11-3 record in his starts last season, Keenum aims to lead the Broncos out of the 5-11 hole of 2017.
It feels good, I like it, Keenum said of knowing he’s the starter. I like competing, knowing my place and knowing my role. There’s some comfortableness with that and puts some things at ease and lets you go out there and play, lets you cut it loose. It’s nice. … I’m just trying to earn the right to lead these guys. … I want to earn that right every day that I’m here, that’s how I view the position. … I want my actions to speak louder than the words.
The Broncos’ receivers, including Emmanuel Sanders, have talked of Keenum’s accuracy and his ability to control the offense in the team’s early workouts. But Tuesday was the first time the Broncos could work offense against defense in drills, and Keenum showed his comfort level with the offense to this point with a pile of completions in the team drills.
This is Case’s first chance to really be the guy, Broncos coach Vance Joseph said. So, he’s excited, I’m excited for him. For his entire career he’s been a backup and become the starter because of injury most of the time. This is his first time being the guy. It’s good for him. … It’s good to have a guy in place.