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No minicamp, another QB: A look at the state of the Philadelphia Eagles

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Spears: Hurts needs to prove his leadership to Eagles (0:59)

Marcus Spears explains why Jalen Hurts needs to prove his leadership through his play this upcoming season. (0:59)

PHILADELPHIA -- The Eagles shook up their quarterback room this week by releasing rookie free agent Jamie Newman and signing former San Francisco 49ers QB Nick Mullens.

Mullens, 26, has started 16 games over the past three seasons as an injury replacement to 49ers starter Jimmy Garoppolo, completing 64.5% of his passes with 25 touchdowns, 22 interceptions and eight fumbles (four lost) while racking up yards at a healthy clip.

Mullens was placed on injured reserve in December with an injury to his throwing elbow that required surgery. His health will help determine whether he makes the team as the third quarterback behind Jalen Hurts and Joe Flacco, as will the Eagles' decision on whether to keep two or three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster come September.

In the meantime, Eagles coach Nick Sirianni gets an extra arm for training camp and the ability to teach another QB his system. If things go well with Mullens, Philadelphia will add some experience to a quarterback group led by Hurts, who enters Year 2 with four career starts and appears to have the backing of his veteran teammates.

Sirianni preaches accountability

The Eagles were among a group of four NFL teams to cancel mandatory minicamp after Philadelphia received input from veteran players. Additionally, the Eagles eliminated 7-on-7 and team drills during the two weeks of organized team activities, which wrapped on June 4. The tradeoff was the OTAs were well-attended. Sirianni's staff was able to focus heavily on teaching the system and fundamentals, but got little field work in this offseason. There is almost a two-month gap between the last session and when the team reports to training camp July 27.

Among the group of four (Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia), the Texans and Eagles were the only teams to also have first-year head coaches.

The lack of practice is less than ideal for Sirianni, who needs his players to hold up their end of the bargain while they're away if they're to hit the ground running when they reconvene.

"I talked about accountability to them," Sirianni said on the final day of OTAs. "If you do what you're supposed to do each day in and out, that's going to show up when it comes time for the fall. And I just encouraged them [to] get in the books. Football IQ is so important, to get in the books, to watch the tapes over again from our practices and watch the installs over again. And when you're out in the field, work on the fundamentals we talked about.

"The other thing we talked about [was] continue to practice good habits, stay out of trouble and then be ready to come into camp in the best physical shape of your life. Because when you're in the best physical shape of your life, now your football IQ and your fundamentals can really show. "

Early word on Eagles' top two draft picks

The Eagles might not have gotten in much field work, but rookie wide receiver DeVonta Smith's talent was still clear to see during OTAs. There's a fluidity to his movement -- from his long strides when he runs and how he extends his arms for a catch to the way he contorts and controls his body mid-air -- that stands out brightly even when surrounded by world-class athletes.

"There's so much to like about this guy," said receivers coach Aaron Moorehead of Smith, the 22-year-old Heisman Trophy winner out of Alabama who was selected 10th overall by the Eagles in April's NFL draft. "He just made plays from all over the field [at Alabama] -- inside, outside, they motioned him, all kinds of different things -- and you could tell not only from the film, but after you get done talking to him during the pre-draft interviews just how smart he is. It wasn't challenging for him to move to all those different [positions], and that's something I know we value as an offense.

"Just kind of excited to see the progression from rookie camp to OTAs into now, moving forward into training camp."

The Eagles drafted another Alabama alum, offensive lineman Landon Dickerson, in the second round. Dickerson was a limited participant this offseason as he recovers from an ACL tear, with the hopes of him being available for the start of the regular season.

Offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland is going off what he saw on film, and what he has seen in the meeting room, to evaluate Dickerson.

"When you look at the job description of an interior player ... for that player to have as much value to any organization, he has to displace interior [defensive linemen], move them, which is really hard to do, and then you have to be able to anchor and keep the pocket extremely firm in protection," Stoutland said. "Those are two really important factors, and he can do that."

Stoutland described Dickerson, 22, as confident, mature and serious.

"All of [the offensive linemen] have this one thing in common: football is very important to them," Stoutland said. "Teammates are very important to them. That's the one ingredient they all have, and he is the epitome of that."