Eagles training camp Day 3 observations: Backup QB day

Eagles training camp Day 3 observations: Backup QB day

For the first two days of training camp, Carson Wentz was the first player on the field. 

That wasn't the case Wednesday. 

Wentz and backup quarterback Nick Foles were both given the day off. That means these observations are full Matt McGloin and Dane Evans. 

Exciting, right? 

Let's go: 

1. Wentz hadn't really been taking very many reps in the first two days of camp anyway. The Eagles have chosen to lighten his load until the rest of the vets arrive. 

"This year, it's different than last year," offensive coordinator Frank Reich said. "[Wentz] comes in as the guy. He's going to get more reps. The reps aren't going to be split equally. It's just good business to keep that in the equation, just kind of keep monitoring that."

In addition to Wentz and Foles, cornerback Ron Brooks also got the day off. 

Pederson rested veterans on the third day of camp last year too, which meant Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel were off and Wentz got a bulk of the reps (see story). That feels like 10 years ago. 

2. In the first (and shorter) 7-on-7 session, third-string quarterback Matt McGloin got most of the reps, while undrafted rookie Dane Evans took just a couple. That's worth noting. 

Eventually, the Eagles are going to have a decision to make at quarterback. The top two are set, but will they want to keep McGloin on the 53-man roster? If not, their best bet — if they like Evans — might be to stash the undrafted rookie on the practice squad and save the roster spot. 

So there isn't a quarterback competition at starter this training camp, but there might be one for the third job in the building. 

3. With all eyes on McGloin, the veteran QB picked a bad time to have a bad day. He was just off early in practice. He overshot Mack Hollins deep, then he threw a pass behind Marcus Johnson. In the second 7-on-7 session, McGloin settled down some and hit some receivers in the end zone. 

4. Evans looked OK but was hurt by a couple drops from his receivers. First, Johnson dropped one in the back of the end zone and then Hollins did the same. 

5. After Hollins' drop, the rookie dropped to the ground and did pushups. The North Carolina product said he doesn't like doing pushups, so it's a kind of punishment for himself. 

6. Undrafted rookie wide receiver Greg Ward, Jr., has been getting a ton of opportunity during the first three days of training camp and he's made the most of it. The former Houston quarterback has been working hard to make the transition to NFL receiver. He played some wideout early in college, but then became a full-time quarterback.

"I think Greg's transition has been phenomenal," Reich said. "I say that, I get excited as a coach. He has some really instinctive, natural movements as a slot receiver. Things that are even hard to coach that he does exceedingly well. He has a knack. He has very good ball skills. I'm really surprised and I think he's way exceeded expectations. Now, the other side of me, 'OK, Frank. Temper that. We have a long way to go.'" 

7. We've talked a lot about Donnel Pumphrey's ability to catch passes out of the backfield, but we all had a pretty good idea that he would be able to. The more surprising thing is how smooth undrafted rookie Corey Clement looks as a pass-catcher. The 220-pound back caught just 29 passes during his entire career at Wisconsin. 

8. Linebacker Don Cherry might be a long shot for the final roster, but the former Villanova Wildcat has made some plays the last two days.  

9. Jordan Hicks reported to the NovaCare Complex on Wednesday without any type of brace or cast on his hand. Head coach Doug Pederson confirmed earlier in the week Hicks needed a minor surgery to repair a broken hand. Later this week, Hicks will hopefully provide some answers about his injury and recovery. 

10. It felt pretty good to see the veterans walking into the building this afternoon. Observations from practices with 34 players are tough to find. The entire team will be on the field for a light practice Thursday afternoon. From there, the team will get into the thick of training camp and start preparing for that first preseason game against Green Bay. 

Stupid Observation of the Day: After wearing a green Eagles bucket hat for the first two days of training camp, injured cornerback Sidney Jones traded it in for a green Eagles baseball cap on Day 3. 

Terrell Owens digs deep to find his Hall of Fame presenter

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Terrell Owens digs deep to find his Hall of Fame presenter

A day after we found out that Brian Dawkins picked Troy Vincent to introduce him at the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony this summer, Terrell Owens has picked his presenter. 

No surprise: It's not Donovan McNabb.

After alienating many people in the league throughout his tremendous career, Owens picked a name from his early days. Longtime NFL assistant coach George Stewart, who was Owens' receivers coach in San Francisco, will introduce T.O. at the 2018 induction. 

In a video released by the Hall of Fame, Owens said Stewart "knew what to get out of me."

Now special teams coordinator and assistant head coach for the Chargers, Stewart has been an NFL coach for three decades. He began his time in San Francisco in 1996 (Owens' rookie season) as a special teams coach but was their wide receivers coach from 2000-02.

"Things that George Stewart may say, it may be shocking to a lot of people, but not to him because he knows who I am," Owens said. "... To know who Terrell Owens is, you really have to spend some time with him. Fast forward, George Stewart became a father figure to me."

The first season Stewart became the 49ers' receivers coach, Owens went to his first of six Pro Bowls and was named an All-Pro for the first of five times in his career. Owens was a Pro Bowler and an All-Pro in all three of the seasons that Stewart held the position in San Francisco. 

Of course, Owens' growth under Stewart led to his becoming one of the biggest stars in the NFL.

Eventually, Owens forced his way out of San Francisco and got to Philadelphia. With the Eagles, Owens had a short and tumultuous two seasons, but was also dynamic on the field and nearly helped them pull off a Super Bowl win over the Patriots. 

Owens averaged 93.5 receiving yards per game during his time in Philadelphia, the highest average in franchise history. It wasn't his play that led to his downfall in Philly. It was his beef with McNabb, along with his attempt to strong-arm the Eagles into a new contract. 

Owens was a divisive personality for his entire career. It's likely the reason it took him three tries to make it into the Hall of Fame. Because his numbers don't lie: He's one of the best receivers of all time.

Eagles give Chris Long a raise

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Eagles give Chris Long a raise

The Eagles have given veteran defensive end Chris Long a raise, increasing his base salary from $1 million non-guaranteed to $2½ million fully guaranteed.

The move was first reported by Field Yates of ESPN and confirmed by NBC Sports Philadelphia by a source familiar with the renegotiation who added several details.

Including a $500,000 roster bonus that was also in the previous version of the contract, Long will receive $3 million guaranteed this year instead of $1.5 million non-guaranteed plus $750,000 in easily achieved roster bonuses.

The roster bonus the Eagles eliminated was scheduled to pay Long $46,875 for every game in 2018 that he was on the 46-man game-day roster.

According to the source, Long's 2018 cap figure increases from $2.35 million to $3.1 million. The $750,000 increase comes from the $1.5 million base salary increase combined with the elimination of $750,000 in "likely-to-be-earned" incentives.

That $3.1 million cap figure comes from the $2.5 million base salary plus the $500,000 roster bonus and $100,000 in pro-rated signing bonus money from his original $500,000 signing bonus.

The $500,000 roster bonus that carried over from his previous contract isn't technically guaranteed, but Long already received it on the third day of the league year (last week), so we'll call it guaranteed.

The new deal also includes $750,000 in playing-time, performance and team incentive bonuses that are considered "not likely to be earned" and which do not count against the Eagles' 2018 salary cap. 

Long's original deal, signed before last season, was a five-year contract, but the 2019 through 2021 seasons are already guaranteed to void.

Long had five sacks and forced four fumbles last year as a rotational defensive end. He wound up playing 496 snaps, 10th-most on the defense and only about 10 per game fewer than starter and Pro Bowler Brandon Graham and five per game fewer than starter Vinny Curry, who the Eagles released.

Long, who turns 33 next week, has 63½ career sacks. His 5.0 sacks last year were his most since 2013. He's won back-to-back Super Bowls the last two years with the Eagles and Patriots.