The Eagles had their first full-squad practice on Thursday afternoon, following conditioning tests in the morning.
Head coach Doug Pederson said his players "really knocked [the conditioning test] out."
Practice began at 12:45 p.m. and offered our first look at the entire squad together at training camp. While it was a really light workout — they call it a "10-10-10" — practice still allowed us to see which players were working with the starters.
The day after offensive coordinator Frank Reich named Isaac Seumalo the starter, Seumalo took his place at left guard between Jason Peters and Jason Kelce. It's worth noting that Chance Warmack took second-team left guard reps. He is a former first-round pick who, if he rediscovers that magic, might have a shot at taking the starting gig.
Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith were the team's two outside receivers, while Jordan Matthews and Nelson Agholor took reps in the slot.
On the other side of the ball, Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry took first-team reps. For the most part, they lined up with Graham at left end and Curry at right end. Chris Long took second-team reps at left, and Derek Barnett took second-team reps at right end. Barnett at right end is noteworthy because he might have a chance to beat out Curry for a starting gig during camp.
The Eagles used Jalen Mills and Patrick Robinson as their two starting outside corners, with Ron Brooks coming in as the nickel corner. This is a change from the spring when Brooks was still out with injury. During OTAs, Mills was sliding inside in the nickel package and rookie Rasul Douglas took one of the outside spots. On Thursday, Douglas was a part of the second unit, along with C.J. Smith and Aaron Grymes.
Let's get physical
Douglas, the third-round rookie from West Virginia, has pretty good size. At 6-2, 209, he has the type of body that can match up against some of the NFL's bigger targets. And he likes to use that body.
Early in camp, it's been a little tough for him because he hasn't been allowed to use press coverage as much as he would like. That should change soon when the first real practices of camp begin.
A few times over the first several days, defensive backs coach Cory Undlin has given Douglas the go-ahead to press and the rookie has shown the ability to jam guys at the line. It's an important part of his game.
"It's big," Douglas said. "I like being at the line of scrimmage. That's where I'm more comfortable at. And it gives me an advantage to mess up timing, using my arms."
The Eagles had referees out at practice Thursday, but the real competition hasn't yet begun. Douglas said he likes to test refs to see just how much contact he can get away with.
"Definitely," he said. "You definitely want to grab them a little bit, maybe touch them a few more yards after five. And just see what the ref has to say. If he comes back to you and says you're a little grabby, now you know, OK, this is how you're going to call the game for the rest of the game. But if he lets you, then you know he's going to let me play, so you just play ball."
The day after moves
Pederson addressed the media on Thursday afternoon for the first time since the Eagles traded Allen Barbre to the Broncos and released former first-round pick Marcus Smith.
Why did the Eagles decide to trade Barbre?
"Well, first of all, I appreciate everything Allen did for us last year for this organization, last couple of seasons, obviously," Pederson said. "You know, again, it's a situation where we feel real comfortable, I feel real comfortable with some of the young guys on our roster, and to make the move now — and obviously it worked out that we were able to get something for Allen to do it now early. It allows him to be established and it allows our younger players to grow a little bit."
And then there's Smith. Pederson was the Chiefs' offensive coordinator in 2014 when the Eagles used a first-round pick on Smith, so he doesn't get the blame.
But it's still disappointing when a first-rounder doesn't work out.
"Well, obviously you want all your draft picks to make your squad," Pederson said. "But again, every case is different. Again, we're very pleased, very happy with some of the performances of our younger players. Again, it's a great opportunity for Marcus now to get in with a camp and get picked up and continue his career."
Smith cleared waivers on Thursday and is now a free agent.