The Eagles were back at practice Wednesday afternoon, their second of three mandatory minicamp sessions.
Tuesday's observations focused on Darren Sproles and Michael Bennett joining the team for the mandatory portion of camp (see story).
Today, we’ll focus on a guy who’s been around but isn’t healthy just yet.
1. During the team portion of practice, which was happening on the far side of the field, Carson Wentz and Alshon Jeffery had a little catch. Nothing too taxing, but the sight of Wentz throwing to Jeffery was enough for everyone to take notice.
It’s the first time we’ve seen Jeffery catch passes since he needed rotator cuff surgery after the season. And it’s the first time we’ve seen Wentz throw to Jeffery since early December. For the most part, Wentz was on the money with his throws, but a few times, they were just a tad higher than in the chest. Jeffery looked fine raising his arms to catch a ball, a good sign after shoulder surgery.
“It’s good,” Wentz said. “Obviously, we’d love to be out there competing and all these things. I know it’s tough for him to watch from the sidelines too, just like it is for any competitor.”
2. Sidney Jones is still not practicing. Doug Pederson said the second-year corner is suffering from some lower-body soreness that’s not related to that Achilles injury from last year. The same guys who haven’t been practicing weren’t practicing again today.
That includes big Haloti Ngata.
3. At one point during individual drills, Wentz dropped back to pass and instead of a ball boy, his receiver was Nick Foles. The Super Bowl MVP is also possibly the most famous receiver in Eagles’ Super Bowl history.
Maybe he’s gearing up for Philly Special 2.0.
4. Darren Sproles got a few more reps coming out of the backfield against air and he still has it. So quick, so agile, so smooth coming out of the backfield. He doesn’t need the extra reps. Just bubble-wrap him until Week 1.
5. The play of the day came during 7-on-7s, when Nate Sudfeld dropped in a beautiful deep ball to Bryce Treggs, who needed to stretch out to make the fingertips catch. It’s not hard to see why the Eagles are so high on Sudfeld. He can drop dimes.
6. We saw some trickeration from the Eagles today. On the very first play of team, former quarterback Greg Ward took a pitch from his receiver position and tried to hit Mike Wallace deep down the field. The pass fell incomplete. It didn’t even come close to working, but the fact that the Eagles are working on that stuff — there were more gadgety plays too — means they feel pretty good about the basics.
7. The nickel corner carousel continued to spin today. This time, first-year player D.J. Killings took his turn. So Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby were outside, with Killings in the slot. The only guy who still hasn’t gotten reps in the slot with the first team — and he won’t — is Rasul Douglas.
8. Sudfeld found Dallas Goedert on a beautifully timed pass and route during 11-on-11s. Goedert has been really impressive this spring. It’s still early and we’ll have to see what he can do once the pads go on, but he’s looking like he can make an immediate impact this season. He and Sudfeld have really worked well together.
9. Nate Gerry dropped back into coverage and picked off a pass from Foles during a team snap. Gerry is in the competition for the weakside linebacker spot once owned by Mychal Kendricks. He’s in that competition with Kamu Grugier-Hill and free agent pickup Corey Nelson. Gerry continues to push hard.
10. During 11-on-11s, Donnel Pumphrey got a rare rep with the first team and he made the most of it. He caught a quick little swing pass and then showed off some athleticism and shiftiness. Like we’ve said before about Pumphrey … long way to go, but his NFL career isn’t dead yet.
Stupid Observation of the Day: The Eagles switched up the practice playlist today. Plenty of classic rock in the beginning. The music highlight of the day is when “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” came on and Grugier-Hill did a little country dance during a special teams drill.