The Eagles wrapped up their two joint practices with the Ravens on Tuesday and tempers finally flared a little bit.
Overall, it was two good days of work for both teams and arguably more beneficial than any preseason game would be.
In my opinion, the Eagles’ offense probably got more out of these two days than the Eagles’ defense because the Ravens’ defense and secondary are pretty darn good. Carson Wentz won some and he lost some over the last two days. I thought he was solid on Tuesday.
This was the last open practice of the summer, so thanks for following along on all these daily observations. It’s been a blast.
One more time:
1. We’ve talked so much about the cornerback battle this summer, but it might be time to throw Vinny Curry into the mix! OK, just kidding. But the veteran defensive end did have what was probably the interception of the summer. On a play where Malcolm Jenkins blitzed up the gut, Lamar Jackson threw a pass and didn’t expect the 279-pound defensive lineman to drop back into coverage.
Curry laid out going backwards and picked off the pass. After that … not so great. He began to run and tried to lateral the ball back to Avonte Maddox but it bounced a couple times before Rodney McLeod picked it up and kept running.
(We should mention that the play was actually whistled dead as a sack for Jenkins long before the INT, but don’t ruin our fun. A big guy made a super athletic play and it should be celebrated.)
2. Andre Dillard, Zach Brown and Nate Herbig all returned to practice today after leaving Monday’s session early. Richard Rodgers, after being carted off yesterday, was not at practice. Same for WR Charles Johnson (ankle). Rookie receiver DeAndre Thompkins was at practice but didn’t participate.
Tight end Josh Perkins briefly left Tuesday’s practice but returned not long after.
3. When the Eagles signed TE Alex Ellis on Aug. 2, the word on him was that he was more of a blocking tight end. Well, since then, he’s made a few tremendous catches. Today’s best catch came from Ellis, who laid out horizontally to catch a ball downfield from Josh McCown.
Keep an eye on Ellis. I don’t think he’s ready to be on the active roster this year, but he might be a good candidate for the practice squad as a developmental player.
4. McCown had a good day today. After throwing mostly check-downs on Monday, McCown pushed the ball downfield more today, including that throw to Ellis. It’ll be up to the coaches if he plays Thursday night, but he’d be able to. I have full confidence in his ability to pick up his 1,000th NFL offense.
5. We had two scuffles today. The first involved Greg Ward after a catch when he was knocked to the ground. That one was just a shove or two after the play.
The bigger scuffle involved Eagles’ undrafted rookie defensive tackle Kevin Wilkins and Ravens’ OL Isaiah Williams. The two big boys kept pushing and shoving after the whistle and it was getting heated. Eventually, their teammates broke them up and Doug Pederson yelled for his guys to get back to the huddle.
6. I skipped 7-on-7s to watch OL vs. DL drills today. I could only see the Eagles’ offensive line vs. the Ravens’ defensive line. Here are a few notes from that:
- Brandon Brooks, who just got cleared for these drills, held up well in a 2-on-2 with Halapoulivaati Vaitai. They faced a stunt from Pernell McPhee and Tim Williams. They did a nice job surfacing their blocks and passing their guys off. Brooks threw McPhee and eventually had Williams (252 pounds) on the ground.
- On one rep, Tim Williams got inside Andre Dillard and forced the Eagles’ first-round pick to hold. But on the next rep, Dillard was ready for the inside move and moved his feet quickly enough to stop it.
- Isaac Seumalo looks more powerful than I’ve seen him in the past. On one rep, he shut down a power move from 340-pound Michael Pierce. That's impressive, to shut down a guy who weighs 40 pounds more than you in a 1-on-1.
- Jordan Mailata had two good reps. Once he stopped a power move from Williams and then he forced Shane Ray outside on a speed rush.
7. Former Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley had a rough day. He threw three interceptions in one period late in practice. Credit Tre Sullivan, Jeremiah McKinnon and Ajene Harris with those picks.
8. Mack Hollins dropped his second deep ball in three days. This time, Wentz had his best throw of the day. A gorgeous deep ball to Hollins, who was blanketed by a defender. Wentz hit Hollins in the hands perfectly in stride and Hollins just dropped it. It’s a good sign to see Hollins healthy and he’s likely going to make the roster, but he’s missing chances to make a positive impression.
9. Rookie linebacker T.J. Edwards came soooo close to making his first huge play of the summer. He nearly picked off a pass with a full head of steam; it might have been pick-6. He did everything but catch the ball, which bounced off his hands. Edwards has gotten much better as the summer has gone on.
10. Saw the Eagles work Darren Sproles in the slot a bit today, which is probably some foreshadowing of how they’ll use him at times this season. On one play, he started in the slot on the left side of the field, was brought in motion and then caught a swing pass from Wentz with his momentum going right. Getting Sproles in space, even at 36 years old, is still a mismatch for defenses.
Stupid Observation of the Day: I actually made this observation yesterday, but it holds true:
Ravens' QBs wear black jerseys in practice, which is stupid because the rest of the offense wears purple. Why wouldn't your QBs wear a color that stands out?— Dave Zangaro (@DZangaroNBCS) August 19, 2019
Especially in a practice against a different team that's not used to it.
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