Eagles

Eagles training camp 2020 observations Day 6: New cornerbacks have a big day

Eagles
(Pool Photo) Yong Kim/Philadelphia Inquirer

After having Saturday off, the Eagles were back at the NovaCare Complex at 10:30 a.m. for another practice on Sunday. 

The Eagles had helmets Sunday but were not in full pads. They’ll ramp up this week before their next live (tackling to the ground) session. 

I got through the temperature check with a 97.9 today. I’ve found some consistency there. 

To the obs! 

1. Nickell Robey-Coleman had an impressive day. The Eagles’ new nickel corner and free agent acquisition was sticky in coverage, especially when the Eagles had 1-on-1s between WRs and DBs. Those drills are definitely easier for receivers, but NRC was tough in coverage, even against DeSean Jackson. 

The Eagles signed the 28-year-old to a one-year, $1.35 million contract, which was an absolute bargain for one of the NFL’s best nickel corners. So far, he looks to be worth it.  

2. Darius Slay had a big interception. Carson Wentz tried to get a ball to Zach Ertz but overthrew him and Slay was waiting there to pick it off. After the pick, he showed off his wheels, racing down the left sideline. Slay has 19 career interceptions since he entered the league in 2013. There are just nine players in the league with more since 2013. 

3. Jalen Hurts kept connecting with Deontay Burnett during the 11-on-11 portion of practice. He zipped a ball to Burnett in the middle of the field through tight coverage from Cre’Von LeBlanc for a first down. Then he hit him with a bullet as he rolled right. After a short run, Hurts kept a play alive and found Burnett in the end zone after he shook a defender. 

 

Hurts isn’t afraid to fire a ball into a tight window and he’s clearly confident. It’s also obvious how dangerous he can be throwing on the run, especially when he’s rolling to the right (his throwing arm side).  

4. Plenty of guys added to the injury report today: 

You’ll notice all those guys with an “illness” designation. While we can’t speculate about their injuries, it is worth noting that the Eagles do use the NJ lab responsible for a bunch of positive COVID-19 tests that has prompted an investigation into the results. The Eagles had four players miss practice with an “illness” designation on Friday but all four of those players returned Sunday. 

5. Andre Dillard had to leave practice early after suffering an injury during an 11-on-11 portion of practice. And Lane Johnson is day-to-day with an injury of his own. So the Eagles’ OL looked very different for a lot of Sunday. 

From left to right: Jordan Mailata, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Jason Peters, Matt Pryor

Later in practice, when Peters took some reps off, Nate Herbig replaced him at right guard. 

Despite putting Mailata at left tackle on Sunday, the Eagles probably wouldn’t do that in a game if Dillard misses time. My guess would be that Peters would slide back to left tackle and the Eagles would put Pryor in his spot at right guard. 

6. Josh Perkins left Friday’s practice early and is “out indefinitely,” which doesn’t sound good. That means undrafted rookie Noah Togiai has a real chance to make the roster. He made a solid catch today on a pass from a rolling Nate Sudfeld. 

7. A few notes from a pretty competitive WR vs. DB 1-on-1 drill: 

- Robey-Coleman, as we mentioned above, made a few great PBUs. 

- Jalen Reagor got Will Parks all turned around with a great change-of-direction move. Reagor is way shiftier than I realized coming into camp. 

- The Eagles had J.J. Arcega-Whiteside going against Avonte Maddox in this drill. JJAW was able to use his body to create separation. But I like the idea of Maddox getting work against bigger-bodied receivers. That might be his biggest problem this year. 

- DeSean Jackson was able to use his speed to create some separation from Slay. 

8. Speaking of DeSean, he’s as speedy as ever. The only real question is about whether he’ll be able to stay healthy in 2020. I’ve been impressed that Wentz and Jackson seemed to pick up where they left off in Week 1 against Washington. Jackson doesn’t get a ton of reps in practice but he’s elite speed allows him to get open all the time, even against players like Slay. He did it to Slay during an 11-on-11 portion of practice too. The DB has to respect this deep ball ability and Jackson can break at the top of a route to come back and pick up chunks. 

 

9. The defensive line had another good day with plenty more sacks. Fletcher Cox, Malik Jackson and other kept getting to the quarterback. Doug Pederson said on Sunday morning that he’s not concerned with his OL getting abused by the DL. It’s fair to point out that the Eagles’ OL by the end of Sunday’s session wasn’t ideal. 

10. Marcus Green, who is one of the real long shots at receiver, had a great catch today over LeBlanc for a touchdown. Perfect throw, perfect catch in the corner of the end zone. 

11. During 7-on-7s, the Eagles normally get one of their backup centers to snap footballs but for a few reps when Nate Sudfeld was out there with the second team, Jason Kelce was in there to snap him the ball. Sudfeld also got some work with the first team in Friday’s practice. It seems pretty clear that Pederson is getting his backup quarterback extra time with the starting center just in case.  

12. It’s becoming pretty clear that if the Eagles keep four running backs, the favorite is Elijah Holyfield. In the first six practices, Holyfield seems to have an edge over the rookies Mike Warren and Adrian Killins. Without Clement and Miles Sanders on Sunday — and with Boston Scott limited — Holyfield got a lot of work with the starters and he looks good. Wentz had a big touchdown completion over the top to Holyfield late in Sunday’s practice. 

13. Kelce wore a No. 33 Kobe Bryant Lower Merion jersey out to practice on Sunday, which would have been Bryant’s 42nd birthday. Kelce took off the jersey and put on his shoulder pads before practice began. 

14. Dallas Goedert has a hairline fracture in his thumb, but he was at practice today with a cast on his left hand. He doesn’t really need this practice time but good for him, getting back out there. 

Stupid Observation of the Day: At one point on Sunday when Burnett made a nice first-down grab, he celebrated toward the near-empty sideline. That’s when the defense reminded him there are no fans at practice this year. It’s eerily silent at these practices because of it.