Eagles training camp observations, Day 14: Defense dominates

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Eagles training camp observations, Day 14: Defense dominates

Today marked the 14th day of training camp, so we’ve now seen the equivalent of two full weeks. 

Just one more practice of training camp tomorrow. After that, the Eagles play the Patriots on Thursday night in Foxboro and when they get back to the NovaCare Complex, training camp is officially over. 

Time for the penultimate training camp observations for 2018: 

1. Every once in a while, a day comes along where one side of the ball completely dominates the other. It hadn’t happened at all this training camp, but it absolutely happened today. The defense won the day in a landslide. There were interceptions all over the field. 

To put it more accurately, the DBs won the day. It’s so much fun to watch when the DBs are having a strong day because they’re happy and the offense is miserable. They can completely wreck a practice and when they do, they let everyone one know about it. 

The following players had interceptions: Chandon Sullivan, Avonte Maddox, Trey Sullivan, Nate Gerry, Jalen Mills. Just about everyone in the secondary knocked away a pass. 

It’s possible we saw domination from the defense today because the offense is lacking weapons. With several key skill guys out, the backups have been getting a ton of reps and are probably worn out a little. 

2. For the first time in training camp, the Eagles were forced into the practice bubble at the NovaCare Complex because of rain. At least we got to see one of the new additions to the space: 


3. Good news today: He didn’t participate in team drills, but rookie tight end Dallas Goedert was back at practice after missing yesterday for a minor injury to his arm. 

Everyone truly freaked out about nothing. 


Not practicing today: Nelson Agholor, Corey Clement, Donnel Pumphrey, Mack Hollins, Markus Wheaton, Asantay Brown. 

4. Christian Hackenberg made his Eagles debut today, wearing No. 8, which was Donnie Jones’ number for the last few years. 

Hackenberg is a big guy (6-foot-4), but he looks smaller next to the Eagles’ top three quarterbacks, who are all at least 6-5. 

The Eagles’ new quarterback did a few individual drills in his first practice but didn’t get any team reps. To me, that’s a problem. Not sure the Eagles are ever going to be able to give him enough practice reps to truly evaluate him fairly. After today’s practice, Hackenberg stayed in the bubble to get a few extra throws in. 

5. Carson Wentz still isn’t doing 11-on-11 drills, but he continued to do 7-on-7s and got more work today than he has in other recent practices. It wasn’t a good day for him, but it wasn’t a good day for any QBs. 

Wentz wasn’t able to get a touchdown pass in the 7-on-7s in the red zone, but he should have had one. Mike Wallace bobbled a ball in the end zone and Ronald Darby was there to knock it away. 

6. Rookie Avonte Maddox got first-team reps as the nickel cornerback for the third straight day. Nate Gerry was back as the first-team WILL. 

The Eagles used their jumbo package some today when the offense was in the red zone and also when they were backed up. That means the following linebackers were on the field: Jordan Hicks, Nigel Bradham, Gerry and Joe Walker were out there. Walker is probably higher on the depth chart than outsiders realize.  

7. Sidney Jones was having a rough day for most of practice. Relegated to second-team slot corner, Jones had tight coverage a lot of the day, but guys were freeing themselves just enough to catch balls around him. Eventually, though, Jones had a nice interception and returned it the other way. It was a nice play to jump the route. 

8. Darren Sproles is 35 and has nothing to prove to anyone, but during a blitz pickup drill, he let Jordan Hicks get around him and the 5-foot-6 ball of muscle was mad at himself. He let out a yell and slapped himself on the leg. That kind of passion from an aging vet is contagious. 

9. Coming into today, kicker Jake Elliott had been perfect all camp. He missed a few kicks today from inside 50. Pretty uncharacteristic day for him. Maybe it has something to do with being indoors in the tiny bubble. 

10. The play of the day belonged to rookie cornerback Chandon Sullivan. During a red zone drill, he leaped up and made a diving interception on a pass from Joe Callahan. Unfortunately, Sullivan came down pretty hard and looked like he banged his head. He needed to get checked out by trainers. We'll see if he's out there tomorrow. 

Stupid Observation of the Day: Today had to be the biggest media scrum ever for a fifth-string quarterback. 

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Eagle Eye podcast: Eagles still not ready to invest at linebacker

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Eagle Eye podcast: Eagles still not ready to invest at linebacker

On the latest Eagle Eye podcast, Reuben Frank is joined by a tired Dave Zangaro, still in Indianapolis at the combine. 

They guys break down Howie Roseman’s recent comments about the linebacker position and Howie’s radio remarks about the Jadeveon Clowney hit. 

The latest on Malcolm Jenkins, the proposed CBA and Rich Scangarello’s role in the Eagles’ offense. 

• Still not ready to spend on linebackers 
• Howie speaks out about Clowney’s hit
• Latest on the Malcolm Jenkins situation 
• A closer look at the proposed CBA and why it’s going to pass 
• Figuring out Rich Scangarello’s importance to the offense 
• And what if the Eagles bring back Alshon Jeffery? 

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NFL Free Agency: Eagles could face Jadeveon Clowney next year on NFC East rival

NFL Free Agency: Eagles could face Jadeveon Clowney next year on NFC East rival

Jadeveon Clowney is Public Enemy No. 1 for Eagles fans right now, after his dirty hit in the Wild Card round injured Carson Wentz and ended the Birds' playoff hopes.

Can you imagine facing Clowney twice in 2020? That might end up a reality, according to a report from none other than ESPN's Josina Anderson, another villain from the Wentz hit fallout.

Anderson reports that Clowney is opening to returning to the Seahawks in 2020, but is also open to other opportunities, and could be courted by an Eagles rival:

Ignoring the football implications for now - Clowney, antics aside, is good at football - let's think instead about the absolute mayhem that would meet Clowney when the Giants visited The Linc.

It would probably be... a lot. For a fanbase willing to boo its own guys, that's nothing compared to the wrath Philly fans unleash when they feel they've been wronged by a player, justified or not. Just ask Sidney Crosby how his last decade-plus of visits to this side of the state have been, without anything nearly as malicious on his rap sheet.

The entire organization was angry about the play, from guys like Jason Peters in the hours after the hit to Howie Roseman talking about its lingering effects just this week (see story), which means we'd likely see a fired-up team take the field in that first Giants game, especially if it happened to be at home, emotions swirling in the South Philly winds.

Roseman encapsulated most fans' feelings when he spoke at the NFL Combine on Wednesday:

We thought that was a foul. We’re sick to our stomach about the way our season ended for our team and Carson in particular. (...) Doug’s sick. Jeffery’s sick about it. Our whole organization is sick about it. We’re there, we have a home playoff game, eight plays in? Come on.

Luckily for Eagles fans seeking to voice their frustration, even if Clowney goes back to Seattle, he'll still visit the Linc next year. But it would be doubly satisfying to beat him while he plays for a division rival.

Can you imagine the roar of the crowd as Wentz spins out of a Clowney sack attempt, rolls to his right, and rifles a pass to Dallas Goedert to go up by two scores? The Linc might not survive.

We'll see what happens.

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