The Eagles were back at it for Day 2 in pads and they’re starting to ramp up here as training camp goes on.
Day 1 was a lighter 10-10-10 practice but today was definitely more competitive.
I cruised through the mandatory temperature check to enter practice with a 97.8 today after yesterday’s 98.9. A cool morning for me.
Let’s get to the observations:
1. As always, let’s start with injuries. Still not practicing were Derek Barnett and Javon Hargrave. Their injuries are more significant, although they reportedly have a good shot to be ready for the opener.
There was some good news on Tuesday as Jason Peters (lower body), J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (lower body) and Duke Riley (illness) all returned to practice. Peters and Arcega-Whiteside were limited and didn’t do any team drills. Peters was involved in the group install period at right guard.
Riley looked to be a full participant.
It was also a veteran maintenance day for Jason Kelce, DeSean Jackson and Malik Jackson.
2. A few depth chart notes:
• Without Kelce and Peters, the Eagles’ first-team offensive line looked like this (from left to right): Andre Dillard, Matt Pryor, Isaac Seumalo, Nate Herbig, Lane Johnson. It’s interesting that the Eagles elected to get Pryor work at left guard instead of right. I guess they’re working through some contingency plans.
• Without Jackson and JJAW, the top receivers were Jalen Reagor, Greg Ward and Deontay Burnett. Reagor’s getting starter reps but they’re limiting him too because of how much he plays on special teams.
• On defense, Avonte Maddox was CB2 for the second straight day. Jim Schwartz still claims it is a competition but it seems like that job is Maddox’s to lose.
• Early in practice, the guys returning punts were: Reagor, Boston Scott, Marcus Green, Quez Watkins and Adrian Killins Jr.
3. In the first two days of practice, we’ve seen Jalen Hurts get a ton of reps as the third-string quarterback and he’s even been getting second-string reps over Nate Sudfeld at times. It’s a big departure from last year, when rookie third-stringer Clayton Thorson barely got on the field.
And Hurts is clearly and electric player. He’s made some great throws early in camp but his ability to run is standing out even more. On Tuesday, he showed off his legs in the red zone.
In one red zone/goal line period, Hurts showed off his legs on four consecutive plays. The first was a sprint right and he was able to get into the corner of the end zone for a touchdown. The second play he sprinted right, cut back inside to make a guy miss and scored a touchdown. The third play, he escaped right, rolled, and then sprinted into the end zone. And on the finally, he rolled right like he was going to run it in but then threw a perfect pass to Josh Perkins for a touchdown.
He’s a weapon down there.
4. During 11-on-11s, Wentz hit Zach Ertz down the seam for a huge play that looked like a touchdown. But … in a real game, Avonte Maddox would have had the opportunity to clobber Ertz. The ball hung up in the air and Maddox pulled up before he hit him.
Maddox joked after practice that if it was anyone else, he might have delivered a hit. He said Ertz is too important and they’ve got to keep each other healthy.
5. We saw a few interceptions today: Two for Wentz and one for Hurts.
• The Hurts interception was a ball he air-mailed over a receiver and fellow rookie K’Von Wallace sat down and got low to pick it off. Nice job by Wallace to look it in and make the play.
• Wentz’s first INT wasn’t his fault. He threw a catchable ball to Corey Clement but it hit Clement in the hands and popped up to a streaking Nathan Gerry, who took it the other way for a pick-6.
• Wentz’s second INT came after a blitz. He tried to dump the ball off but instead, Jalen Mills read the play the whole way and picked it off. He took it down the left sideline. But give Wentz credit; he tracked him down.
It wasn’t Wentz’s best day. In fact, after one throw-away, he threw his helmet in disgust.
6. Yesterday we talked about Reagor’s explosiveness but I don’t want people to think he’s just a deep threat. In fact, he dropped a deep ball he probably should’ve had on Tuesday.
But we’re also seeing him work pretty well in those short and intermediate areas. Everyone made a big deal about Reagor’s 40-time at the combine, when he inexplicably showed up at 207 pounds, but we didn’t talk enough about his 3-cone drill. He ran the 3-cone in 7.31 seconds, which put him in the 5th percentile among receivers. But already, we’re seeing him work well in smaller spaces and he has an understanding of how to use his body in small spaces. We saw that during 1-on-1 drills today.
7. T.J. Edwards today made the type of play that really explains why the coaching staff likes him so much. He might not be the fastest or most athletic linebacker but his instincts are great. The Eagles ran a cool misdirection play that started with Wentz sprinting right and tossing a screen back to the left side of the field. But Edwards recognized it and was there to blow it up.
8. Perhaps the best catch of the day came from Deontay Burnett, who has kind of been the forgotten receiver of the bunch. In the red zone, Wentz was sprinting forward and threw a rocket to a diving Burnett in the back of the end zone. In the first couple days, Burnett has made a few plays. The big problem for him is that the Eagles drafted three receivers but he has an outside chance to stick on the 53-man roster and a really good shot to end up on the practice squad.
9. It’s pretty cool to see Connor Barwin and Darren Sproles, both front office members now, helping coach up the players on the field. Tons of experience there.
10. Two days of practice, two big hits from rookie linebacker Shaun Bradley. On Day 1, he clobbered Dallas Goedert, sending the tight end to his backside. Today, he took out Burnett on the penultimate play of the day. The hit sent the defense wild, to the point where Doug Pederson had to get those guys back on the sideline.
11. The last play of the day was a beauty. Wentz dropped a beautiful dime to a streaking Hightower for a touchdown before the final whistle.
12. Some cornerback odds and ends: I thought Sidney Jones didn’t have a great day. Got beat a couple times and missed a chance at what would have been a great INT … But Rasul Douglas made some plays; he was especially physical on a rep against Hightower … I watched WR vs. DB 1-on-1s today instead of OL vs. DL … Cre’Von LeBlanc was really tough on the slot receivers inside … I also saw one play in 7-on-7s, where Darius Slay was on a rookie (forget which one) and tried to bait the QB into a throw, but Sudfeld didn’t take the bait. Some veteran savvy from Slay.
Stupid Observation of the Day: Don’t expect Reagor to take any reps at quarterback any time soon. He tried to long toss the ball to the ball boy today, missed and hit Ertz in the helmet. Doh.