Eagles

Eagles training camp observations, Day 2: Wentz with the 1s

Eagles training camp observations, Day 2: Wentz with the 1s

The Eagles were back at practice today after opening training camp with a lighter 10-10-10 practice Thursday. 

On Day 2, the Eagles were still not in pads (that’ll come Saturday), but they did have a more competitive practice as camp continues to ramp up. 

Where, oh where, should we start? How about with QB1? 

1. For the first time since he tore his ACL and LCL on Dec. 10, Carson Wentz was in charge of the first-team offense. While he didn’t participate in any 11-on-11 drills today, Wentz did take first-team reps in the 7-on-7 portion of practice and looked good. These are his first first-team reps of training camp. 

No, Wentz didn’t participate in 11-on-11s, but don’t read into that too much. It’s possible they just gave him a break on those or they allowed him to do it yesterday because they knew practice wouldn’t be as intense. Either way, he looked fine in 7-on-7s and the fact that he got first-team reps is big. 

2. Perhaps the best play of the day came in 7-on-7s, when Wentz fired in a ball to Zach Ertz, who made a tremendous diving catch. The throw was rifled and Ertz made a great, athletic play. Malcolm Jenkins, who was in coverage, wanted a flag. The referee closest disagreed. 

3. But Jenkins did make the best defensive play of the day. Nick Foles soared a ball down the right sideline and Jenkins was waiting to pick it off and take it to the house. 

4. The Eagles’ newest player, defensive lineman Adam Reth was out at practice on Friday (see story). Reth and the rest of the Eagles who aren’t on the PUP or NFI were out at practice, showing the Eagles got through Day 1 healthy. 

Even though they aren’t practicing, Brandon Graham, Alshon Jeffery, Chris Maragos and Bryce Treggs (all on PUP or NFI) were out at practice as spectators. So was Paul Worrilow, the veteran linebacker who tore his ACL in the spring. 

5. It’s crazy to think that a year ago, we still weren’t sure about Nelson Agholor. But after last year, it’s fair to think he’s the Eagles’ most explosive weapon. He did it again on Friday, when he took a short pass from Foles to the house during 11-on-11s. Ronald Darby slipped just a little bit and Agholor was gone!

6. As they did in the spring, the Eagles explored their options at nickel corner today, putting De’Vante Bausby out there with the starters. The Eagles weren’t in their base package at all, from what I saw, so there were a lot of reps. Bausby has looked good too. With Bausby up with the ones, Sidney Jones played outside corner with the twos and looked great, minus one DPI when he got a little too aggressive. It’s possible the Eagles just want Jones to get some reps outside. 

7. The hype is real, though. Jones can play. Can’t wait to see him in the preseason. 

8. While we’re talking about corners, I really think we don’t talk about Ronald Darby enough. He's finally healthy and understands the defense. He’s entering the fourth and final year of his rookie contract and is clearly talented. I’m excited to see the kind of year he has. Just watching him in individual drills, it’s clear that he has some ball skills. Last year he had three interceptions, a career high, and he did it in eight games. 

9. OK, just one more on Wentz. He threw two beautiful passes during 7-on-7s aside from the one to Ertz. On one, he threw a deep ball to Greg Ward, who was able to keep just one foot inbounds, according to the official. But the pass was perfect. And the other went to veteran Markus Wheaton, who tapped both his toes in on the same left sideline. 

10. Jalen Mills made a nice play on a pass from Foles to Mack Hollins. Mills timed it perfectly, basically climbed over Hollins' back after the ball got there, and was able to knock it out. 

Stupid Observation of the Day: The weirdest song to play at Eagles practice is definitely “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night).” It played today after a heavy dose of rap and it was weird. 

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Eagles might play a road game in Mexico City in 2020 NFL season

Eagles might play a road game in Mexico City in 2020 NFL season

The Arizona Cardinals announced Friday that one of their home games in 2020 will take place at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, which means the Eagles might play in Mexico City in 2020.

Fun! (Probably.)

Just two years after playing the Jaguars in London, the Eagles are one of six possible opponents for the Cardinals' game in Mexico. ESPN's Josh Weinfuss is reporting Friday that the Lions and Dolphins will not be the opponent:

This will mark the fifth straight season that the NFL has a game scheduled for Estadio Azteca, and the 13th time a game has been scheduled at Estadio Azteca all-time.

The Eagles actually have a super interesting, and kind of wacky, history with Mexico City games. 

They were scheduled to face the Detroit Lions in an exhibition on Aug. 11, 1968, which would've marked the first football game ever played in Mexico City, but the game was cancelled - without much explanation, according to the Associated Press. Half the stadium's tickets were going for about 40 cents at the time, according to the AP.

Ten years later, the Eagles actually ended up participating in the first NFL game held in Mexico City after all, a 14-7 exhibition loss to the Saints. According to Ron Jaworski, the locker rooms were tiny and the goal posts were crooked, which sounds fun.

All-time, the Eagles are 2-3 in international games, a record that probably doesn't mean much because they've played outside of the country once since 1993 - and that was a win.

Vamos Eagles.

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How Combine might have changed Eagles' WR plans

How Combine might have changed Eagles' WR plans

The 2020 wide receiver draft picture got a lot more interesting Thursday night.

Alabama’s Henry Ruggs did his thing and ran 4.28 when the receivers ran their 40's at the Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. He didn't break John Ross's record of 4.22, but he certainly did nothing to hurt his draft status. 

Neither did his college teammate, Jerry Jeudy, or Oklahoma's CeeDee Lamb. They remain the consensus top three receivers in the draft, and the Eagles, who have the 21st pick in the first round, would likely have to trade up to draft any of them.

But a few receivers helped themselves with their performances in Indy and a few may have hurt their stock as well, and it all could definitely affect the receiver-starved Eagles’ strategy in April.

HELPED THEMSELVES

JUSTIN JEFFERSON, LSU: Joe Burrow’s favorite target ran much faster than expected with a 4.43. We already know he’s productive - he caught a ridiculous 111 passes for 1,540 yards and 18 touchdowns - and he backed that up with a faster 40 time than Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy. How much that helps him remains to be seen, but he definitely helped himself.

CHASE CLAYPOOL, NOTRE DAME: There’s been talk about the 6-4, 240-pound Claypool moving to tight end, but then he went out and ran 4.42, which according to the Next Gen Stats twitter feed makes him the first receiver over 230 pounds to run sub-4.45 since Calvin Johnson in 2007. He also caught the ball well and performed well in the other drills. 

DENZEL MIMS, BAYLOR: Mims opened a lot of eyes with a 4.38 Thursday night to cap an overall excellent performance. Only Ruggs and Southern Mississippi’s Quez Watkins ran faster. Mims was generally considered a second-round talent before the Combine but running 4.38 at 6-3, 210 pounds could push him into the first round. 

HURT THEMSELVES

JALEN REAGOR, TEXAS CHRISTIAN: Reagor, whose father Montae played for the Eagles in 2007, said he planned to run faster than Ruggs: “That’s my plan. He runs after me. I’m going to set the bar for him.”  He also said he expected to run “high 4.2, low 4.3.”  Then he ran 4.47, a full fifth of a second slower than Ruggs. He followed that with a 4.50. How much that hurts him remains to be seen, but it wasn’t what anybody was expecting. 

TEE HIGGINS, CLEMSON: Higgins told reporters at the Combine that he was planning to prove a lot of people wrong with his 40:  “My goal is to hit a 4.4. A lot of guys think I’m gonna run a 4.5 or 4.6, but I’m excited to change people’s minds.” Then without explanation he didn’t run or participate in any drills Thursday night. Not good. 

LAVISKA SHENAULT JR., COLORADO: After a slower-than-expected 4.58 on his first try, Shenault skipped his second 40 and didn’t participate in the other drills, presumably because of the core muscle injury that cost him a couple games during the season. Shenault was considered a late first-round or early second-rounder. He’ll have a chance to bounce back at his pro day, but he didn’t help himself Thursday.

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