Eagles

Eagles training camp observations, Day 4: The Carson Wentz and DeSean Jackson Show

Eagles training camp observations, Day 4: The Carson Wentz and DeSean Jackson Show

Today gets the new honor of being the hottest day of training camp so far. It was oppressively hot. 

But the Eagles were out there for two hours Monday and it was another competitive day. 

We’ll start with something pretty exciting: 

1. Today was the Carson Wentz and DeSean Jackson Show. We saw it in OTAs and now we’re seeing it in training camp. These two guys built chemistry fast and made three spectacular plays together today. 

• The first came on a comeback route against Avonte Maddox on the right sideline. Jackson got separation easily and the throw was already out of Wentz’s hand before the cutback. It really shows their timing. 

• The next was the very next play. Now, Jackson had Maddox where he wanted him and ran past him for a decently long touchdown and Wentz hit him perfectly in stride.

• In a later period, Malcolm Jenkins actually had extremely tight coverage on Jackson, but Wentz dropped in an absolute dime for Jackson, who caught it and tapped both toes in along the sideline. 

“Every day it grows,” Wentz said of his chemistry with Jackson (see story). “ Whether it’s on the field and you actually see it with live reps or after practice or between reps at practice during the team drills, when we’re talking and we’re watching tape together. Chemistry grows in a million different ways. It’s exciting for sure.” 

2. Rodney McLeod, who is still recovering from that torn ACL suffered last season, participated in 7-on-7 drills today for the first time. Another good step. 

“It felt good,” McLeod said afterward (see story). “We’re just building.”  

3. Slight difference at cornerback today. (Still no Ronald Darby or Jalen Mills.) Rasul Douglas and Sidney Jones were still the starters in the base package, but when Maddox came in for nickel, Jones slid inside. This is the first significant work Jones has gotten as the nickel corner this summer. 

Newly-signed Orlando Scandrick worked as the second-team nickel in place of injured Cre’Von LeBlanc. 

4. Boston Scott got to deliver a hit of his own today. After taking a punishing shot from Alex Singleton in Saturday’s practice (the first with pads), Scott truck-sticked safety Trae Elston in team drills. He ran right through Elston and sent him to his backside. 

“Obviously, we’re taught to run violently,” Scott said. “But we don’t really know what the defense is going to do. It’s thud, but there are situations like the other day where you don’t know what’s going to happen. I just did the best I could to keep my legs going and went from there.”

Scott said the hit he took from Singleton was one of the first bang-bang plays of his career. He left practice briefly to get checked for a concussion, but returned and had a nice run later in the day.  

“It’s a part of the game. I liked it,” he said. “I took the hit and got back up.”  

5. During team drills, Miles Sanders showed a nice burst through the line and then tucked the ball high and tight. A few defenders took swipes at the ball, but he had quite a grip on it. Sanders had a slight ball security problem at Penn State, but it seems like he’s working on it. 

6. We all know Jim Schwartz doesn’t blitz a ton, but the defense worked on it today. He was sending safeties, corners and linebackers on different occasions. On one early, safety Godwin Igwebuike got in the backfield. On another, Kamu Grugier-Hill got a “sack” on Wentz. 

7. Rookie quarterback Clayton Thorson had a rough day. He missed several throws and one by a mile that soared about 10 yards out of bounds. It looks like it’s taking him a little bit of time to adjust to this level. 

8. Without Mack Hollins, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Marken Michel and Greg Ward got some extra reps. I thought Ward had another nice day in what has been a good camp for him. 

9. Jordan Howard had a drop on one play and on another, his timing coming out of the backfield seemed slightly off. He’s a guy who hasn’t caught too many passes in his career and it’s definitely not his strength. There were some moments in OTAs where he looked smooth as a receiver, but there have now been some plays that have me questioning that in camp. He doesn’t have to turn into LaDainian Tomlinson, but it would be nice to see him at least offer some threat as a receiver out of the backfield. 

10. Zach Ertz made an impressive left-handed grab on a football out in front of him during 2-on-2 drills. With all the balls going to the receivers and Dallas Goedert, we can’t forget about the guy who caught 116 passes last season. 

Stupid Observation of the Day: Over the last few years, Noah the bald eagle from the Elmwood Park Zoo has become a staple of training camp at the NovaCare Complex. Noah fell 80 feet as a chick and suffered brain and eye injuries, but he’s normally a hit at camp. Noah wasn’t at camp today. Instead, when I went to see him, a different eagle named Reggie was there. Reggie seemed a little more spry, but I still miss Noah. 

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Stephen Jackson says the Eagles 'threatened to fire' DeSean Jackson after Instagram posts

Stephen Jackson says the Eagles 'threatened to fire' DeSean Jackson after Instagram posts

After DeSean Jackson made anti-Semitic Instagram posts quoting Adolf Hitler and Louis Farrakhan, the Eagles released a statement calling the wide receiver's posts 'absolutely appalling' and promising 'approporiate action'.

Whether the posts will ultimately cost Jackson his job with the Eagles is unclear, but according to former NBA player Stephen Jackson, it may have been presented as a possibility.

In one of many statements Wednesday defending the 33-year-old wide receiver, Stephen Jackson claimed that DeSean Jackson called him and said the Eagles threatened to cut him:

I didn't support the post, as far as Hitler and him supporting Hitler. I don't know support Hitler, I don't know nothing about Hitler, and I could give a f**k about Hitler. All I know is he was a cruel guy. I don't stand for that, and I don't support it. My whole reason for supporting D-Jack was, before I got on Instagram, he called me on the phone and told me that they was threatening to fire him, but they didn't do that to [Riley] Cooper. And I was like, 'You're right, you shouldn't have to apologize if they didn't make him apologize.

The Eagles did in fact punish wide receiver Riley Cooper in 2013 after he was filmed shouting the n-word at a country music concert, fining him an undisclosed amount of money. The team also condemned Cooper's comments in a public statement, as they did with DeSean Jackson's comments.

Cooper was not released for his comments, however, and was signed to a five-year extension in 2014. Cooper was released in 2016.

You can watch the full Stephen Jackson video below:

Stephen Jackson also said in a different post, which has since been deleted, that DeSean Jackson was "speaking the truth" in the posts.

In one of the original Instagram posts, DeSean Jackson highlighted a quote, which was incorrectly attributed to Hitler:

The white Jews knows that the Negroes are the real Children of Israel and to keep Americas secret the Jews will blackmail America. They will extort America, their plan for world domination won’t work if the Negroes know who they were. The white citizens of America will be terrified to know that all this time they’ve been mistreating and discriminating and lynching the Children of Israel.

DeSean Jackson also posted a clip from a speech Farrakhan made in Chicago on July 4 where he alleged that White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci and Microsoft founder Bill Gates were plotting to use a virus vaccine to "depopulate the Earth." 

Farrakhan is a noted anti-Semite and homophobe who was among several prominent people whose posts were banned 

DeSean Jackson apologized publicly multiple times on Tuesday for his posts and comments, and also reportedly spoke with and apologized to Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie and Eagles general manager Howie Roseman, both of whom are Jewish.

The Eagles signed DeSean Jackson to a three-year, $27 million deal in March 2019.

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The Eagles all-time team: Harold Carmichael, Mike Quick, Tommy McDonald make the cut

The Eagles all-time team: Harold Carmichael, Mike Quick, Tommy McDonald make the cut

Over the next few weeks, we'll be unveiling our all-time Eagles team. 

We enlisted the help of Eagles reporters Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro, Quick Slants hosts Derrick Gunn and Barrett Brooks and Quick Slants producer Mike Mulhern for voting. 

We asked each person to rank their top five players at 16 different positions. A 1st-place vote was worth five points, a 2nd-place vote was worth four, and so on. 

Up next: Wide Receiver

Complete voting

1. Harold Carmichael = 23
2. Mike Quick = 16
3. Tommy McDonald = 15
4. DeSean Jackson = 13
5. Terrell Owens = 8 

The breakdown
New Hall of Famer Harold Carmichael got three 1st-place votes and Mike Quick and Tommy McDonald each got one. Harold was 2nd on the two ballots where he wasn’t first, and Quick got a 2nd-place vote, a 3rd-place vote and two 4th-place votes in addition to the one 1st-place vote. McDonald got the other 1st-place vote along with two 3rd-place votes and two 4th-place. DeSean Jackson got a 2nd, two 3rds and two 4ths. T.O. was as high as 2nd on one ballot and 4th on all four others. Interesting that the same five WRs were listed on all five ballots.

Did we get it right?
It’s tough comparing eras, but McDonald was the best in the business in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Carmichael was the best in the league from the early 1970s through the early 1980s and Quick was as good as anybody in the NFL from 1983 through 1987. So it really comes down to who did it the longest and most consistently, and that's Carmichael. From 1973 through 1983 — a span of 11 years — nobody had as many receiving yards or touchdowns. There’s a good reason he’s going into the Hall of Fame next summer. On our team, we’re coming out in a three-receiver set, and Carmichael, Quick and McDonald are clearly the top three in franchise history.
 
Complete team so far:
QB: Donovan McNabb 
RB: LeSean McCoy
WR: Harold Carmichael
WR: Mike Quick
WR: Tommy McDonald

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