The Eagles were back on the field in full pads for today’s training camp session. Luckily, it wasn’t nearly as hot as Saturday.
The Eagles will get a much-deserved day off from practice on Monday, before getting back at it on Tuesday, for what should be the most intense practice of camp so far. The Eagles will have live (tackling to the ground) periods. Real football!
For now, here are 10 observations from today’s practice:
1. As we’re probably going to do every day, we’ll start out with Carson Wentz. The Eagles’ starting quarterback, who is still recovering from that ACL tear, did not participate in 11-on-11 drills today after two days of doing them. Doug Pederson said they’re just following the plan with the recovery process and they have Wentz on a “pitch count” for now.
But Wentz did take 7-on-7s reps, both with the first and second team. Wentz got in there with the twos first and looked pretty good. One of his first plays was a 15-yard pass that he rifled into Dallas Goedert. But with the ones, Wentz struggled to find his accuracy. He was picked off by Malcolm Jenkins on a deep ball and should have been picked off by ol’ stone hands Nigel Bradham, who would have gone for a pick-6.
Turns out Wentz is human after all.
2. Starting right guard Brandon Brooks wasn’t at practice because he’s sick. So when the first team period began, Chance Warmack was at right guard. That lasted for about three seconds, until the former first-round pick jumped early. That’s when Doug Pederson shouted, “I need a right guard!”
Rookie sixth-rounder Matt Pryor filled in for the rest of the series, but in the next cycle, Warmack was back at RG.
3. Speaking of Pryor, I thought he had a really good day. Aside from getting those first-team reps, he also looked good on 2-on-2 offensive line vs. defensive line drills. He has one especially good rep against Michael Bennett, when he upended the Pro Bowl defensive end.
Pryor is interesting because he’s so tall (6-foot-7), but seems more suited to play guard instead of tackle. That was pretty evident in watching his college tape and it seems like the Eagles agree. Pryor has been playing more guard but also provides versatility, and the Eagles love offensive linemen with versatility.
4. Great day for second-year receiver Shelton Gibson. It’s crazy to think this is the same kid who couldn’t catch a cold in a kindergarten class last summer. Today, he made some spectacular plays. The best of the bunch came with the first-team offense, when he rose above Ronald Darby and Malcolm Jenkins to pull in a deep ball from Nick Foles down the field.
He also had one that he was able to hold after getting walloped by De’Vante Bausby and then had one a little later when he needed to go to the ground to catch a low pass from Nate Sudfeld.
It seems like Gibson finally has some much-needed confidence and it’s making a difference.
5. Nelson Agholor showed great concentration on a 3-on-5 drill. Wentz underthrew him pretty bad and rookie Avonte Maddox tipped the ball. But somehow Agholor fell to his back and was able to keep his concentration and made the play. Impressive stuff.
6. One of the plays of the day came from the third team. Joe Callahan unleashed a deep ball to the rookie from France, Anthony Mahoungou, who dove near the goal line to bring it in. Callahan is the fourth-string quarterback, but he’s significantly better than Matt McGloin, who was the Eagles’ third-stringer at camp last year. It’s made this training camp much more watchable.
7. Speaking of QBs, Nate Sudfeld throws such a pretty deep ball. The Eagles’ receivers are loving camp right now. They have three quarterbacks — sometimes four — who always put the ball where it needs to be. I talked to one receiver today about how good Wentz and Foles have looked for most of this camp and he quickly included Sudfeld’s name. His teammates are taking notice of his skills.
8. Dallas Goedert keeps making plays. Because of the numbers on the backs of their jerseys, sometimes it’s actually hard to tell him and Zach Ertz apart. That’s a good sign for the rookie.
9. Derek Barnett busted through the line of scrimmage to bat down a ball during 11-on-11s and continues to show growth. Although, I was impressed with how rookies Jordan Mailata and Aaron Evans handled Derek Barnett and Bennett on a 2-on-2 drill.
10. Mike Wallace is still faster than you think he is.
Stupid Observation of the Day: At one point during 1-on-1s, Alshon Jeffery thought there should have been a penalty so he grabbed the ref’s flag and threw it himself.
Stupid Observation of the Day II: Michael Bennett was jamming out to “Because the Night” in the Eagles’ locker room as he cut off the tape from his cleats. Then he yelled as he dunked the tape into the trash can I was standing next to and posterized me. He’s an interesting dude.