With plenty of cloud cover, Saturday morning’s training camp practice at the NovaCare Complex was the coolest so far of the summer.
Things still got heated.
The Eagles will have their one public practice Sunday night at the Linc and will then practice on Monday and Tuesday at the NovaCare Complex before the first preseason game on Thursday at home against the Titans.
We’ll start with the first fight of camp:
1. It happened in offensive line vs. defensive line 1-on-1 drills. Rookie fourth-round pick Shareef Miller was working against rookie offensive tackle Casey Tucker, who was lined up at right tackle for the play.
It felt like I watched the fight brew in slow motion. Miller got his hand up under the facemark of Tucker and kept pushing forward during the rep. It was clearly hands to the face and Tucker didn’t like it. At the end of the rep, Miller ended up on the ground with Tucker on top of him and then the pushing began. Eventually a few punches were thrown in the scuffle before the two were separated.
2. Another note from OL-DL drills: There might be a bruise on Andre Dillard’s chest after the ferocious bullrush Brandon Graham used on him a couple times. Dillard is a smooth technician, but he was no match for Graham’s punch. The veteran pushed the rookie back a few times.
3. The Eagles went live (tackling to the ground) for the second time of camp. Later in practice, Kamu Grugier-Hill got hurt on one of these reps.
But the most exciting part of today’s practice came when they went live from the goal line. The first-team offense scored on 3 of 5 plays down there. Here’s a recap:
• Jordan Howard ran a counter and was basically untouched as he ran into the end zone for a touchdown.
• On the second play, Carson Wentz tried to get the ball to Alshon Jeffery after a pick of sorts on the left side, but Grugier-Hill leaped up and batted the ball down. He’s made a few of those plays this summer.
• The OL got a good push on the next play and Josh Adams pushed into the end zone.
• The DL got a good push and stuffed Howard.
• After seeing good coverage, Wentz went through his progressions and eventually found Zach Ertz in the back right corner of the end zone.
The first-team offense did much better than the second team. They didn’t make it into the end zone on their five chances.
4. Another big pass from Wentz to DeSean Jackson. During 11-on-11s, Wentz identified the blitz coming from the nickel corner and threw to that side of the field. Jackson got a step on Avonte Maddox and Wentz dropped it in the bread basket down the sideline for a long touchdown. Offensive play of the day.
5. With the pads on and in live tackling periods, we’re seeing the Josh Adams that had folks excited during last year’s camp. The second-year running back had a few runs on Saturday where he broke multiple tackles. He doesn’t go down easy.
6. During group install, the Eagles ran a trick play where Wentz tossed the ball to Darren Sproles, who then passed it to Josh Perkins in the end zone for a touchdown. This would be something to see in a game. Despite his long career and 19,520 all-purpose yards, Sproles has never had a passing attempt. He and Tim Brown are the only two players with over 19,000 all-purpose yards to never attempt a pass. The other six have.
7. A few depth chart notes:
• Good sign for Rodney McLeod, who was back in 11-on-11s today in the “thud” period. He said the only thing he’s being held out of is the live tackling portions of practice.
• Today was Sidney Jones’ day in the slot. While he and Rasul Douglas were the starters in the base package, Jones slid inside in nickel while Avonte Maddox went to LCB.
• In his first practice with the Eagles and after suffering a torn ACL about a year ago, Johnathan Cyprien participated in 11-on-11 drills today. He even got some run with the second team.
• DT Hassan Ridgeway got some work with the first team today. It appears he's ahead of Treyvon Hester, who has also had a nice camp.
8. The highlight of the WR vs. DB 1-on-1 drills was a rare win from a defensive back. In this case, Malcolm Jenkins jammed the heck out of Nelson Agholor at the line of scrimmage and it looked like Agholor never recovered. Eventually, Jenkins leaped up in the end zone to intercept a pass from Wentz.
9. Saw something from Blake Countess today. Big hits on back-to-back plays during 11-on-11s. On the first, he made an open field hit on Perkins and on the next he came up to take out Wendell Smallwood on a run.
10. Dallas Goedert had another touchdown in a team period today. This one came on a pass from Nate Sudfeld. Goedert has been really tough to cover this summer.
Stupid Observation of the Day: I was happy it was cool today for my sake and for Swoop. I normally sweat a ton at practice and I don’t even have feathers.
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