Vinny Curry

Eagles training camp observations, Day 3: Some big hits on first day with pads

Eagles training camp observations, Day 3: Some big hits on first day with pads

Training camp started with the first practice on Thursday … but it really started today.

On a steamy Saturday morning, the Eagles had their pads on for the first time this summer and now it’s really football season. The Eagles didn’t go live (tackling to the ground) on Saturday, but had what they call “thud” sessions. It’s still way more physical than what they’ve been doing.

Let’s get to the obs:

1. We’ll start with some big hits because it seemed like a few defensive players were pretty happy to have those pads on. One of them was Andrew Sendejo. The veteran safety had the first big hit of the summer, when he knocked Josh Adams to the ground. Adams actually outweighs Sendejo by 15 pounds, but he still went flying.

2. But the biggest hit of the day belonged to former CFL linebacker Alex Singleton, who obliterated running back Boston Scott after a screen pass. This time of year there are several numbers that are duplicated on offense and defense. One of them is 49. Guess which players wear that number. Yup, Singleton and Scott. A little 49-on-49 crime.

3. A little shuffle at cornerback today. Still without Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby, the Eagles' starters in their base package were Rasul Douglas and Sidney Jones. Avonte Maddox came on as the nickel corner. Before this, Maddox was a starter and would slide inside in nickel. So it seems like they definitely like him inside.

4. Jones has already made a few big plays this summer. Today, he had a juggling interception on a ball that was slightly underthrown to Mack Hollins. It was a really impressive play for Jones, who has been making them often so far. We’re seeing that talent that would have made him a first-rounder before that Achilles injury in 2017.

5. Vinny Curry got in the backfield on consecutive snaps during 11-on-11s to blow up plays. After both, he celebrated with some dancing. Curry brought some energy today. Without Michael Bennett and Chris Long, getting a productive Curry this season would really be helpful. 

6. Carson Wentz didn’t have a great day and he threw his first interception of camp. Kamu Grugier-Hill did a nice job reading him and dropped into the passing lane to pick off the ball.

7. The Eagles’ offense opened up in 12 personnel again today and the first pass was a short one to Dallas Goedert. They’ve been running a lot of plays so far this summer that seem to be designed to get the ball in Goedert’s hands quickly.

8. During 1-on-1 receiver vs. DB drills, the defensive backs started off really strong. First, Rasul Douglas had a strong pass breakup against Alshon Jeffery; Douglas pushed back to the ball. Then, Jones had tight coverage on DeSean Jackson and the ball fell incomplete. Then, Malcolm Jenkins got beat off the line by Nelson Agholor, but recovered and stretched out his hands to make sure the pass wasn’t completed. The first completion came on the fourth rep, a pass to JJ Arcega-Whiteside in front of Jeremiah McKinnon.

9. Brandon Graham got what would have been a sack during 11-on-11s. He got in the backfield in a hurry. Remember, this time last year he was still getting over an ankle injury that lingered into the season. It’s a big deal for him to be healthy right now.

10. Saw some nice snaps out of Hassan Ridgeway today. It’s hard to judge linemen until the pads come on, but I see why the Eagles liked him. He might be a decent interior depth guy.

Stupid Observation of the Day: After wearing a black visor for the first two days of training camp, Doug Pederson switched it up today.

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Vinny Curry back with Eagles to chase that Super Bowl feeling

Vinny Curry back with Eagles to chase that Super Bowl feeling

For whatever reason, Jim Schwartz didn’t want to mention the name of the game, so we’ll try to honor his request. 

On Tuesday, Schwartz was talking about the new additions to the Eagles’ defense and the first person he named was Vinny Curry, who played his first six years in Philadelphia before joining the Buccaneers for one season. After getting cut by Tampa Bay, he’s back with the Eagles on a one-year deal. 

“He really looks like he hasn't missed a beat from where he was when he last played a game for us,” Schwartz said, “which was in Minnesota.”

You probably remember the game in Minnesota. It was the last game of the 2017 season but was played on Feb. 4, 2018; ringing any bells? 

Like he had in the 18 games prior, Curry started this one too. He played 44 snaps (58 percent) and had four tackles. The Eagles won. They got a trophy. 

I’m trying to really, really take it to the next level,” Curry said this week. “To feel that feeling again, I’ll do anything in the world for it. I’m just working.

That game in Minnesota was the last game of Curry’s first stint with the Eagles. He parlayed his and the team’s success into a three-year, $23 million contract with the Bucs, but he never saw all that money. He was cut this February after just one season. 

He called his time away in Tampa “just a long offseason, that’s all.” 

When he re-joined the Eagles in March, the 30-year-old Curry said he had some other offers, but “home is home” and decided to come back to his favorite childhood team. With over $27 million in career earnings, Curry’s current one-year deal with the Eagles for 2019 is worth a modest $2.25 million. But it’s not about that right now. It’s about chasing that feeling he had after that game in Minnesota. 

Curry will have an important role with the Eagles in 2019, but he won’t be a starter unless there’s an injury. He’ll be a rotational defensive end behind Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett. Until that 2017 year, Curry had never started a game in five NFL seasons, so this role won’t be anything new for him. 

The Bucs didn’t make the playoffs last season, so Curry watched the Eagles’ two playoff games on TV from home like any other fan. 

“I was at the edge of my damn seat like, ‘aahaahhh!!’” Curry said, letting out a yelp. “You know what I’m saying? … It’s good to be back with the guys and be back on this journey.”

The goal for the journey this season isn’t Minnesota. This year, it’s all about getting to Miami in February. That wouldn’t make for a bad vacation, but the Eagles and Curry are hoping it’s a business trip. To the Super Bowl (sorry, Jim).  

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Eagles Mailbag: Faith in Nate Sudfeld, Vinny Curry signing, spreading it around

Eagles Mailbag: Faith in Nate Sudfeld, Vinny Curry signing, spreading it around

The offseason marches on with your questions. 

I already answered your first bunch, including questions on Sidney Jones, Jay Ajayi and running backs in the draft. Now, it’s time for Part 2 of 3. 

Let’s get to it: 

I got a few questions about Nate Sudfeld this week and I certainly understand why. He’s now the Eagles’ backup quarterback and Carson Wentz has finished the last two seasons on the shelf. I think there are legitimate reasons for concern. From the time the Eagles got Sudfeld, I thought he was a possible QB2. The problem here is that he is unproven; we haven’t seen much of him outside of summer practices and minimal game action. It’s somewhat of a gamble for a team with Super Bowl aspirations to go into a season with an unproven backup, especially because of Wentz’s injury history. 

But, to be clear, I like what I’ve seen from Sudfeld. He seems to be pretty athletic and has a big arm. The Eagles have shown how much they like him at every turn. This is one of those situations where I’m skeptical, but just kind of trust their evaluation. 

I don’t think the Curry signing affects Long’s decision as much as it tells us the Eagles are preparing for the possibility Long isn’t back. You have to remember, Curry can play inside and outside, so he might not take as many reps from Long as you think. We’ll see what happens soon with the draft. Long has said he doesn’t want to return as just a locker room guy and a high draft pick would take even more playing time away from him. The Eagles should hope he returns, though. Even at his age, he’s still a productive pass rusher. 

This is one of the big ideas I want to ask Doug Pederson about next week at the owners meetings. The Eagles now have a bunch of different pass catching options. They have a really talented trio of receivers to go along with Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert. Even though Goedert is a really impressive young player, it’s hard to imagine he would be left out at times. The Eagles didn’t trade for DeSean Jackson to sit him on the bench and they aren’t pay Nelson Agholor over $9 million this season to be a spectator. And Alshon Jeffery is going to play. 

It’s a good problem to have, but Pederson needs to figure out a way to get everyone involved. It might be a nightmare for fantasy football owners, though, because I think the game plan will change based on the matchups from week to week. Some weeks they’ll go heavy 11 personnel, but I wouldn’t rule out heavy 12 personnel with Ertz and Goedert on the field sometimes too. 

I don’t. I do agree that running back and linebacker are their two most pressing needs, but I just wouldn’t use a top pick on a linebacker. Maybe they’ll surprise me, but I think it’s much more likely they leave the first two days of the draft with a running back instead of a linebacker. I still believe the Eagles will use No. 25 on a lineman (offense or defense) and will then look at running back with one of their second-round picks. I think they use a Day 3 pick on a linebacker unless they really think they found tremendous value. 

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