Let's get to today's notes:
• On the QB battle... I tweeted that Nick Foles looked better than Mike Vick today. By the slightest of margins, of course. Barkley accidentally threw a pass into the human fly-swatters at one point. A common rookie mistake.
• One of the first things I noticed today was that Eagles fan #1 "Shoulder Pads Guy" was in attendance! Dan Klausner was so excited about this that he wanted me to take a picture of them together. After we took the picture, Shaun handed us his card! That's right: a fan with a business card. This guy is legit.
• The Eagles do this interesting drill where the wide receivers run in a designated pattern around cones while they have tennis balls thrown at them. I couldn't get video of it because it was too far down the field, but as Dan Klausner would say "If you can catch a tennis ball, you can catch a football." This is only one of the new interesting drills I've seen at Camp Kelly.
• At one point, LeSean McCoy went over to the QBs who were doing a group drill. He ended up taking a throwing rep, and actually threw a nice pass to Harold Carmichael who was catching for the QBs. Can you say QUARTERBACK CONTROVERSY?
• Zach Ertz has made some impressive catches so far in camp. He's also dropped a few. His route running is swell, but his hands could use improvement.
• I guess we have to talk about it now. The Jeremy Maclin injury. Ugh. Very disappointing for the young Eagles player who was going to have the chance to earn himself a new contract after this season. Here's how it went down: Maclin had just made a nice catch from Vick near the sideline. I looked down to tweet about it, and when I looked back up, he was down on the ground. He must have experienced the injury while heading back to the huddle. A really rough break for him. Maclin was down on the ground for awhile and Chip and the trainers were looking over him. Then the cart came out and carried him away. Maclin had a towel covering his face, but you could tell he was in so much pain. I genuinely feel bad for the guy. Eagles fans in attendance (season ticket holders) clapped in support of Jeremy as he was carted off the field.
• Russell Shepard's work with the JUGS machine has been paying off. He made a few nice grabs today, including a deep throw from Michael Vick. Word is that Vick individually praised Shepard for his efforts in camp so far. WR Greg Salas had a few nice catches as well.
• Damaris Johnson, the Eagles secret superstar, has had an impressive camp. At one point he caught a pass in the seam from Nick Foles. Great throw and catch. Later, Damaris had an impressive deep catch from Vick where he just barely got two toes down in-bounds. It could be a big year for Damaris if he keeps it up.
Future Hall of Famer Derek Carrier made some really nice catches today. Carrier was 1 on 1 with Chris McCoy in coverage and made an impressive over the shoulder catch. McCoy did his best to keep up but Carrier is too good at getting separation on his routes. The next rep Carrier got, he made another great catch deep down the field.
• Other OLB coverage notes: Trent Cole got beat by Zach Ertz on a play. Brandon Graham was nowhere near Clay Harbor when he caught the ball in one rep. Phillip Hunt knocked the ball out of Russell Shepard's hands after he caught it.
• Jason Avant made an amazing one-handed catch from a crisp Barkley pass. Yawn. Nothing new from Jason.
• Nick Foles ran some read-option plays today where he kept the ball. He's obviously not the fastest guy, but he can take what the defense gives him if there's room. More on that in the quotes section later in this post.
• I saw Jason Kelce snap a ball high today (the QB caught it though). He's had a few high snaps in camp now.
• Ifeanyi Momah was out on the JUGS machine after practice along with Jason Avant and Russel Shepard (as always).
QB Nick Foles - (Video)
• "As time goes on, I feel more and more comfortable running this offense."
• On if he took offense to Chip's quote (Chip said yesterday he should be fired if he calls 20 read options with Nick Foles in the game): "No, I don't. [laughs] I think it's the truth. I think that if you have a QB in there you go with what his strengths are. If I see a seam I'm going to get as many yards as I can, I'll tell you that. I think my strengths are dropping back and throwing the ball and using my head. I think it's a pretty good comment [from Chip]."
• Nick said he "doesn't necessarily notice a difference in arm strength", but he feels more confident this year. He said he feels more comfortable with his ball placement.
• On if he feels he's a starter here: "We're all going to compete." Fletcher has been working with the 1's in practice.
• "They say the Eagles have a big fan base, so I guess I'm not surprised when I hear [...] the number of people who are going to come [to the Linc for open practice] tomorrow." Fletcher said he looks forward to the opportunity to play in front of the fans.
• Fletcher talked on the importance of re-routing receivers. As a more physical CB, that's part of his game.
• DeSean talked about how disappointing it was to see his fellow WR (Maclin) go down like he did.
• DeSean on if he'll be returning punts this year: "Yeah, I think so. I'm very excited about that as well. It's something I'm looking forward to."
• Jeremy Maclin is out for the year with an ACL tear.
• Shady was dancing to "All of the Lights" by Kanye West.
• Picture of Derek Carrier throwing/catching the ball after practice.
Up next: Tomorrow is the first Eagles training camp practice at Lincoln Financial Field - rain or shine. It's also the first day the pads go on: expect tackling and hitting!
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