Today's Eagles practice was VERY light. By that, I mean there wasn't a whole lot of anything going on. So apologies if you wanted more detail (AHEM), because there just wasn't much to see. I promise I'm not a slacker. So with that said, let's get to today's notes.
• Did I mention that there wasn't a lot of action at today's practice? Oh, yes, I did. It was basically just a walk-through session. Slow tempo. No music blasting. Just players and coaches practicing formations.
• When I was walking into the NovaCare facility today, something caught my eye. I saw a guy launching gorgeous passes downfield to a ball boy. I couldn't see who was throwing them at first, so I assumed it was one of the QBs. ...but it wasn't. It was Isaac "Spooky" Sopoaga. Don't believe me? A member of the Eagles media relations can vouch for me:
#Eagles DT Isaac Sopoaga casually throwing 40-50 yard bombs from midfield to the endzone with ease in prepractice warmups. Dude can sling it— Ryan Nissan (@nissaneagles) August 13, 2013
CAN YOU SAY QB CONTROVERSY?!
• Third straight Sopoaga note in a row! Are you getting the feel for how informative today's practice was, yet? Spooky was dancing to some quasi-Reggae music in warmups. Jimmy, Dan, and I all debated if the music was reggae or not. To this day, we're still unsure.
• Practice was slow. Did I mention that? I had to find a way to entertain myself, and this was my disastrous attempt at doing so:
Training staff is now bringing out brooms to the field. Players take them, start to fly. It looks like Quidditch. #FakeEaglesPractice— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonLeeSBN) August 13, 2013
Sopaga just hit Momah with a bludger. Shady is handling the quaffle, while DeSean is waiting to find the Golden Snitch #FakeEaglesPractice— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonLeeSBN) August 13, 2013
Rocky runs deep down field, hauls in a 120 yard catch from the Phillie Phanatic. Liberty Bell was beaten in coverage. #FakeEaglesPractice— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonLeeSBN) August 13, 2013
• A more serious note: the Eagles practice Special Teams VERY OFTEN. I would be shocked if they're not better on STs during the season. It's early, but the way the ST unit performed against the Patriots was encouraging.
• File this under "probably doesn't mean much": Matt Barkley took some first team "reps" today. Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman saw some first team "reps" on defense. Earl Wolff was paired with Pat Chung on the "2nd string" pair.
• It seems that everyday GJ Kinne is lined up in a new position. He's fielding punts. He's playing safety. He's on the punt block team. He's on the punt protection team. He's everywhere. So where was he today? Nickel CB, naturally.
• Newly acquired Jeff Maehl attended practice but couldn't officially participate. The Eagles have to wait until Nate Menkin clears his physical in Houston. It's unclear if Maehl will be available against the Panthers on Thursday night.
• Here's a fun picture of Jimmy doing his Philly.com video segment of the day
• One last time: today was a light practice. There wasn't much to see.
HC Chip Kelly
• Chip said the starters will play the first half. Here's his entire quote:
We're trying to get our ones more work through the first and second quarter now. We'll see how that plays itself out. Does that mean it's going to be by series or whatever? It depends on how many snaps and how long the series are. So all those guys, whether it's Nick or Matt or any of our ones, they really go one drive, two drive, some of those guys in there in the 10 to 12 range. We want to get that extended as we get into our second preseason game
• Kelly on the Nick Foles fumble vs the Patriots: "It was more of a protection breakdown than a ball security issue. [...] We only had one fumble, but that was one fumble too many."
• Chip lauded WR Jeff Maehl for his special teams play. Noted how Maehl could catch a 70 yard TD pass and then go make a special teams tackle on the next kickoff.
• Chip was asked about Clay Harbor moving to WR. Chip said he felt it was the easiest transition for Clay out of all the TEs and they needed an extra body at WR. Chip said he feels Ertz can play on the outside too, but since he's a rookie he doesn't want to put too much on his plate yet.
• Jake said his shoulder injury is a thing of the past and he's 100% now. No lingering effects.
• Knott noted covering TEs is a big change for him after being a 4-3 weak side LB in college. He said the Eagles TEs are especially tough guys to cover.
• Knott says he's very aware of what Eagles LB wore 54 before him (Jeremiah Trotter) and hopes to play up to the number.
• Just how tough is Jake Knott? Knott said he played a game vs Baylor with the aforementioned shoulder injury. He had 11 tackles, forced fumble, and was named Big 12 player of week. He tried to downplay that it was a "tough" action. He said he just wanted to attend the game because it was homecoming and help his team earn a win.
• OT Lane Johnson returned from the birth of his son with huge hands.
• Jon Dorenbos is expected to be out for Thursday's game, which means recently signed LS James Winchester gets the opportunity of a lifetime.
*Sorry for the lateness of these notes. I'm currently feeling under the weather.
Up next: If I still feel as ill as I do now, there's a very good chance I won't be going tomorrow. It's only likely to be another light walk-through since it's Carolina Panthers Game Day Eve. If I'm feeling better by Thursday, I will be at the game in the press box.
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