Saturday was the first official day of Philadelphia Eagles training camp practice. There's a lot to talk about, so let's dive right in:
• Weather: mostly overcast until a light rain shower started halfway or so during the practice.
• No pads at practice today. As seen last year, Chip Kelly doesn't like to run heavily physical training camps.
• Unlike last year when two Eagles failed the team's conditioning test (Brad Wing, Matthew Tucker), all players passed the test this time around. All 89 players were fully participating in practice except for Keelan Johnson (excused).
• A number of notable people at Eagles training camp today. National media guys include: Peter King (The MMQB), Greg Bedard (The MMQB), Daniel Jeremiah (NFL Network), Louis Riddick (ESPN). Larry Foles, Nick's dad, was also in attendance. Oh and Eagles Shoulder Pad Guy!
• The biggest takeaway from the Eagles first TC practice was that Mark Sanchez looked way better than he did during the team's OTAs/minicamp practice. Sanchez looked lost in the spring. He threw a number of interceptions and there were plays when he threw to a spot where a receiver wasn't even in the area. Sanchez still had some errant passes here and there but his improvement stood out. He completed a few deep passes down field, including a bomb to Damaris Johnson along the sideline,that were right on the money. It wasn't a bad day for the leading candidate for the Eagles backup QB job.
• Speaking of quarterbacks, I thought Matt Barkley looked a little better than he was in the spring too. The difference wasn't as dramatic as Sanchez's improvement. Daniel Jeremiah noted on Twitter he liked what he saw from Barkley: "Matt Barkley is throwing the ball with a lot more RPM's this year. He's not straining to drive the ball like he did last August."
• That Nick Foles guy, you know, he's the Eagles starting quarterback or something? Yeah, he looked pretty good. It's almost to the point where I stop paying attention to him because he always looks fine. I didn't notice any mistakes from Foles.
• Let's talk wide receivers: Brad Smith took repetitions with the first team offense yet again just like he did in the spring. Jordan Matthews spent time with the second group. The first time I noticed Arrelious Benn was when he dropped a pass from Foles during a QB/WR drill. Damaris Johnson fumbled a kickoff return (non-contact drill, mind you) that was returned by Najee Goode for a touchdown.
• Kicking competition: Alex Henery 4/5, Carey Spear 4/5. The kicks were from about 45 yards out on average. Henery's miss hit the post and bounced off. Murderleg's miss was wide right. As far as kickoffs go.... Spear had a few ugly line drives. One looked so bad that I almost thought it was a squib kick... but I'm pretty sure it wasn't. That's not going to cut it. Henery's appeared to be fine.
• Lane Johnson took reps with the second team. Before practice started, Eagles coach Chip Kelly said Allen Barbre will take a number of the first team reps for now.
• Found the Next Dawkins.
• "Life in the Fast Lane" by The Eagles is part of the team's practice playlist now, apparently. Meta.
• Former Eagles cornerback Lito Sheppard was spotted as a training camp intern. More on that here.
• Random things: James Casey made a nice one handed grab on a Barkley pass. Josh Huff dropped a kickoff. G.J. Kinne threaded a ball perfectly to Riley Cooper in traffic. Allen Barbre likes mango flavored Rita's water ice.
• Practice ended on an abrupt note when rookie receiver Josh Huff and rookie safety Ed Reynolds inadvertently bumped into each other after Huff made a catch. Both players spent some time on the ground before getting OK and walking away. After practice, Huff noted that Reynolds hit him in the ribs.
• The Eagles post practice team huddle ends with a "1-2-3... DOMINATE!"
Up next: Right back at it tomorrow with another Eagles training camp practice starting at 11:45 AM EST.
Remaining Eagles training camp schedule:
July 28th (Public Practice at @ LFF)
August 3rd (Public Practice @ LFF)
August 10th (Public Practice @ Franklin Field)
August 12th (@ New England Patriots)
August 13th (@ New England Patriots)
August 14th (@ New England Patriots)
* = Media only allowed to watch the first 20 minutes of practice starting August 17th.