Monday was the eighth day of Philadelphia Eagles training camp practice. There's a lot to talk about, so let's dive right in:
• Weather: Sunny and warm.
• Quick injury update: CB Cary Williams (leg soreness) returned. WR Riley Cooper (foot), WR Jeff Maehl (ankle), ILB Jake Knott (hamstring), RB Chris Polk (hamstring), Julian Vandervelde (back) are still not practicing. CB Nolan Carroll didn't practice. CB Brandon Boykin and WR Jeremy Maclin were banged up a little in practice and sat out of some team drills (Maclin moreso than Boykin) but there's no indication of anything major. More detailed injury report coming later.
• Today's notes begin with two of everyone's "most" favorite Eagles: Casey Matthews and Damaris Johnson. As Johnson went out to run a short route, Matthews legally shoved him into the ground to disrupt the route. Survival of the fittest.
• New drill near the start of practice: Three different offensive groups (first team, second, third) all on the same field but 30 yards apart. They practice formations and several plays at a quick tempo. Just another example of Chip Kelly maximizing practice efficiency.
• I was really impressed by outside linebacker Bryan Braman dropping into coverage on one play where tight end Blake Annen was lined up out wide. Braman trailed behind Annen and couldn't get his head turned around but he stuck his hands up and the pass was deflected. Nice play.
• Josh Huff made what I thought was an incredible diving catch down the field on one play but I later realized it was a drop. Birds 24/7 Sheil Kapadia noted aloud that Huff has a lot of plays like that and I've kind of noticed the same thing. As Huff gets more polish and experience, he might find a way to finish those big plays.
• Jordan Matthews dropped a pass and the world ended so there's no more notes for today.
• Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis was asked about the safety battle as it pertained to the competition of Earl Wolff versus Nate Allen. While most outsiders see the battle that way, Davis noted that it wasn't just those two involved and that they're going to work in other defensive backs. This was apparent on Monday when Chris Maragos took reps with the first group next to Malcolm Jenkins while Nate Allen and Earl Wolff practiced with the twos.
• Quarterback Nick Foles looked pretty good. I didn't see him make too many mistakes. The only bad throw I can remember was a slightly overthrown pass to running back LeSean McCoy, who was running a wheel route. Foles didn't throw an interception on Monday. Prior to today he had thrown at least one in his last four practices. Now that I think about it, I don't think I saw any interceptions thrown on Monday. That hasn't happened since Day 3 of training camp.
• Random, but true: G.J. Kinne is deceptively fast when he takes off running with the ball. I'm pretty sure he's the fastest quarterback on the team. Let's hope we get to see him break off a nice run in the preseason.
• Trent Cole was roasted by Zach Ertz on one play. To Cole's credit, that's a big mismatch. Ertz could be mistaken for a wide receiver out there sometimes.
• Wide receiver versus cornerback 1-on-1:
Jordan Matthews versus Malcolm Jenkins (two of the top performers in training camp so far) is extremely fun to watch. Both players are giving it their all and it gets physical. Matthews beat Jenkins on the first try despite good coverage. The second play featured even better coverage by Jenkins but Matthews, who struggles to get separation, somehow held on for a catch down field. As Matthews was running out the play hard as he always does, Jenkins got up and applauded him for the play. He knew that wasn't easy for the rookie.
Brad Smith beats Maragos easily for a medium gain.
Jeremy Maclin beats Cary Williams fairly easily.
Nate Allen breaks up a short pass intended for Damaris Johnson. That might be the first play I've seen Allen make in camp.
Rookie Kadron Boone made an excellent diving catch that earned him the applause of fans in attendance at practice.
Curtis Marsh broke up a pass. Ed Kracz noted that Marsh, who picked off Foles on Sunday, has made some plays in recent practices. I agree. Marsh hasn't had a bad camp.
Quron Pratt runs a really crisp route that creates a lot of space between him and Brandon Boykin. Boykin would later break up a pass intended for the rookie receiver.
Pratt makes another good catch to end the drill. Curtis Marsh was suffocating Pratt in coverage but Foles threw a perfectly timed back shoulder throw that was impossible to defend.
• Jordan Mathews took a very few repetitions with the first group while Maclin, who appeared to be shaken out, was sitting out of team drills but was later replaced by B.J. Cunningham. Short lived. Matthews caught one pass from Foles.
• During an 11-on-11 drill, Mark Sanchez threw a short dump off pass to Darren Sproles, who gained about ten yards. I swear the Eagles got the next snap off in about five seconds or less because everyone sprinted to the line and Sanchez hiked it quick for a short throw that went incomplete. Impressive speed.
• Zach Ertz made the play of the day, but it didn't count. The second year tight end skied for a Sanchez fade route pass and caught it with one hand... but couldn't keep both feet in-bounds because the ball was thrown a little too much towards the sideline. Still pretty impressive for Ertz to make it close.
• While the defensive backs didn't have any interceptions, they sure were active with pass deflections and tight coverage. The defense has looked pretty solid on the whole.
Up next: The team practices again tomorrow, Tuesday, August 5th at the Eagles facility.
Remaining Eagles training camp schedule:
July 26 - [Practice Report]
July 27 - [Practice Report]
July 28th (Public Practice at @ LFF) - [Practice Report]
July 30th - [Practice Report]
July 31st - [Practice Report]
August 1st - [Practice Report]
August 3rd (Public Practice @ LFF) - [Practice Report]
August 4th - [Practice Report]
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.