The Philadelphia Eagles kicked off their three-day minicamp with a practice open to the media on Tuesday. I was there to watch it.
Keep in mind that these are all non-contact drills at this point. Players aren't allowed to wear shells yet. There's only so much to be gleaned from players running around in shorts, but here's what I learned from Tuesday's session.
• Injury update: Safety Earl Wolff (knee) is doing position drills but he's still not doing team drills (7-on-7s and/or 11-on-11s). Rookie cornerback Randall Evans was seen doing some work off to the side during team drills as well.
• Marcus Smith returned to practice last week and continued to participate in team drills today. Smith suffered a groin injury early in OTAs so it's good for him that's back on the field.
• Sloppy practice today on several levels. It started out with some missed field goal attempts from Cody Parkey. They weren't close kicks; probably from about the 40-50 yard range or so. But a number of them were wide right. There was a little bit of wind but nothing major. Parkey has looked solid for most of the spring so maybe this was just a bad day.
• Speaking of special teams, Josh Huff took reps as the first team kick returner. Not too surprising. Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles, and Nelson Agholor also took some practice reps there. Jordan Matthews and Kenjon Barner fielded some kicks and each player dropped at least one of their attempts. Sloppy!
• Byron Maxwell really liked the music at practice today. I can't remember what song he was dancing to but he was definitely dancing for an extended period of time. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to record it in time. That's on me. I have to do a better job.
• Cool moment during LB drill: Connor Barwin pulls 2014 practice squad linebacker Brandon Hepburn aside after completing a rep and gives him some pointers (pictured here). Shortly after, Barwin yelled "LET'S GO TRAVIS!" at Travis Long as he was doing a sled drill. Just a nice example of Barwin's leadership.
• Brandon Graham is super intense during practice. The way he attacks the sleds, well ... let's just say it's the kind of VIOLENCE that defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro certainly appreciates. And he makes it look easy.
• New offensive lineman Jared Wheeler is wearing the No. 69 jersey. Didn't someone else used to wear that number?
• Sloppy: First play of 7-on-7s results in Riley Cooper dropping a short Mark Sanchez pass. Matt Barkley took over and threw behind a wide receiver on a short pass before overthrowing Kenjon Barner in the flat. Nelson Agholor dropped a short pass thrown by Tim Tebow, though the ball placement may not have been perfect.
• Sam Bradford didn't look so sloppy, however. I specifically paid attention to his footwork and I didn't notice any issues or hesitancy. He's still not doing 11-on-11s but he looked good in 7-on-7. Good accuracy, great zip on the ball, no major mistakes. The one exception is when Mychal Kendricks almost picked off Bradford on a short pass over the middle. Kendricks only managed to tip the ball. Otherwise, he looked consistently solid. Bradford took the first team reps during 7-on-7s at one point instead of going fourth (but still working with the ones) like he had been earlier this spring.
• For more on Bradford, check out this from Jimmy Kempski's notes: "We've already noted this, but Sam Bradford has a gun. Remember when Donovan McNabb would fire passes as hard as he could at receivers standing 5-10 yards away from him? We're not talking about his worm-burners. We're talking about his close-range missiles that would bounce off receivers' hands. Well, Bradford did that today to Miles Austin, who couldn't handle Bradford's heat. Bradford also had a nice sideline throw with zip to Riley Cooper."
• The Eagles ran a lot of running plays today. They will be running a lot of running plays this season.
• There were some helicopters hanging around in the sky above Eagles practice. Some joked about an opposing team trying to spy on the Eagles, but apparently there was a terror threat at the Navy Yard.
• Mark Sanchez had a man crush on Jordan Matthews last year. The veteran quarterback would always target the then-rookie. With Bradford taking some first team reps and Jordan Matthews running with the first team wide receivers (along with Riley Cooper and Josh Huff), however, Sanchez is sometimes without his buddy. It's early, but it looks like Miles Austin could be Sanchez's new guy. Sanchez just loves throwing to guys inside the numbers.
• Tebow had a really good throw to G.J. Kinne at one point. Still sounds weird!
• I keep forgetting E.J. Biggers is on the team.
• Marcus Smith got some first team reps at OLB. Andrew Gardner took first team reps at RG. Brandon Boykin got some first team reps at outside cornerback while Jerome Couplin lined next to Malcolm Jenkins at safety. None of this means a whole lot at this point, but it's at least a little interesting.
• Josh Huff made a nice diving catch on a Sanchez pass thrown over the middle. Huff's had a quiet spring. It's not that he's necessarily been bad, but the ball hasn't gone his way a lot.
• Rookie linebacker Jordan Hicks did a great job of dropping into coverage on a tight end (or wide receiver?) and breaking up an intermediate pass thrown by Tebow. Impressive play.
• POST-PRACTICE: Ertz and Matthews spent time running routes against Jenkins and Couplin. No quarterback, just guys working on releases/timing/etc. Players getting work on the JUGS machine include: Huff, Justin Tukes, Devante Davis, Rasheed Bailey. The young guys are working hard.
Up next: Back at it again tomorrow. Same time, same place. Practice starts around 11:15 AM ET.
BGN will have a lot more minicamp coverage today so check back often.
Remaining offseason workout schedule:
Mandatory Minicamp: June 17-18.
BGN Coverage: The following practices are open to the media: June 17-18.