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Eagles Training Camp Practice Notes: Jordan Matthews dominated the Ravens defense

Here's what we learned from today's Eagles joint practice with the Ravens.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles continued training camp practice on Thursday. The Eagles held the second of their three joint training camp practices with the Baltimore Ravens. There's a lot to talk about, so let's do this thing.

• Pads were on for today's session.

• Quick injury update: Marcus Smith left practice early with a hamstring strain. He's scheduled to have an MRI on Friday.

• Quite a few notable people attended practice. The list includes: former Eagles coach Dick Vermeil, Flyers executive Paul Holmgren, and Phillies executive Andy McPhail.

Jordan Matthews has looked awesome this summer. He's looked so good that I unintentionally ignores his greatness sometimes because it's already to be expected at this point. But today was an especially good day for him. It started off when he made some tough catches going up one-on-one against Ravens defensive backs. No matter how difficult the catch, he would pull it off. His best one was on a diving grab to catch a Bradford throw. More on Matthews later.

Denzel Rice forced a fumble on the Ravens' kick returner during a special teams drill. He ripped it out and then recovered it right away. This is at least the second time he's done that this summer. The first time I can remember was against Tim Tebow. The undrafted rookie free agent is really doing his best to push for a roster spot.

Mychal Kendricks and DeMeco Ryans returned to team drills after sitting those out on Wednesday. Kendricks looked good in coverage and had a near interception. Later, however, he was called for pass interference in the end zone while covering a running back. He didn't like the call, but the flag may have been justified from what I could tell.

• FIGHT! Well, sort of. It didn't last very long. It started when rookie defensive end Brian Mihalik laid out a running back as he ran by. It was hard to get a good read on what exactly happened in the scrum, but Mihalik didn't appear to be involved. Instead, undrafted rookie free agent Diaheem Watkins was the one who got kicked out of practice. That's standard policy for Eagles players who fight during joint practices. There were a couple more very minor scrums throughout practice, but nothing ever came to blows.

Josh Huff looked great as a kick returner. The coverage team obviously couldn't tackle him, but he tricked a few defenders with nice juke moves. Rookie UDFA RB Raheem Mostert also looked good on kick return. He didn't make people miss as much as he was able to use his speed to turn the corner and get upfield in a hurry. You can't give him open space because he's fast.

Cody Parkey went nine for nine with his kicks today. There was significant wind, too. Good bounce back performance from him after struggling recently. Meanwhile, Ravens kicker Justin Tucker nailed a 65-yard attempt.

Sam Bradford had a nice touchdown drive against the Ravens first team defense. He started by connecting with Darren Sproles, who was lined up in the slot, for a first down. Second-year linebacker C.J. Mosley had no chance of covering him. Then Bradford hit Riley Cooper with a great anticipation throw over the middle of the field. The ball was out before the wide receiver even turned back for it. Bradford placed it where the Ravens defensive back didn't have a shot. Cooper did a great job of making the tough grab. Once the Eagles were in the red zone, Bradford targeted Matthews (who else?) but the pass was incomplete after Matthews only got one hand on it. Kyle Arrington committed defensive holding, however, so the Eagles got the ball at the one and punched it in with Kenjon Barner for the score.

• With Marcus Smith out, Bryan Braman and Vinny Curry were lined up as the second team outside linebackers. One reporter noted that Curry had a nice play in coverage where he ran down the field in coverage and knocked the ball out after it was caught. Some other reporters noted that Curry struggled in coverage. The Eagles obviously want Curry rushing more than dropping.

Matt Barkley had one of the best series he's had all summer. He hit G.J. Kinne, Andrew Gleichert (with a nice diving grab), and Quron Pratt to move the offense into the red zone before he capped it off with a great touchdown throw to Justin Tukes, who was tightly covered. Kudos to Barkley.

Brent Celek dropped a would-be touchdown pass from Bradford during a red-zone drill. Then Josh Huff had a ball go through his hands.

• An Eagles fan in attendance yelled out "PUT TEBOW IN WITH THE ONES!" He may have been joking, but it's hard to tell. Either way, people in the crowd laughed.

• Bradford targeted Matthews deep. The wide receiver only got one hand on the ball before it fell incomplete. Matthews wanted a flag on the play and he got it. A little later on, Bradford targeted Matthews deep again. And guess what? Matthews couldn't catch it because a Ravens defensive back was hanging on him like ornaments on a Christmas tree. Another flag. Baltimore just couldn't handle Jordan Matthews.

• I'll just leave this here:

E.J. Biggers picked off a Ravens quarterback (couldn't tell who) and returned it to the house for six. Nice play by the veteran. To some surprise, Biggers has actually had a pretty good summer. Before practice, Chip Kelly praised Biggers. He even called the cornerbacks "Bigs," which is a great sign for the defensive back. There's a theory that players whom Kelly nicknames are typically favored by him.

Eric Rowe went stride for stride with Steve Smith Sr. deep down the field. The ball was slightly overthrown out of bounds, but even if it had been catchable, Rowe wasn't giving Smith much sideline to work with to stay in. The rookie had good position on the play.

• Observation from Ravens beat reporter Jeff Zrebiec: "Ravens first time offense has struggled to consistently move ball past two days. Eagles not having same problem."

• Matthews and Nelson Agholor worked out together after practice. These dudes are inseparable:

A video posted by BLG (@brandongowton) on

Up next: A walk-through is scheduled to take place on Friday. It'll probably be a very light day. Then the Eagles and Ravens face off on Saturday night.

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