Tuesday was the third day of 2015 Philadelphia Eagles training camp practice. The practice was open to the public at Lincoln Financial Field. There's a lot to talk about, so let's dive right in.
Before practice started, the team introduced some Eagles alumni players. Biggest cheers went to Brian Westbrook, obviously. A.J. Feeley got a pretty good reception too.
Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro, who is BGN contributor (!), also introduced some of the new Eagles players as they ran on to the field. Pretty big cheers for Sam Bradford and DeMarco Murray. Important "quarterback competition" update: the cheers for Bradford were definitely louder than the ones for Mark Sanchez.
Let's get back to the actual practice. The pads came on today for the first time all summer.
Daily quick injury update: Zach Ertz and Josh Huff got a little banged up during practice but both returned shortly after.
• Special Teams
The Eagles started out with some special teams drills. I didn't see it, but BGN's Mark Saltveit said he saw someone get lit up on the return unit: "Kickoff drill -- a return team blocker just got knocked into the air 3 feet on a MurderLeg-like downfield hit. Couldn't tell who."
Josh Huff made a nice cutback move against the return coverage. Looked like it would have gone for a decent gain in a real game situation. Nelson Agholor and Raheem Mostert also returned some kicks.
Didn't see Cody Parkey miss any kicks. Looked pretty solid from around 45 based on the times I watched him.
• WR vs. DB:
PLAY OF THE DAY: Sam Bradford aired it out deep to Nelson Agholor in the end zone. The rookie may have had a step on his defender but Byron Maxwell knocked it away at the last moment before both players went to the ground. After the play, Maxwell got up and waved to the crowd, much to their delight. Big cheers. Maxwell definitely plays with swagger. He's had a good camp.
Tim Tebow threw a good ball to Brent Celek on an out but the veteran dropped the pass. Celek's had a lot of drops this summer. He usually does have his fair share of drops in the offseason.
Chris Maragos broke up a Matt Barkley pass intended for newly signed rookie receiver Mike Johnson.
Bradford completed a good ball to Jordan Matthews after the receiver made a leaping grab close the sideline. Malcolm Jenkins played him close but Matthews was able to make the play.
Bradford overthrew John Harris on a deep attempt. Bradford's had a problem overthrowing some of his deep targets so far in camp.
Barkley throws deep to Josh Huff in the end zone for a touchdown to beat E.J. Biggers in coverage. Great over-the-shoulder catch. Huff was a little shaken up after this play since there was contact and both players went to the ground, but he returned to practice and looked fine.
Rasheed Bailey dropped a routine pass. Then Nelson Agholor dropped a pass with no one really covering him. Rookie mistakes.
• 2 WR vs. 2 DB
Bradford zipped a pass to John Harris outside the numbers. Earlier this offseason, BGN Radio's John Barchard wrote the following: "Bradford's bread and butter throw is on out routes. Whether it's 5, 10, or 15 yards, that ball is humming and it's exactly where it needs be." After watching him in practice, I completely agree with his assessment. Bradford is money on these throws.
Barkley didn't look so hot in this drill. His throws were inaccurate and his decision making didn't look great. He was also coverage "sacked" once when he couldn't even get the ball off to a receiver.
• Seven vs. Seven
Bradford up first, Mark Sanchez up second, Barkley third, Tim Tebow fourth. Once again, Bradford took most (if not all) of the first team reps during the entire practice.
Matthews dropped a pass from Bradford. May have been a little bit behind him, but still could have made it.
Harris dropped a deep pass from Tebow. He was wide open. Not the most perfectly placed ball from Tebow but Harris needs to make that play. JaCorey Shepherd was supposed to be in coverage on the play but he got lost.
Shepherd made up for his mistake a little bit later by breaking up a deep pass intended for Quron Pratt. Shepherd is aggressive and really attacks the ball in the air.
I didn't see it, but someone noted Chris Prosinski picked off Barkley at one point.
Kiko Alonso popped Agholor a little bit after a play. Nothing too vicious, but enough of a hit to remind players that the pads are now on.
Random: The Eagles played the Game of Thrones theme song at practice.
• Eleven vs. Eleven
DeMeco Ryans and Mychal Kendricks lined up with the first team defense. On offense, Matt Tobin was at right guard and Allen Barbre was at left guard.
Bradford rolled out left and threw a pass out of bounds. Why is this noteworthy? It's one of the first times I've seen Bradford really try to evade pressure, and he didn't looked hobbled while doing it.
Tebow ran up middle on one play, which really got the crowd excited. But then he fumbled! Denzel Rice stripped him when Tebow got a little careless. The rookie also recovered the ball. On the next play, Tebow completed Rice came close to knocking down a Tebow pass but it went for a completion. Good tight coverage still. Rice has looked pretty solid for an unheralded undrafted rookie free agent cornerback.
• Seven vs. Seven
UDFA running back Raheem Mostert got a few reps with the first team at running back. Chip Kelly recently mentioned the rookie speedster is an "interesting guy to keep an eye on here in this preseason camp." Mostert could be in the mix for a fourth running back spot and/or a practice squad opportunity.
Sanchez hit Celek on a short pass over the middle before Kendricks came in like a wrecking ball and blew Celek up. The linebacker caused the veteran tight end to fumble and then scooped up the loose ball.
Barkley was almost intercepted by Najee Goode for a would-be pick six. Some real bad decisions from Barkley today.
Tebow had a short pass intended for Kenjon Barner skip right off the ground. Shades of Donovan McNabb. Tebow was also picked off by Randall Evans after a pass he threw to Pratt bounced off the receiver's hands. The ball was thrown a little behind Pratt.
• Eleven vs. Eleven
Interesting note: Darren Sproles lined up as slot wide receiver with the second team group a good bit. Ryan Mathews lined up as the running back in the backfield. As Andrew Kulp (@KulpSays) reminded me, the Eagles seemed to do this with Sproles in training camp last year but not so much during the season.
Barkley rolled out and threw a bad pass into coverage that was knocked down by E.J. Biggers.
Tebow scrambled to his right and threw a shovel pass along the sideline that was picked off by Prosinski. Really bad decision and execution there.
General note: Nolan Carroll had good coverage on Riley Cooper for most of the day.
Bradford dropped a shotgun snap, reset himself in the pocket, and then took off running up the middle. I don't think the Eagles want to see that in a real game situation.
Sanchez hit Sproles in the slot on back to back plays for solid gains. Sproles looks good as a weapon in that position.
Ertz made a nice leaping catch up the seam on a Sanchez pass but was shaken up after the play. He ended up being OK, just had the wind knocked out of him.
Biggers broke up a Tebow pass along sideline. Solid day for Biggers. He took advantage of bad quarterback play.
Bradford didn't like what he saw from his outside receivers on one rep, so he found Matthews over the middle for a nice gain. Looks like Matthews is becoming his security blanket.
Rice dropped a diving interception that he could have had. Surprise: Barkley threw the ball.
Quarterbacks: Bradford wasn't as good as he was on Monday. Up and down. Sanchez was solid but unspectacular. Barkley and Tebow were bad, though Tebow may have been a little less worse. Rough day for Barkley.
Receivers: Matthews had another strong day. BGN's Ben Natan (@BenNatanFS) said Huff looked really good, and while I don't disagree, I didn't specifically focus on him as much today as he did. Agholor made a few rookie mistakes.
DeMarco Murray runs like a beast. Certainly not shy to make contact.
Up next: No practice tomorrow on Wednesday. Eagles return to action at NovaCare on Thursday at 11:40 AM.