Friday was the fifth day of 2015 Philadelphia Eagles training camp practice. There's a lot to talk about, so let's dive right in.
• The Eagles wore pads once again.
• Quick injury update: linebacker Kiko Alonso (concussion), running back DeMarco Murray (illness), tight end Zach Ertz (?), linebacker Mychal Kendricks (?), and safety Jerome Couplin (?) did not participate in practice. Alonso was the only player not even on the field. More details on this situation later.
• The Eagles mainly practiced on their field closest to Hartranft Street. All the beat writers, myself included, do not like when they do this. Usually the Eagles practice in front of one of two fields close to the big bleachers outside of the facility. This field is far away from the bleachers and it makes it hard to see what's going on. So, my apologies if the notes seem a little light today.
• SAM BRADFORD UPDATE: I'm going to put all of my Bradford notes in one place because the dude was on fire today. Obviously there wasn't a pass rush and this isn't a game environment, so take it for what it's worth, but it was a very encouraging practice for him.
One of Bradford's first passes was meant for Brent Celek on a post but the veteran was a step slow. I feel like this has happened too often in both games and practices in recent years.
Bradford's first real beauty of a pass connected with Jordan Matthews along the left sideline. The wide receiver caught it over his shoulder and managed to stay in bounds. The ball was exactly where it needed to be. Bradford shows no reluctance to fit the ball into tight spaces despite good coverage. He's not forcing it, either. He's throwing it to where only the wide receiver can get it.
Shortly after the first Matthews reception, Bradford hit the second year receiver over the middle of the field again. This play was more of a testament to Matthews' ability to get open on horizontal routes. He's really good at working the middle of the field.
Bradford threw a deep pass to Riley Cooper along the left sideline and it was money. Again, the ball was right on the hands and Cooper faced tight coverage. Bradford was dropping dimes all over the field.
As if the Bradford to Matthews connection wasn't strong enough, the quarterback hit the wide receiver on a perfectly thrown fade pass for a touchdown. Bradford was imposing his will on the defense at this point.
It's rare that Bradford doesn't get a pass attempt off, but that happened once today. No one got open and the pressure was collapsing from the edge so he ran up the middle and got a few yards. No one is going to mistake him for a burner, but he didn't look hampered as he ran.
The last Bradford pass that really stood out was when he hit Celek on a post route before the veteran took off and ran it to the house. Gorgeous throw. This is an example of why Bradford's accuracy matters so much. His pass catchers don't have to slow down and wait for the ball to come to them. He can hit them in stride, which sets up a lot of YAC potential.
Overall, Bradford had an outstanding day. Easily his best practice so far. The things that really stood out: his quick release, his laser accuracy, and his great decision making. This is a good first step. Now the real test will be seeing how he holds up when he faces pressure in real game action.
• Nelson Agholor dropped a pass early on. That's been an issue with him a little bit this summer. He made up for it later, however, by making an awesome catch away from his body along the sideline on a Bradford throw. The rookie plucked the ball right out of the air and immediately turned up-field to gain yards.
• No one will ever mistake Matt Barkley for Bradford. Whereas Bradford has a lot of juice on his throws, Barkley doesn't. The 2013 draft pick threw a deep floater into coverage today where Quron Pratt had a shot at it but the ball went off his hands and into the arms of Chris Prosinski. That's the third interception for Prosinski this summer, by the way. He's been opportunistic.
• Tim Tebow threw a killer pump fake today that totally shook off a defender covering a receiver in the flat. Tebow then completed the pass to his open target.
• Eagles centers not named Jason Kelce (so, the backups) have had issues snapping the ball. They've been off target a little too often.
• Lineup notes: Ryan Mathews once again took first team reps at running back with Murray sitting out. Eric Rowe got some work at first team cornerback once again. Andrew Gardner started at right guard after John Moffitt got a chance there yesterday.
• Not really a great practice for Mark Sanchez. He underthrew an open Agholor on a seam pass, which is weird because Sanchez is usually money on that throw. A little later, Sanchez overthrew Agholor in the end zone. The rookie had a step on the defense.
Eagles players who have shined in training camp
The newest edition of BGN Radio is here! (Episode #103). This episode features an Eagles training camp update.
Sanchez's worst moment came when he was picked off by Jaylen Watkins. The defensive back jumped the route and made the play. It's been a quite camp for Watkins, so he'll take this play.
• Speaking of quite camps, Earl Wolff broke up a Tebow pass along the sideline.
• Miles Austin dropped a short pass from Bradford on 4th and goal during a red zone drill. Not clutch!
• The most creative pass of the day goes to ... Tebow! The backup quarterback scrambled right and threw a shovel pass on the run to Pratt in the back of the end zone. The wide receiver made a tiptoe effort to stay in bounds for the touchdown. Unconventional, but it got the job done.
• Sanchez did have a good pass to Cooper in the end zone. Good job by the wide receiver to use his size and leap to get the ball.
• G.J. Kinne dropped a pass but the truth is the ball wasn't worthy of being caught by him.
• Spotted at practice: a fan in an Emil Igwenagu jersey. For real. Jimmy Kempski was the first to point it out. I have nothing more to say about this.
• Here's a very important Eagles training camp note: I went with mango flavored Rita's water ice today. I've come to the conclusion that mango the flavor is better than mango the fruit. Jimmy Kempski and Dave Mangels will back me up on this. Dan Klausner will not.
• Cody Parkey was perfect early on in practice with his field goal attempts. He even hit one through the uprights AND through the middle section of this cherry picker. Beast. At least one of the kicks was from beyond 50 yards.
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Up next: Practice again tomorrow on Saturday starting at 11:40 AM ET. The grind is real.