The Philadelphia Eagles finished up their last OTA practice of 2016 on Friday. The session was open to media and I was there to watch it. Remember that these are still non-contact drills at this point. Players aren't allowed to wear pads yet. There's only so much to be gleaned from players running around in shorts, so take these observations for what they're worth. Here's what I noticed on Friday.
• Attendance update: Fletcher Cox and Darren Sproles are still absent. Doug Pederson said he expects both of them to return next week. We'll have more on Pederson's comments in a separate post.
• Injury update: In true Andy Reid fashion, Pederson started his press conference by listing some injury updates. Jordan Hicks is coming off a quad spasm and will return to practice next week in a limited role. Wide receiver Rueben Randle, who had gallbladder surgery last week, will also be limited next week. Cornerbacks Nolan Carroll and JaCorey Shepherd have been fully cleared for team drills starting next week.
• The Eagles practiced inside today because it was raining outside. Here's a look at my view of practice.
Eagles practicing inside today. pic.twitter.com/mw166UcXiT— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) June 3, 2016
Shoutout to Shamus Clancy of Liberty Ballers in the hoodie on the left at the start of the video.
• During the Eagles' install drills, I noticed some unbalanced line formations with Jason Peters setting up on the right side next to Lane Johnson. The Eagles did this at times under Chip Kelly.
• The limitations of the Eagles' practice bubble were on display as Donnie Jones was booming his punts into the ceiling of the facility. He's just a beast.
• Let's talk Eagles quarterbacks. Generally speaking, all three players seemed to turn in good performances. There were down moments, for sure, but the positive outweighed the bad.
• SAM BRADFORD rebounded from his bad outing on Tuesday. He started 7 on 7 with a strike over the middle to Brent Celek in traffic. (I haven't seen Celek drop a pass all spring, by the way.) He also hit Nelson Agholor over the middle 20 yards down the field. Agholor didn't catch it cleanly; he had to double clutch it. Still, at least he held on.
One of Bradford's best throws of the day came when he connected with Zach Ertz along the sideline. His touch pass floated just over the head and out of reach of Ron Brooks.
Bradford's day wasn't perfect. His biggest mistake came when he was was picked off cleanly by Najee Goode. In all honesty, it was a goode play by the linebacker, who reached up and snagged the pass out of the air. I don't think Bradford saw him there or he didn't realize Goode would be able to make an impressive leaping play like that.
Other mistakes include a ball intended for Chris Givens over the middle that ended up being a worm burner. Bradford also underthrew Josh Huff on a deep attempt. The ball was wobbly and Leodis McKelvin had a chance to make a play on it but it went over his outstretched arm. Huff had a chance to get his hands on the ball despite the underthrow but he still dropped it.
McKelvin versus Huff showed up again when Bradford fit a tight ball to the receiver along the sideline. McKelvin did his best to contest it but Huff ultimately won out. Nice catch. McKelvin was very upset after the play. He loudly shouted some four-letter word that begins with the letter "F" multiple times before running to the sideline. I think Eagles fans are going to appreciate McKelvin's energy and passion.
• CHASE DANIEL had another good day. His best throw of practice was a deep attempt to Chris Givens in the end zone for a touchdown. The timing and accuracy was perfect. Daniel was really fired up after the play. Very intense fist pump action. Daniel is easily the most animated of all the quarterbacks. I've mentioned his before, but he's also not afraid to take shots down the field.
Daniel's lowlights include a deep pass intended for T.J. Graham that was underthrown. Jalen Mills almost came up with the pick on the play. Tight coverage from the rookie. Daniel got picked once after Steven Means tipped his pass while "rushing" off of the edge. Rookie linebacker Joe Walker tracked the ball and caught it for a would-be pick six. Means also recovered a fumble for a touchdown earlier in practice, so a nice day for him. Daniel almost got picked again, but it wasn't so much his fault as his receiver not catching the ball and tipping it into the air instead. Blake Countess couldn't catch the interception that time.
• CARSON WENTZ showed some encouraging signs. The rookie passer led Jordan Matthews to make an over the shoulder catch near the sideline for a 20 yard gain. He also made a really good throw on the run after facing "pressure" in the pocket. He scrambled to his right and delivered an accurate strike to Graham, who was tightly covered, while on the move. Not an easy throw at all.
Wentz threw a nice deep ball to UDFA receiver Paul Turner that was broken up by his former North Dakota State teammate: C.J. Smith. Smith made a great diving effort to deflect the pass. He drew praise from defensive backs coach Cory Undlin and the rest of the secondary after the play. Smith struck again when he picked off Wentz on a deep throw. The quarterback wasn't at fault; Graham broke off his route too early and patted his chest signaling he was the one who messed up on the play.
• Matthews got some looks where he was split out wide and then received a screen pass.
• Brooks has had a good spring. He broke up a short pass intended for Matthews at one point today. He could be the favorite to start in the slot.
• Wentz really likes throwing to Trey Burton.
• Fourth string tight end Chris Pantale has been decent. He's been getting looks at fullback, too. Keep an eye on him as a surprise roster finalist.
Up next: The Eagles return to practice next week on Tuesday, June 7. Unlike the rest of the Eagles' offseason practices, next week's minicamp is a mandatory event. Players can be fined up to $76,580 for not attending.
Remaining offseason workout schedule:
Mandatory Minicamp: June 7-9.
BGN Coverage: The following remaining practices are open to the media: June 7-9.