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Eagles Training Camp Practice Notes: Jalen Mills is off to a strong start

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Here's what we learned from today's Eagles practice.

via @Eagles

Monday was the first day of 2016 Eagles training camp practice. As noted earlier, only 38 players have reported so far, so it's not like it was a standard practice. Certain players were playing out of position (more on that later) during team drills due to the lack of numbers. Here's what I noticed anyway.


• Very hot and sunny out, in case you didn't realize.

• The players aren't wearing pads yet. So no tackling. According to Doug Pederson, the pads will come out on Saturday.

• Injury update: It seemed like everyone was full go in practice. Good way to start training camp.

• Can't believe it took until the fourth bullet point to get to Eagles quarterback talk.

Sam Bradford took the "first team" reps. The veteran passer did something in practice he does very often: throw short passes. Bradford's best pass of the day was a strike up the seam to undrafted tight end M.J. MacFarland. The ball was only where the pass catcher could make the play. Unfortunately for MacFarland, he had the ball stripped out by UDFA linebacker Myke Tavarres. Bradford's worst throw was when Travis Long almost came up with a diving interception.

Chase Daniel continued to show he's not afraid to take shots down the field. This was apparent during spring practices. Daniel's first throw of the day went about 25 yards down the field before being broken up by former CFL corner Aaron Grymes. Daniel had a few more of his passes broken up later during practice. Not the greatest day for Chase.

Carson Wentz's passes didn't seem to wobble as much as they did in the spring, though the shakiness wasn't completely gone. Overall, though, I liked what I saw from the rookie. He threw a dagger to Marcus Johnson along the sideline on a comeback route. Wentz struggled with his touch on one deep attempt, sailing the pass well over the receiver's head. But then he made up for that later by hitting Johnson 30 yards deep down the right sideline with a perfect throw. I think it's safe to say this tweet is no exaggeration.

Jalen Mills was the most noteworthy non-quarterback player during practice. The rookie cornerback looked impressive during the spring, earning praise from head coach Doug Pederson. Mills broke up at least three of Daniel's pass attempts. He earned a high five from Cory Undlin after the first one. Then Daniel tried to throw it over the middle into the end zone during red zone drills and Mills knocked it down. Lastly, Mills tipped a fade pass out of bounds.

After practice, Mills met with the media and talked about how players are calling him the "Green Goblin" since he dyed his hair.

• Stop me if you've heard this before: the Eagles did not look great catching the ball. A wide open Wendell Smallwood failed to catch a pass in the flat. Cayleb Jones dropped a pass along the sideline. MacFarland dropped a pass or two. These are just a few examples.

• One player who did look good catching the ball? Byron Marshall. The rookie from Oregon was at Eagles practice for the first time since rookie minicamp after not being allowed to attend OTAs and minicamp. Marshall, who has experience as a wide receiver, looked natural catching the ball out of the backfield. He did make one big mistake by fumbling in a non-contact drill.

McLeod Bethel-Thompson, who is the team's fourth string quarterback, doubled as a tight end today. It looked weird seeing a red jersey line up in that spot. Daniel even threw to him once. He couldn't hold on to the ball with linebackers swarming near him, but he gave a good effort. MBT is no G.J. Kinne, that's for sure, but he's doing his best to make him proud.

• Here's a video clip from Eagles practice. Like on the official Bleeding Green Nation Facebook page to watch these videos live as they happen.

Up next: Right back at it tomorrow with another Eagles training camp practice starting at 8:30 AM ET. Stay tuned.