The Philadelphia Eagles resumed their 2017 OTA practices on Tuesday. The practice session was open to media and I was there to observe it all. Disclaimer: Keep in mind that these are all non-contact drills at this point. Players aren't allowed to wear shells yet. There's only so much to be gleaned from players running around in shorts, but here's what I noticed on Tuesday.
• Attendance updates: Too long of a list to explain here. [Click here] for more details on today’s absences.
• Injury updates: Jordan Matthews (knee tendinitis) was one of the players absent from Tuesday’s practice. The Eagles said they’re taking a “conservative approach” with him. Mychal Kendricks (hamstring), Joe Walker, and Allen Barbre were at practice but didn’t participate in team drills.
• Weather update: Very rainy day at Eagles practice. Keep that in mind considering drops/errant throws.
• PLAY OF THE DAY: Alshon Jeffery made a beastly catch in the end zone by winning out on a jump ball thrown by Carson Wentz. Rookie cornerback Rasul Douglas had tight coverage but it doesn’t matter with Jeffery. The veteran wide receiver is going to go up and get that ball. After Jeffery made the catch, he got up, stared Douglas down, and spiked the ball directly in front of the Eagles’ third round draft pick. In my head I’m imagining Alshon said something like “F*** you rookie! You can’t stop me!”
• Seriously, though, that play was awesome. It’s only been two practices but Alshon looks like the real deal.
• In fairness to Douglas, he didn’t have a bad day by any means. The rookie broke up quite a few passes. He was very active.
• Same deal as last week for Carson Wentz: another up and down showing.
He once again struggled with sailing passes during red zone drills. Too often were the passes sailing out of the back of the end zone, completely failing to give his receivers a chance to catch the ball. Missing high wasn’t the only issue. He also threw a worm burner over the middle to the feet of Trey Burton. Wentz got picked off by Jalen Mills on a short throw intended for Brent Celek. It looked like there may have been some miscommunication on the play. Wentz almost threw a second interception on a short pass to Celek but Najee Goode dropped the pick.
It wasn’t all bad for Wentz. The 24-year-old passer threw a few nice touch passes on fade routes to both Celek and Burton in the end zone. He gave Jeffery a chance on the jump ball touchdown and he also connected with Nelson Agholor (who burned Mills) on a deep bomb for a score.
• Speaking of that play, Agholor had another good practice. I was even going to tweet that I haven’t seen him drop a pass during OTAs this year, but then he suffered two drops. (Sorry, Nelson.) Agholor spent time as the first team slot receiver with Matthews not practicing.
• Dorial Green-Beckham didn’t look any better than he did last week. He’s really struggling. Poor route-running, failing to win jump balls, drops, you name it. He’s not making this team.
• Good day for some of the team’s cornerbacks. Patrick Robinson broke up a pass meant for DGB. C.J. Smith broke up a jump ball pass from Nick Foles intended for DGB. Aaron Grymes picked off Foles cleanly on one play. Fellow former CFL player Mitchell White had a few pass breakups, including one where he leaped high to knock down a Wentz fade pass to Torrey Smith in the back corner of the end zone. White would have had a shot to pick off Matt McGloin if Greg Ward didn’t commit blatant pass interference to break up the play. Randall Goforth broke up a Foles fade pass to Burton. Jomal Wiltz jammed David Watford at the line of scrimmage and disrupted the receiver’s route so much that Watford had to end up playing defense so Wiltz didn’t get a pick.
• One of Foles’ best throws of the day was a fade pass to undrafted rookie tight end Billy Brown.
• For all his faults, Mark Sanchez was really good at throwing seam passes sometimes. McGloin is the new Eagles backup quarterback who excels in that area. He connected with 2016 practice squad tight end Anthony Denham over the middle in a tight window. Denham proceeded to outrun the defense for a touchdown.
• I saw Denham made another tough catch later in practice. I don’t imagine the Eagles will keep four tight ends but he’s stood out a little to me.
• Torrey Smith made a nice diving grab on a throw from Wentz. I haven’t noticed a ton of Smith either way, but he hasn’t looked horrible when I have noticed him, so I think that’s good considering how much he struggled in San Francisco.
• Jordan Hicks broke up a pass meant for Pumphrey from behind. It looked like Hicks merely could have picked Pumphrey up off the ground in order to disrupt the play. Still can’t get over how small that dude is.
• Torrey Smith and Donnel Pumphrey (in that order) returned punts with Darren Sproles absent.
• Drops: Nelson Agholor (2), Torrey Smith, (1), Byron Marshall (1), Wendell Smallwood (1), Corey Clement (1) and ... Alshon Jeffery (1). Gasp! In fairness to Alshon, it was a pretty difficult play where he was diving for a low pass in the rain.
• Alshon spends a lot of time practicing catching while the rest of the team does special teams drills. Always working hard.
• Rookie WR Mack Hollins made a nice catch. Watch the video below.
"Can we talk about this catch please, Mack? I've been dying to talk about this catch with you all day, okay." - Charlie Kelly, probably pic.twitter.com/NTnbCgwAaQ— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) May 30, 2017
• The Eagles had Dillon Gordon lining up at fullback on a few plays.
• Welcome back to practice, Fletcher. Wentz drew Cox offsides with a hard count early in practice.
• Doug Pederson yelled at some media members who were leaning against the Eagles’ facility in an attempt to stay out of the rain. Reporters were never allowed to sit or lean during practice during the Andy Reid days. The tradition lives on with Pederson.
Check out video from Eagles practice via the Bleeding Green Nation Facebook page (click here or watch below)
LIVE LOOK AT EAGLES PRACTICE!Posted by Bleeding Green Nation: For Philadelphia Eagles Fans on Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Hear from Fletcher Cox after practice (click here or watch below)
Fletcher Cox on his expectations this year and if the size of his contract should determine his responsibilitiesPosted by Bleeding Green Nation: For Philadelphia Eagles Fans on Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Up next: The Eagles practice again on Wednesday and Thursday but those sessions aren't open to the media. The next open practice is next week on Monday, June 5.
Remaining offseason workout schedule
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 30-June 1; June 5-6, 8-9.
Mandatory Minicamp: June 13-15.
BGN Coverage: The following practices are open to the media: May 30, June 5, June 9, and June 13-15.