The Philadelphia Eagles resumed their 2017 OTA practices on Monday. The practice session was open to media and I was there to watch it all. Disclaimer: Keep in mind that these are all 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, but here's what I noticed on Monday.
• Attendance updates: Jason Peters, Donnie Jones, and Marcus Smith are still missing from practice. Sidney Jones (injured anyway) and Elijah Qualls still aren’t allowed to attend due to the NCAA’s graduation rule.
• Injury updates: LeGarrette Blount missed practice because he’s sick. Jordan Matthews was once again held out due to knee tendinitis after missing all of practice last week for the same reason. The Eagles have said they’re taking a “conservative approach” with Matthews. Hm. Timmy Jernigan limped off the field at one point with what appeared to be a foot issue. Waiting to hear more word on that.
• The Eagles have had three OTA practices open to the media so far. Carson Wentz has been up and down in all of them.
Wentz started off strong today. He completed a 40-50 yard pass deep down the field to Torrey Smith, who burned Jalen Mills. Right on the money. Wentz had another deep completion to Smith later on in practice.
Alshon Jeffery caught a deep touchdown from Wentz after the quarterback scrambled left and threw across his body. The throw was not an easy one to make by any means but it ended up being perfect. That kind of play is what makes Wentz so dangerous. He can extend plays with his legs and then use his powerful arm to take advantage of coverages that start to break down.
It wasn’t all pretty for Wentz. There were a few reps where the ball wasn’t thrown close to a receiver. Could have been miscommunication issues, hard to say for sure. Wentz had one pass over the middle to Bryce Treggs broken up by the combination of Terrence Brooks and Nate Gerry. The ball got tipped and lucky for the quarterback it wasn’t picked off. Wentz did get intercepted twice later, however. The first one was on a pass to Brent Celek over the middle. The veteran tight end had his hands extended to make the grab and Nigel Bradham (I thought it was Jordan Hicks, but other media members said it was Bradham) ripped it out. Then Wentz sailed a deep pass too high and Jaylen Watkins came up with the ball.
• Really good practice for Smith, by the way. Kind of funny how he really stepped it up after Jeremy Maclin got cut, huh? Just kidding — it’s not like Smith has looked bad at all this offseason. But today was his best day by far. Caught everything thrown his way, including a nice grab along the sideline with his hands extended. His speed is also still very apparent. He got behind the Eagles secondary a number of times.
• Nick Foles hasn’t looked so sharp. He got picked off by Gerry and he overthrew some deep attempts. His best throw came on a play where Nelson Agholor got Rasul Douglas to bite on a double move.
• Speaking of Agholor, yet another good practice for him. No big drops, no glaring mistakes. He made that tough over-the-shoulder grab from Foles and some other nice catches as well. It’s not like he suddenly looks like a superstar, but he’s flashing signs of being a competent NFL player. Which is a big improvement.
• Derek Barnett exploded into the backfield and batted down a Matt McGloin pass. The first round rookie continues to impress.
• Allen Barbre took first team reps at left guard during install periods. But then Isaac Seumalo was back at first team LG during team drills.
• Mike Groh refers to Mack Hollins as “Tar Heel.” I’m partial to my nickname for him: “The Gloveless Wonder.”
• Speaking of Hollins, he had a rare drop today. The pass from Foles was thrown a little behind him though.
• Drops are not so rare for Shelton Gibson. The rookie wide receiver has dealt with a number of those during these spring practices.
• Steven Means was lined up at defensive tackle on one play. He immediately burst through the offensive line at the snap and got pressure. The backup defensive end earned praise from Doug Pederson after the play.
• Interested to see how reserve tight end Anthony Denham is as a blocker, because he can certainly catch. Maybe the Eagles keep four tight ends? It’s a stretch to say at this point, but he continues to catch my eye.
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 Monday, June 5, 2017
Up next: The Eagles practice again on Tuesday and Thursday but those sessions aren't open to the media. The next open practice is later this week on Friday, June 9.
Remaining offseason workout schedule
OTA Offseason Workouts: June 5-6, 8-9.
Mandatory Minicamp: June 13-15.
BGN Coverage: The following practices are open to the media: June 5, June 9, and June 13-15.