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Eagles Training Camp Practice Notes: All aboard the Mack Hollins hype train

Here’s we what learned.

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles-Minicamp Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Today marked the first day of 2017 Eagles training camp practice. It wasn’t a full team practice because only quarterbacks, rookies, and selected veterans have reported so far. With that in mind, here’s what I saw.


• Let’s start with the most important player on the team: Carson Wentz. The second-year quarterback threw a beauty of a deep ball on a post to Mack Hollins over the middle of the field, but the rookie couldn’t hang on with his arms stretched out for the catch. Wentz’s worst throw came on a play where undrafted cornerback Randall Goforth picked him off in the red zone. The throw was made into tight coverage and the rookie jumped the receiver to make the play. Clearly this means Wentz is a bust and the season is over.

• Aside from that one drop, Hollins had a really good day. He beat Rasul Douglas on a comeback for a tough, contested catch along the sideline. The Gloveless Wonder also made another contested catch in the red zone with Nathan Gerry draped all over him. Some big receivers don’t play to their size (see: DGB). Hollins seems like a guy who doesn’t mind getting physical.

• Two jersey number changes: Shelton Gibson is now No. 18 instead of No. 80. Greg Ward is now No. 89 instead of No. 4.

• Gibson didn’t have a good practice. He continued to drop passes in individual drills, just like he did in the spring. He also had some drops in team drills. Pederson was asked about Gibson after practice.

NFL insider Adam Caplan, who’s plugged in with the Eagles, said Gibson is a “long shot” to make Philadelphia’s final roster.

• Although the jersey change didn’t do Gibson any favors, it seemed to work for Ward. The undrafted quarterback-turned-wide-receiver from Houston made some nice plays in practice, including this one-handed grab in the end zone for a touchdown.

• Undrafted tight end Billy Brown received a lot of targets today. He seems to have pretty good hands; I don’t recall any drops. At 6-4, 255 pounds, he’s an intriguing target.

• Quarterbacks love to check down to Donnel Pumphrey. He’s a reliable option in the short passing game.

Marcus Johnson dropped a would-be touchdown pass in the red zone. Not good for his Na Brown stock.

• Notable selected veteran in attendance at Eagles practice include: CB Ron Brooks and OL Dillon Gordon.

• Ron Brooks had a decent practice, which should be the case given he’s a 28-year-old veteran with six years of NFL experience going up against rookies. He broke up a pass in the red zone and almost came up with a tipped interception.

Sidney Jones watched practice from the sidelines. His walking boot is off now.

• A shirtless Beau Allen spent practice working with a trainer off on a side field that wasn’t being used.

• Eagles QB coach John DeFilippo had Eagles quarterbacks working on handling bad snaps. He also had them working on their footwork during dropbacks. Here’s a video of Nick Foles doing just that.

Exclusive video of Nick Foles during Eagles practice:

A post shared by BLG (@brandongowton) on

(I know I use that video a lot. I’m sorry. Actually, no I’m not.)

Torrey Smith was hanging out with his kids on the field after practice. It was cute.

• There were 34 more media members at practice than Eagles players (68 to 34.)

• Also check video from Doug Pederson’s post-practice press conference (click here or watch below).

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson talking after the first training camp practice!

Posted by Bleeding Green Nation: For Philadelphia Eagles Fans on Monday, July 24, 2017

Up next: Right back at it tomorrow with another Eagles training camp practice starting at 8:50 AM ET. Stay tuned for more coverage.

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