Today marked the third day of 2017 Eagles training camp practice. It wasn’t a full team practice because mostly only the rookies practiced. With that in mind, here’s what I observed.
• Carson Wentz and Nick Foles had the day off. No please don’t click out of the article what are you doing
• The newly signed Adam Zaruba is still missing from practice as he tries to earn a work visa.
• Sidney Jones obviously isn’t participating in drills at all but he’s still relatively active in practice. He spent a lot of time talking to defensive backs coach Cory Undlin and even Doug Pederson as well. He’s taking mental reps with the defensive back group.
• Shelton Gibson dropped a pass during routes-on-air so I went to tweet about it. Then he dropped another pass while I was tweeting about the first one. He just hasn’t had a very encouraging offseason at all. I think he’s bound for the practice squad barring a complete and sudden turnaround. Mack Hollins, Marcus Johnson, and even Greg Ward have all been better than him.
• Don Cherry broke up a pass over the middle of the field and gave the Jalen Mills finger wag afterwards. Cherry had two interception during yesterday’s practice. He’s a dark horse roster bubble guy.
• Hollins hasn’t struggled to beat cornerbacks deep down the field. This shouldn’t come as a surprise considering he averaged 20.6 yards per reception in college. Hollins beat Rasul Douglas on one play but Matt McGloin overthrew the rookie receiver.
• Hollins has a lot of similarities to Jordan Matthews during practice. They both go gloveless (JMatt does sometimes), they both run out every catch to the end zone even after the play is over, and they even both drop passes. OK, so that last part is a little joke, but Hollins did have a drop during a red zone drill. It would have been a tough diving catch while the quarterback was scrambling, so it’s hard to kill him too much for it. The good news is Hollins was one of the last players on the field after practice today. He was working on the JUGS machine. Just like Matthews often does.
• Mitchell White almost got his hands on a pick on a ball thrown over the middle. He had a similar play on Tuesday. Late in practice, White broke up a fade pass meant for Marcus Johnson. It seemed to me like White really mugged Johnson, so it may have been a penalty, but I’ll have to check the tape (there is no tape).
• HUGE SCOOP: Undrafted safety-turned-cornerback Randall Goforth is now wearing the No. 36 jersey instead of No. 35. Gratz previously had No. 36. It’s still weird seeing Brian Westbrook’s number annually used for bottom of the roster defensive backs.
• Billy Brown is still looking good. The undrafted tight end catches everything thrown his way. He was an especially tough cover in red zone drills. McGloin threw a ball high to him and defenders didn’t have a chance against the 6-4, 255 pound rookie. I think the Eagles might actually keep a fourth tight end considering how he’s impressed. Anthony Denham also had a good spring. At the very least, one of those two guys will make the practice squad.
• Jomal Wiltz had a nice pass breakup that turned into an interception for Cherry yesterday. Today he had an interception of his own. McGloin scrambled to his right and tried to fit a ball into a tight window by Wiltz leaped up, stay in bounds along the sideline, and made the play. Undlin loved it. Some of these undrafted defensive backs have had nice moments so far.
• Marcus Johnson had a real nice diving/sliding catch in the back of the middle of the end zone while managing to keep his feet in. McGloin threaded the needle on the quick release throw.
• Greg Ward didn’t so anything super flashy but he made some solid catches yet again. One of those catches came when Douglas was covering him. He’s looked a lot better to me this week than he did in the spring. Frank Reich really praised him after practice.
• Speaking of Douglas, I think he’s going to need some time. He flashed in the spring but he’s kind of cooled off since then. I don’t think there’s reason to be down on his potential as much there is reason to be patient with him. Maybe he’ll stand out more when the pads go on and things get physical.
• Two good notes from BGN Radio’s John Barchard. First up:
Special teams drills right now....every time Joe Walker starts running I feel like he just wants to kill someone. #NewBraman— John Barchard (@JohnBarchard) July 26, 2017
Douglas getting a little physical with Hollins. Hollins started to say it would be holding...— John Barchard (@JohnBarchard) July 26, 2017
Douglas: pfff they ain't calling that!
• Derek Barnett spent some time chatting up the legendary Brian Dawkins after practice. Cool sight.
• The Eagles played some Lil Yachty at practice today, FYI.
• Check out video from Eagles practice via the Bleeding Green Nation Facebook page (click here or watch below).
LIVE from Eagles training camp practice!Posted by Bleeding Green Nation: For Philadelphia Eagles Fans on Wednesday, July 26, 2017
• Also check video from Frank Reich’s post-practice press conference (click here or watch below).
Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich speaking after practice.Posted by Bleeding Green Nation: For Philadelphia Eagles Fans on Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Up next: The Eagles will hold their first full team practice tomorrow, Thursday, July 27. Practice begins at 12:45 PM ET. Stay tuned for more coverage.