Today marked the fifth day of 2017 Philadelphia Eagles training camp practice. The team still isn’t practicing in pads yet; Doug Pederson said they’ll go on next week. Let’s get right to my observations.
• Injury update: Jordan Matthews was a full participant in practice yet again. I didn’t notice anything wrong with him, but Jeff McLane thought he was walking with “a slight hitch” and “didn’t look comfortable.” Matthews talked about his injury status yesterday. Something to continue to keep an eye on moving forward. Jordan Hicks is still limited in practice. Undrafted free agent corner Randall Goforth went down in practice with an apparent knee injury. The good news is he eventually walked off on his own power. He still might miss some practice time.
• Torrey Smith looked pretty good today. He made multiple contested catches in traffic. He was a consistent reliable target for Carson Wentz; no drops. Smith showed a knack for finding the weak spot in coverage and also looked fast running after the catch. Smith’s had an encouraging offseason. He’s not looking like a superstar by any means but he’s just been solid and good. If he continues to keep this up, he’ll be a major upgrade over what the Eagles had at receiver last year.
• Shelton Gibson dropped at least five passes today. That’s not an exaggeration. The guy just hasn’t been able to catch the ball. Gibson also fumbled on a special teams rep. The strip came from a player on the sideline after the play was mostly over, but defenders are always trying to do that in practice. It helps them work on their strip and it encourages the ball-carrier to always protect the rock.
• First team cornerback Patrick Robinson got roasted a few times by 2016 practice squad quarterback-turned-wide-receiver David Watford. Yikes. Not a good look.
• The Eagles’ other first team corner, Jalen Mills, fared better than Robinson. He broke up a few passes and just looked strong in coverage.
• Wentz threw a great ball to Alshon Jeffery in a tight window. He almost connected with the big receiver again on what would have been an incredible one-handed back-shoulder catch right along the sideline. The fact that Jeffery made it close was pretty impressive and drew “ooooh’s” and “aaah’s” from the fans in attendance today. Wentz was pretty good overall today. Wasn’t perfect but didn’t notice any really bad mistakes.
• The same can’t be said for Nick Foles. The former Pro Bowl MVP would not be mistaken for the quarterback who started for Philadelphia in 2013. Foles threw a deep wobbly pass that was underthrown and went through the hands of Mitchell White. Then he got picked off by Aaron Grymes on the next play. He almost threw a third interception on a pass in the slot. Rasul Douglas would have had a pick-six if he could have held on to the ball. I don’t think Foles has looked that great this offseason.
• Douglas had tight coverage on a Nelson Agholor drop. He may have gotten a hand on the ball as he contested the catch.
• Terrence Brooks ran over to the fans after Jaylen Watkins broke up a pass meant for Trey Burton and said “Do we have any defensive fans here?” Fans responded with applause. It was the only time Eagles fans will probably ever applaud Watkins.
• Still liking what I see out of Billy Brown. Made a tough grab over the middle of the field with a defending hanging all over him.
• Najee Goode knocked down a short pass intended for Zach Ertz.
• Pederson had Agholor and Bryce Treggs practice jet sweeps.
• Mack Hollins spends some practice time working on his long snapping. He doesn’t look too bad at it.
• UDFA center Tyler Orlosky is now wearing No. 76 (Allen Barbre’s old number) instead of No. 51. Trust The Process.
• Goforth injured himself on a play where he forced Paul Turner to fumble. I thought it was Gibson, but many others insisted it was Turner.
• Adam Zaruba was at Eagles practice for the first time since signing with Philadelphia earlier this week.
Former Canadian rugby player and new Eagles TE Adam Zaruba is here at practice for the first time. pic.twitter.com/O0jh8VcFJT— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) July 28, 2017
• Lane Johnson wore a blonde wig during warmups. He planned on wearing it throughout the entire practices but one of the coaches made him take it off. Johnson said he was just trying to lighten the mood and the look made him look like a “badass.”
Loving Lane Johnson's new haircut. #Eagles pic.twitter.com/uy4Dfq39Ky— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) July 28, 2017
• Check out video from Eagles practice via the Bleeding Green Nation Facebook page (click here or watch below).
THE FIRST "REAL" EAGLES TRAINING CAMP PRACTICE!!Posted by Bleeding Green Nation: For Philadelphia Eagles Fans on Friday, July 28, 2017
• Also check video from Jim Schwartz’s post-practice press conference (click here or watch below).
Jim Schwartz speaking after Eagles practicePosted by Bleeding Green Nation: For Philadelphia Eagles Fans on Friday, July 28, 2017
• I gotta give props to the Eagles fan standing in front of me at practice who wore an Eagles bandana, Eagles socks, Eagles gloves, a Carson Wentz camo jersey, and died his goatee midnight green. That’s dedication.
• Speaking of Eagles fans at practice, BGN reader Noah Becker was in attendance today, as was BountyBowl from the defunct IgglesBlog. Give those good guys a follow on Twitter if you’re not already. Please ignore the fact Noah thinks Hoagie Haven is bad.
• I talked to good friend Dave Spadaro at practice today. Spuds told me he’s going to get back to writing his weekly columns for BGN. So if you’ve missed those, and I know you have, there you go.
Up next: UPDATE - The Eagles’ first open practice has been pushed back to Sunday. Lots open at 7 AM, gates open at 8:30 AM, and practice starts at 10:15 AM. Stay tuned for more coverage.