Today marked the sixth day of 2017 Philadelphia Eagles training camp practice. Here are my notes.
• Injury updates: Alshon Jeffery got banged up during and seemed to have a shoulder issue but he returned to team drills so he appears to be OK. Elijah Qualls limped off the field after going down during OL vs. DL one-on-one drills. He also got chewed out by defensive line coach Chris Wilson, so not the best practice for the sixth round rookie. Alex McCalister didn’t practice due a hamstring injury. Nick Foles was out and will reportedly miss a week of practice due to an inflamed elbow.
• Pads were on for the first time! The Eagles didn’t tackle to the ground so it was just a thud session today.
• Let’s talk about Carson Wentz. The Eagles’ starting quarterback looked pretty awesome today. Wentz had an inaccurate pass or two during a two-on-four drill (two WR vs. two CB, one LB, one S) but he was on fire during team drills. Spuds marked Wentz down as 25 for 25 in 7-on-7 and 15 for 15 in 11-on-11. That’s a 100% completion percentage for those keeping track at home.
Wentz’s best throw of the day came when he hit Jordan Matthews on a pass down the seam. Beautiful pass. He fit the ball into tight coverage and Matthews made a nice over-the-shoulder grab with defenders around him. After the play, Matthews ran through the end zone, tossed the ball to a young fan in attendance, and shouted “AO1, baby!”
Wentz followed up his throw to JMatt with a dart to Zach Ertz 20 yards down the field along the sideline. Ertz ran a crisp post route and Wentz threw it to where only the tight end could make the play. Ertz caught the ball and tapped his toes to finish the play.
On one play, Wentz faced pressure from the “pass rush,” rolled out to his right, and threw across his body over the middle of the field to Matthews. Made a difficult pass look easy.
Perhaps more impressive than the highlight plays was the consistency Wentz showed. He just didn’t struggle with any accuracy issues during team drills. That’s an encouraging sign, especially since there were some bumps during spring practices.
• Patrick Robinson did not look very good during Friday’s practice. He got burned by 2016 practice squad member David Watford a few times. He performed much better today. He broke up at least three passes by my count. One of them was an impressive diving deflection on an out route.
• Torrey Smith looked good in practice on Friday. He dropped a contested catch today but was otherwise good again. His ability to get open when a play breaks down stands out to me. Last year the Eagles did not have receivers who could do that. That’s a big help for Wentz.
• Also a good practice for Marcus Johnson. The 2016 practice squad wide receiver took first team reps when Jeffery missed a small portion of practice. Johnson had a number of receptions, including some deep receptions down the field. Didn’t see him drop anything. I’d put him in the lead for the sixth wide receiver spot if the Eagles keep that many. He’s battling with Greg Ward there, whom I think will make the practice squad instead.
• Ward and Chris Maragos had some good battles during a special teams drill where one player had to block another trying to run down the field. The two players consistently got real physical with each other. Maragos first got the best of Ward. Then the rookie got nasty back with the veteran on their next matchup. ST coordinator Dave Fipp really liked it and yelled “Oooh, what goes around comes around!”
• Joe Walker and Don Cherry also earned praise from Fipp.
• Derek Barnett struggled in that special teams drill. He couldn’t block to save his life and he didn’t have the easiest time trying to beat his guy. Barnett also lit up on a block by Anthony Denham on a running play. Barnett took his lumps today.
• LeGarrette Blount looked good running the ball. Made some good cuts and looked fast. He runs pretty hard.
• Jason Peters spent time mentoring Dillon Gordon, the team’s second string left tackle, during offensive line drills. Peters was also working with Barnett on the rookie’s spin move after practice. It’s stuff like this that goes unseen to a number of fans and leads me to believe JP is underappreciated. He’s not just here for himself. He cares about his teammates, even the young guys.
• The Eagles had Halapoulivaati Vaitai at left tackle when giving Peters a breather during team drills. ouliva
• It feels like I write a positive note about Terrence Brooks after every practice. He knocked down a deep pass today.
• Wendell Smallwood got blown up in the backfield for a loss. A group of three Eagles defenders were there to stop him. Malcolm Jenkins was among them and he threw Smallwood to the ground. Gotta love some nasty attitude from the defense.
• Speaking of nasty, Jim Schwartz chewed out the defense prior to a team drill. Not sure exactly what he said but there were a number of f-bombs.
• Shelton Gibson is still dropping passes. I “only” noticed two today. One was during an individual drill and the other happened when he was being covered one-on-one by Rasul Douglas. The ball went off his hands and Douglas came up with it. Gibson did get the best of Douglas on one play where he burned the fellow rookie for a deep reception.
• Timothy Jernigan, Fletcher Cox, and Vinny Curry all fell for Wentz’s hard count at separate times during practice. Wentz has been getting defensive linemen with that all offseason.
• Curry had a nice run stop on Blount.
• Kamu Grugier-Hill earned praise from coaches by attacking the gap and blowing up a run play.
• Isaac Seumalo took a bulk of the first team left guard reps but Chance Warmack also got a few chances there. See what I did there? I know, I’m not funny.
• Lane Johnson wore his blonde wig during practice today. Yesterday he only had it on for warmups before Jeff Stoutland told him to take it off.
• Jeffrey Lurie was at practice today. He was chatting up Howie Roseman for a little bit. Any guesses to what they were talking about?
• Check out video from Eagles practice via the Bleeding Green Nation Facebook page (click here or watch below).
LIVE FROM EAGLES TRAINING CAMP!Posted by Bleeding Green Nation: For Philadelphia Eagles Fans on Saturday, July 29, 2017
Up next: The Eagles’ first open training camp practice at Lincoln Financial Field, which was supposed to take place today, will begin tomorrow at 10:00 AM. All the times and details you need to know are here. Stay tuned to BGN for more coverage.