The Eagles and Dolphins didn’t waste any time time today after getting stretched out. They broke into two groups on opposite fields and went to work. I stayed with the Eagles’ defense for the first set of team drills and then focused on the Eagles’ offense because the vantage point was so much better.
Fun things: Marlins manager Don Mattingly was here today checking things out. Charles Barkley was also here today, chatting it up with LeGarrette Blount and a few others. He was also making fun of Howard Eskin for giving himself his own nickname “The King.” More importantly for us Sixers fans …
Injuries: Both Brandon Graham and Jordan Hicks got dinged up today. But as a lot of folks have reported it doesn’t seem to be anything too serious.
Ronald Darby continues show that the Eagles trade for him was an absolute no-brainer. First chance he got going up against Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker he was able to shut out both. He was excellent. He forced Matt Moore to scramble and throw away a couple of balls. Darby was also really strong during 7 vs. 7 goaline drills as well.
Rasul Douglas had a pass break-up during 7 v 7 against DeVante Parker, he was pretty fired up today.
Dolphins won the second half of the 7 vs. 7 goal-line drill. Matt Moore had some nice passes to the corner and back of the endzone to Parker and Kenny Stills with Patrick Robinson and Rodney McLeod in bracket coverage.
Wentz and Jeffery were on the same page a lot today. They started out pretty fast during the 2nd phase of 11 v 11 team drills. Really nice catch and throw for 12 yards against our best friend Byron Maxwell (who I might add was beat all day by Jeffery)
Blount had a lot more pep in his step today. It had seemed like he was hitting the hole with a lot more burst today. Torrey Smith commented after practice today that “you really can’t go half speed against another team or you’re going to get killed out here ...” so I am sure that’s the main reason we saw that today. Despite the concerns the last two games from Blount, I feel pretty confident that he will turn it on Week 1 at Washington.
Nelson Agholor had another good day today. He made a phenomenal catch towards the right sideline. Back-shoulder throw from Wentz and put it only where Agholor could get it. Agholor snuck behind the DB, dove, and rotated his body to secure the ball to come down with it. Catch of the day.
Sticking with Nelson, throughout practice he was a constant mismatch with the Dolphins safeties anytime they were in the slot. He shook Nate Allen and Reshad Jones more than a few times. We obviously want to see him be consistent in games and there is still a lot to prove when the lights come on, but he will be a nightmare in the slot if that happens. He continues to beat nickel CBs and there were a couple of times where Wentz didn’t see him and he’s breaking wide open.
Speaking of Wentz … he had a really good day. Threw open a lot of receivers today and was really pushing the ball downfield. He and Alshon were on the same page and if you were worried about the Jordan Matthews “safety blanket” look no further than the 6’3” 218 pound product out of South Carolina. 10 and 12 yards gashes all day today from those two.
Wentz’s best throw came against really tight coverage from Byron Maxwell as he was up against Torrey Smith with safety help. In stride Wentz put it over Maxwell and it landed perfectly on Smith’s backside shoulder for a 30 yard strike.
The Dolphins’ secondary really struggled against Jeffery all day. There was some miscommunication before the play started and I think Byron Maxwell was looking for some safety help but didn’t find any … Jeffery split between Maxwell and Nate Allen for a nice 30 yard strike.
Wentz’s other best throw of the day actually went incomplete but it was because of a phenomenal play by Dolphins CB Xavien Howard. Howard was on Agholor in the slot and was running a corner route to the right sideline. Howard had really tight coverage and Wentz put the ball perfectly on Agholor’s hands and for a brief moment he came down with it. At the last second Howard popped it out of his hand while falling to the ground and then almost picked it off while trying to get up and get back to it. Jimmy Kempski and I talked about how if Agholor just turns around and runs into Howard it’s automatic PI. Almost reminded us of the Bears game in Week 2 last year. Agholor should master that move down because it’s an easy first down.
Chance Warmack continues to struggle in pass protection. As decent as he tends to be in the running game, he was skating on ice a lot today. He did blow up Dolphins LB and former Penn Stater, Mike Hull on a screen play to Donnel Pumphrey which was nice to see.
When Jason Peters was out and the 1’s were still going, Big V took all of his reps at LT. He was able to hold his own and I didn’t see anything major that stuck out. He was playing a lot of LT and RT throughout the day with the 2s. Moving forward I still like the idea of Lane Johnson staying where he is and choosing one of the younger guys to step in at LT or obviously draft one if they look terrible.
Dolphins safety Michael Thomas took what I thought to be an unnecessary shot vs. WR Marcus Johnson on an under-thrown hospital ball from Foles today. Would have been flagged for a defenseless receiver, but to Thomas’ credit he was very apologetic and Marcus Johnson was back in shortly after.
Finally got to see rookie DE Charles Harris from Missouri. I note this because it had seemed like the Eagles were very interested in him during the draft process and for awhile there it looked like he could seriously go at 14. Although Harris will probably have a nice career in the NFL, you can tell the difference almost immediately between him and Derek Barnett. There were a few times where he couldn’t move Jason Peters.
That’s it for today! I’ll try and focus in the defense tomorrow.