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Eagles Training Camp Notes: Philadelphia’s cornerbacks step up

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Here’s what we learned today.

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles-Training Camp Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Today marked the 13th day of 2017 Philadelphia Eagles training camp practice. The Eagles practiced inside the bubble today due to rain. Let’s get right to my notes.


• Injury updates: Alshon Jeffery (shoulder) was a limited participant in practice yet again. He took some reps in 7-on-7 and WR vs. DB drills. Torrey Smith practiced in full despite limping and holding his groin at times. He told reporters that he’s fine. I don’t think I saw Donnel Pumphrey (hamstring) participate in team drills but he have a helmet on. Brandon Brooks and Jordan Hicks both left practice early with injuries that didn’t appear to be serious. Jaylen Watkins got banged up and was evaluated by trainers before eventually returning to practice. Players who did not suit up for practice: Fletcher Cox (rest day), Nick Foles (elbow), Marcus Johnson (hamstring), Wendell Smallwood (hamstring), Anthony Denham (calf), Paul Turner (shoulder), Adam Zaruba (concussion), Josh Andrews (hand).

• After being on fire yesterday, Carson Wentz came back to Earth. The Eagles quarterback was up and down in Monday’s practice.

The bad: Wentz threw to a receiver running an out route and was intercepted by Patrick Robinson — yes, that Patrick Robinson -- for a pick-six. Robinson almost had Wentz’s number again in the end zone but the cornerback dropped a ball thrown low. In fairness to Wentz, I saw other reporters note Zach Ertz fell down so it sounds like the play got screwed up. Wentz almost got picked off by Jalen Mills on a contested throw to Nelson Agholor. Mills got his hands on the ball before Agholor broke it up. Then Agholor almost brought the ball in but Mills stripped him and the pass fell to the ground.

The good: Wentz shined in the intermediate passing game with some solid strikes to Ertz and Agholor over the middle of the field. He threw a quick slant pass to Jordan Matthews in the end zone. Credit to Matthews for fighting through tight coverage from Ron Brooks, who seemed to even get a hand on the ball, to make the catch. Another good thing that Wentz has been doing is drawing the defense offside with his hard count. He’s gotten a number of free plays like that this offseason.

• It’s not like Wentz was just making awful throws. The Eagles’ much-maligned cornerbacks did a nice job of stepping up and making plays today.

• Not the best practice for Nelson Agholor. After dropping two passes on Sunday, Agholor dropped two more today. The first one was in the red zone. Later in practice, Agholor burned Mills to get wiiiiiiiiiide open for a touchdown ... and the ball bounced right off his body. Brutal.

• Agholor wasn’t the only receiver with a really bad drop. JMatt had a ball bounce off his hands on what should have been a fairly routine catch while running a slant.

• Agholor did have a nice leaping, contested catch against Rodney McLeod in the end zone. McLeod came close it breaking it up but Agholor ultimately held on. Difficult play.

• Bryce Treggs has looked solid all offseason. I don’t think that the Eagles will keep him but I think he’ll get picked up on waivers somewhere.

• C.J. Smith continues to impress. The second-year corner had a few pass breakups in today’s practice. He also had perfect coverage on a deep pass intended for Treggs. He drove Treggs towards the sideline so that the receiver had no chance of even making the play. Smith really fired up the defensive backs when he knocked the ball out of Mack Hollins’ control shortly after the receiver caught a pass in the flat.

• Gabe Wright is a name to keep an eye on. He was having a lot of success in OL vs. DL drills. Wright even earned praised and a pat on the butt from defensive line coach Chris Wilson. Wright could be the fourth defensive tackle with Cox, Tim Jernigan, and Destiny Vaeao ahead of him. (Note: Beau Allen will likely be the third DT when healthy. His timeline to return is currently unclear.)

• Chance Warmack was getting first team reps with Brooks out.

Tyler Orlosky did a nice job of anchoring against Elijah Qualls in one-on-one. Qualls might not make the roster.

• Good practice for Brandon Graham. He recorded a “sack” on Wentz and also had a strong run stop on LeGarrette Blount.

Shelton Gibson update: only one drop! And it was on a tough play where Gibson almost made an impressive catch along the sideline. Unfortunately for him, he couldn’t “complete the process” as he went to the ground. Gibson did come back with a few tough grabs. He’s certainly looking better in the past two days than he has all offseason.

• With that said, I still think I’d have to put Greg Ward ahead of Gibson. The undrafted rookie made a real nice over-the-shoulder catch with Aaron Grymes all over him. Everyone in the practice bubble was pretty impressed. Ward earned a high-five from Jeffery. Ward also had a nice catch over the middle at one point. He’s really pushing to make either the Eagles’ final roster or the practice squad.

Derek Barnett flushed Matt McGloin out of the pocket and forced him into a bad throw into the red zone. McGloin almost got picked off by C.J. Smith.

• Halapoulivaati Vaitai looks improved heading into Year 2. He just looks bigger and stronger in terms of physical appearance. Big V erased Barnett in the run game on one rep. Barnett did come back to beat him on a few pass rushing opportunities, however.

Corey Graham and Terrence Brooks took some reps as the second team safeties while Jaylen Watkins lined up at cornerback.

• There’s been a lot more bad than good with Alex McCalister. To his credit, though, the big man did show up today. He exploded into the backfield to stop Byron Marshall for a loss. Reporters noted he also beat one of the tackles with a spin move. I still think he’s a practice squad guy at best.

Trey Burton dropped two passes with no defense around him. Burton did have a leaping catch in the end zone for a touchdown with Rasul Douglas trailing.

• Mills broke up a short pass to Treggs in the red zone.

• Mitchell White made a diving pass breakup.

• McLeod had a “sack” on Wentz.

Don Cherry picked off McGloin today. I’m not sure if Cherry will make the team but he’s right on the bubble. He hasn’t had a bad summer at all and he continues to line up with the first team special teams kickoff coverage unit.

Jason Kelce gets a lot of flack for his bad shotgun snaps. Stefen Wisniewski might not be much better judging by a snap that was delivered to McGloin’s feet.

• Caleb Sturgis made his longest attempt of the day: a 54-yard field goal. The ball justtttt cleared the crossbar. Still counts!

• The GOAT, Brian Dawkins, was at Eagles practice today. He was chatting up Blount during special teams drills. Dawk stayed after practice to work with the Eagles’ defensive backs, as he’s done many times this summer.

• Check out video of 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 Monday, August 7, 2017

Up next: The Eagles have one more practice on Tuesday before a break (travel day) on Wednesday. Practice starts at 9:05 AM. Stay tuned to BGN for more coverage.