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Eagles Practice Notes from OTAs: 18 things we learned

First impressions.

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles-OTA Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles began their 2018 OTA practices on Tuesday. The practice session was open to media and I was there to observe it all. Keep in mind that these are all non-contact drills at this point. Players aren’t allowed to wear pads yet. There’s only so much to be gleaned from players running around in shorts, but here’s what I noticed on Tuesday.

Carson Wentz update: Wentz only participated in individual drills but he looked good. Read more about his encouraging first day by CLICKING HERE.

• Attendance updates: Prior to practice, Doug Pederson said Darren Sproles and Michael Bennett are the only two players not attending voluntary OTAs. He also said he’s not worried about them since they’re veteran players. Mychal Kendricks was not seen at practice. He did reportedly have ankle surgery earlier this offseason, but it was reported at the time that the recovery was only going to take a few weeks. It’s been nine weeks since that report came out. Update: the Eagles cut Kendricks.

• Injury updates: There are almost too many injured Eagles to keep track of them all. The big news is that Worrilow suffered a serious-looking injury DURING practice and had to be carted off. A number of players did individual drills but not team stuff, such as Wentz and Jordan Hicks. Other players wore jerseys but didn’t do anything in practice: Alshon Jeffery, Josh Adams, Chris Maragos, Joe Walker, LaRoy Reynolds, Ryan Neal, and Isaac Seumalo (save for snapping the ball in 7-on-7). Brandon Graham and Tim Jernigan are still recovering as well.

• Depth chart update: CLICK HERE for an early look at how the Eagles are lining up.

• Nick Foles was not in Super Bowl MVP form today. He threw two interceptions. The first one was on a deep pass meant for Mike Wallace. The ball ended up being underthrown. Jalen Mills merely tried to bat it down but the ball went into his body and he was able to make a sick one-handed pick. Foles was later picked off on a player where he rolled left a little and side-armed a pass to the right side of the field meant for Nelson Agholor. Sidney Jones made the easy interception. Foles did have a nice throw to Wallace on a quick slant in the red zone for a touchdown. Wallace beat Jalen Mills.

• Mixed results from Nate Sudfeld in his first full Eagles practice session open to the media. His fade pass to Dallas Goedert in the red zone was picked off by a leaping De’Vante Bausby. Impressive play. Later, Sudfeld tried to air it out deep but his pass for Bryce Treggs was overthrown. Sudfeld showed good accuracy on some shorter and intermediate throws.

• Speaking of practice debuts, we got to see Sidney Jones in extensive action for the first time today. He took the first team reps in the slot along with some second team reps at outside corner. Jones showed no signs of the Achilles injury that robbed him of his rookie season in 2017. He looked quick as ever. Jones’ highlight play was the aforementioned pick on Foles. He had a lowlight when he gave up a catch to Shelton Gibson and then whiffed on the attempt to wrap up the wide receiver.

• Super Bowl hangover? That’s not the sense I got after watching Avonte Maddox drop a tipped pass and seeing the entire defense react like he just dropped the game-clinching play in the Super Bowl. The guys were fired up and clearly glad to be back on the field. Gotta love the energy.

• The aforementioned Bausby, who got reps at second team outside corner, had a real strong day. In addition to his leaping pick, he broke up a few passes. Also managed to run well along with Treggs as the speedy receiver tried to beat him deep. Bausby was on the Chiefs’ roster bubble last year before ending up on Philly’s practice squad. Name to keep an eye on.

• Kamu Grugier-Hill and Nate Gerry took some reps with the first team defense. Grugier-Hill almost made a real impressive one-handed leaping interception in the end zone. Would’ve been a real difficult catch. Instead it turned into a deflection. I thought Kamu looked good in coverage during last year’s practice. He’s picking up right where he left off.

• Nelson Agholor dropped a pass over the middle with Rodney McLeod bearing down on him. I’m actually a little surprised when Agholor has a bad play now, which tells you how far he’s come.

• Rookie safety Jeremy Reaves had at least two plays where he was in position to make BIG hits on pass-catchers. If these weren’t non-contact drills, he could’ve absolutely lit some dudes up. The first instance was on a slot pass over the middle of the field. Then he was about to level Corey Clement in the flat. Shades of Sheldon Brown on Reggie Bush. Luckily for the pass catchers, all Reaves could give them was a light shove.

• Shelton Gibson literally dropped at least one pass in almost every practice last year. I didn’t see him have any drops today. Instead, he actually made some real nice grabs with his hands extended away from his body. Gibson’s route-running also looks much cleaner. Early candidate for this year’s turnaround player.

• Marquess Wilson made a real nice catch on a crossing route with his hands extended. His momentum caused him to stumble but he managed to keep his knees up and get extra yardage. He also made a contested grab along the sideline in the end zone. Wilson and Gibson are the current favorites for the fifth and six receiver spots, in my mind.

• Wendell Smallwood fumbled in non-contact drills. I saw mentioned of a botched handoff, so maybe it wasn’t entirely his fault. Either way, I wasn’t overly impressed by anything I saw out of him or Donnel Pumphrey.

• Dreams and Nightmares started playing at one point and I started looking around expecting to see players dancing. They weren’t doing that because they were locked in on drills. Hearing that song in this environment, though, I mentally transported back to when the song was playing in the locker room in Minnesota after the Eagles’ Super Bowl victory. Or the warmups before the NFC Championship Game. Magical moments.

• It’s going to be a long summer of offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland yelling at Jordan Mailata. The Australian rookie clearly as a lot to learn.

• Joe Callahan is nothing to get excited about.

• Watch video of Eagles practice below via the Bleeding Green Nation Facebook page (click here if you can’t see it).


Posted by Bleeding Green Nation: For Philadelphia Eagles Fans on Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Remaining offseason workout schedule

OTA Offseason Workouts: May 22-24, May 29, May 31-June 1, June 4-7.

Mandatory Minicamp: June 12-14.

BGN Coverage: The following practices are open to the media: May 22, May 29, June 4, June 7, June 12-14. I’ll be at all of those practices. Follow me for live updates: @BrandonGowton.

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