The Philadelphia Eagles resumed their 2018 OTA practice schedule on Tuesday. The practice session was open to media and I was there to watch it. 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.
• Carson Wentz update: Wentz mostly went through the same routine he did last week. It was a little different because the Eagles weren’t confined to their indoor practice facility. Wentz looked good throwing in individual drills. The only “team drill” work he did is throwing during 3 on 2. When the Eagles were doing 11 on 11 drills, Wentz was running sprints on another field. I find it very hard to watch him and think to myself ‘Oh, there’s no way he plays Week 1.’
• Attendance updates: Darren Sproles and Michael Bennett are still the only two Eagles skipping out on voluntary practices. Last week, Doug Pederson did say he expects Bennett to show up at some point. Sproles was seen practicing in some of the pictures the Eagles released from Phase 2 of their offseason workouts.
• Injury updates: Wentz is obviously limited. Alshon Jeffery, Tim Jernigan, Brandon Graham, and Chris Maragos are still out. Linebackers LaRoy Reynolds and Joe Walker still aren’t practicing. Neither are undrafted rookie free agents Josh Adams and Ryan Neal. Isaac Seumalo has been limited to snapping the ball as the center in 7 on 7 drills. Jordan Hicks still isn’t doing team drills.
• One of my biggest takeaways from Tuesday’s practice is that De’Vante Bausby is legitimately a name to watch this offseason. The 25-year-old cornerback first stood out in last week’s OTA practice and he followed that up with another strong outing today. Bausby lined up as the Eagles’ first team nickel corner and did a nice job of covering Nelson Agholor at times. He made a leaping pass breakup on a Nick Foles throw to Agholor over the middle of the field. He also had tight coverage on a number of plays. Jim Schwartz praised Bausby prior to Tuesday’s session.
He’s a competitive player. He did a really good job for us on the scout teams last year. He was ready to play for us last year if need be. He did a great job not just on the practice field but in the meeting room, being up on the game plan. We were fortunate that we didn’t have so many injuries there that he needed to go. But he was ready, and he had the confidence of the coaching staff. He sort of spread his wings a little bit, working in some different positions. He’s a very, very competitive player. He’s got good size, but his competitiveness stands out. You guys will see that.
You didn’t see him in training camp last year. You guys will see that in training camp this year. I’m excited about him. We’re all excited about the contributions he made to our team last year, and what he can do this year. Again, his contributions were behind the scenes last year. But we have a lot of guys that have an impact on Sunday that might not be playing.
He worked the offense hard last year. I think those guys have respect for him, and I know our coaches have respect for him.
Bausby was on the Chiefs’ roster bubble last year before getting cut and signing with the Eagles’ practice squad. There’s still way too much offseason left to call him a lock but he’s certainly trending in the right direction early on. The Eagles might have even more competition at corner than they previously thought, which certainly isn’t a bad thing.
• With Bausby taking first team slot snaps, Sidney Jones mostly played at second team outside corner. He made a nice diving pick on a ball that Nate Sudfeld tried to fit in a tight window along the sideline in the end zone. Later in practice, Jones dropped a tipped pass that went right to him. He was pretty disappointed in himself after the rep was over.
• Speaking of Sudfeld, I haven’t been overly impressed with him this spring. Don’t get me wrong, he has some good moments, such as when he threw a ball to Dallas Goedert in tight coverage over the middle of the field. Or when he floated a pass over a trailing defender’s outstretched arm and right into Markus Wheaton’s bucket. Or when he found Rashard Davis in the back of the end zone during a red zone drill*. But he’s had his fair share of bad moments as well. Two red zone attempts in a row were batted down. One was tipped and almost picked off. His accuracy hasn’t looked good on deep attempts; he’s been overthrowing his targets. In fairness, he’s working with Rashard Davis as his primary deep threat. It’s way too early to make a ton of out Sudfeld’s struggles. Do recall that Carson Wentz wasn’t looking very great at this time last year. Then he was awesome in training camp and even better in the regular season. So we’ll see how it shakes out. For now, I’m hoping to see more positive flashes out of him.
• *That aforementioned Davis touchdown was hotly contested by the Eagles defensive backs and their coach, Cory Undlin. Impartial observers, naturally. Sudfeld didn’t seem convinced. He gave a fist pump and seemed to think Davis got both feet in.
• Fantasy football alert: Corey Clement was getting a good amount of first team running back reps when the Eagles were practicing red zone drills.
• Here’s what the Eagles’ offensive line configuration looks like ...
1st team: Jason Peters, Stefen Wisniewski, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson
2nd team: Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Chance Warmack, Jon Toth, Matt Pryor, Taylor Hart
3rd team: Jordan Mailata, Aaron Evans, Ian Park, Darrell Greene, Matt Pryor
I originally thought Toby Weathersby was getting third team right tackle reps but now that I think of it I haven’t really seen him in team drills. I guess he’s that far down on the depth chart?
Pryor is getting looks at both guard and tackle. Truly testing out his versatility.
Toth is benefiting from whatever is keeping Seumalo out of team drills.
• Mack Hollins made a real nice one-handed catch today. Without gloves, of course.
Mack Hollins’ one-handed catch: pic.twitter.com/RdY1ZPaD5N— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) May 29, 2018
Obviously there was no defense on him, but still, not bad.
• Greg Ward Jr. made an impressive one-handed grab in that drill as well. He also had a touchdown reception on a play where he found a soft spot in the Eagles’ defense in the back corner of the end zone. Ward made a catch on a quick slant in the red zone where he had the potential to get absolutely leveled if he was playing a real game. That was a hospital ball from Joe Callahan if I’ve ever seen one. Avonte Maddox was the one who bumped him. Despite taking a fall, Ward held on. Pretty impressive for a guy who converted from quarterback. Ward is in the mix for that fifth or sixth receiver job again this year.
• Interested to hear how the Eagles’ 2018 draft picks are doing? I’ve got you covered.
Dallas “Philly” Goedert made a leaping catch in the middle of the field with multiple defenders in coverage. Used the combination of his size and athleticism to catch a pass that defenders didn’t have much of a chance at guarding. Speaking of mismatches, Goedert going up against the 5-11, 190 pound Jeremy Reaves in a one-on-one drill wasn’t even fair. Reaves didn’t stand a chance.
Avonte Maddox had a chance to intercept a deep Sudfeld pass but he couldn’t hang on. Ended up being a deflection. Maddox then got beat by Tim Wilson on a corner route but luckily for him the wide receiver dropped the pass.
Haven’t really noticed much from Josh Sweat just yet.
Matt Pryor got beat badly by Aziz Shittu to allow a would-be sack. Shittu is playing at defensive tackle, by the way, despite the fact he’s listed as an end on the Eagles’ roster. (Winston Craig, meanwhile, is playing defensive end despite being listed as a tackle.) I like the interior pass rush Shittu seems to offer.
Jason Peters and Tra Thomas (BGN Radio’s own!) were talking to Jordan Mailata during a special teams drill. Those are some pretty good guys to get advice from. More on what was said in that conversation during the next episode of BGN Radio’s Next LVL podcast.
• Forgotten man Rasul Douglas notched an interception on a ball bobbled by Rashard Davis. He also broke up a pass intended for Goedert. Douglas had the size to match up with the rookie tight end and disrupt his route.
• Tre Sullivan stood out a few times today, in a good way. He broke up a Foles pass to Marquess Wilson. Then he picked off Sudfeld clean on a play where he diagnosed what was going on and jumped a route. Sullivan even showed off his physicality by putting a big pop on Donnel Pumphrey after the running back tried to run his way along the sideline. It’ll be interesting to see if Sullivan and/or Reaves can earn a roster spot. (Especially given that it sounds like Corey Graham is bound to come back. Jim Schwartz praised the free agent veteran prior to practice.)
• Shelton Gibson dropped a leaping pass attempt. If we were in 2017, I wouldn’t be surprised by this. But this actually caught my attention since he’s been so solid catching everything else thrown his way. This rep aside, Gibson seems to be trending in the right direciton.
• Nate Gerry and Kamu Grugier-Hill were getting some first team linebacker reps in nickel defense. Gerry stayed out with the second team as well. Eagles getting a long look at him.
• Jalen Mills had a nice pass breakup on a Sudfeld throw to Zach Ertz. Later, Ertz had a leaping contested catch against Ronald Darby in the red zone.
• Donnel Pumphrey had a rep where he looked the most dangerous I’ve seen him look yet. He took a hand off and ran to the outside of the left tackle with nice burst. The defense seemed to be expecting a play-fake, so that helped him, but hey, it’s better than nothing. Still a long way to go before you should start really believing in him.
• Nelson Agholor dropped a pass last week and did so again today. Nothing major to worry about since he looks pretty good most of the time. Just a reminder that he still struggles with that from time to time. Much less worse than it used to be.
• D.J. Killings had tight coverage on Agholor in the slot during a red zone play but Agholor made the contested catch.
• Nick Foles made a nice throw to Richard Rodgers while rolling out and throwing into the red zone. He pointed to get Rodgers to cut back away from the sideline. Savvy.
• Duce Staley really liked what he saw out of Jay Ajayi on a stretch run. “THAT’S IT, JAY!” Prior to practice, Mike Groh talked about how the Jay Train feels so much more comfortable in the offseason now that he’s had time to study it more.
• Donnel Pumphrey, Bryce Treggs, Nelson Agholor, and Rashard Davis worked as the primary punt returners during special teams drills. Also, this is new:
Best drill of OTAs so far. It’s like musical chairs, but Duce Staley calls out a number, and that guy has to run and field the punt. pic.twitter.com/HGQW3ogg0G— Sheil Kapadia (@SheilKapadia) May 29, 2018
• Mike Groh was not pleased with the first team Eagles offense on a play where Nick Foles failed to get a throw off. “WHAT THE [EFF] WAS THAT!” A tad more fiery than what I was used to seeing out of Frank Reich.
• Billy Brown had at least two drops. He had at least one or two in last week’s practice. Going to be tough for him to beat out Richard Rodgers if he keeps this up.
• PODCAST: For more thoughts on today’s practice and press conferences, CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST BGN RADIO EPISODE.
• Watch an unedited video of Eagles practice below via the Bleeding Green Nation Facebook page (click here if you can’t see it).
SUPER BOWL CHAMPION EAGLES PRACTICING NOWPosted by Bleeding Green Nation: For Philadelphia Eagles Fans on Tuesday, May 29, 2018
• Here’s a video featuring highlight clips via BGN Radio’s John Barchard:
Eagles OTAs 5.29.18
Just some Super Bowl champions practicing to go win another Super Bowl. #FlyEaglesFly - #Eagles OTA HighlightsPosted by Bleeding Green Nation: For Philadelphia Eagles Fans on Tuesday, May 29, 2018
• Jim Schwartz and Mike Groh press conference video:
EAGLES COACHES JIM SCHWARTZ AND MIKE GROH!Posted by Bleeding Green Nation: For Philadelphia Eagles Fans on Tuesday, May 29, 2018
Remaining offseason workout schedule
OTA Offseason Workouts: 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 29, June 4, June 7, June 12-14. I’ll be at all of those practices. Follow me for live updates: @BrandonGowton.