The Philadelphia Eagles concluded their 2018 OTA practice schedule on Thursday. 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: Another positive day for No. 11. New QB coach Press Taylor put the Eagles quarterbacks through a drill where their footwork was tested and Wentz seemingly aced it. You can see for yourself around the 9:00 mark this video. One reporter even remarked that Wentz, despite recovering from an ACL and wearing a knee brace, looked better than a fully healthy Nick Foles in this drill. Wentz went on to take some limited reps in 7-on-7 but he’s obviously still not doing 11-on-11.
• Attendance non-updates: A few veterans seemingly skipped the final day of voluntary practice. Jason Kelce, Lane Johnson, Fletcher Cox, and Nigel Bradham weren’t at practice. Cox and Bradham also weren’t in attendance on Wednesday. Michael Bennett and Darren Sproles still haven’t showed up to Philly but it’s expected they’ll be around for mandatory minicamp next week.
• Injury updates: Donnel Pumphrey and Sidney Jones sat out for the second day in a row. So did Marquess Wilson. Brandon Graham, Tim Jernigan, Haloti Ngata, LaRoy Reynolds, Joe Walker, Josh Adams and Chris Maragos are still not practicing. Jordan Hicks and Isaac Seumalo still aren’t doing full team drills.
• Speaking of Seumalo, I found it interesting that the 2016 third-round pick was NOT lined up as the first team center in group install. Instead, it was Stefen Wisniewski filling in for Kelce while Chance Warmack was bumped up to left guard. Seumalo then took group install reps at second team right guard with Jon Toth working at center. Later in practice, Seumalo resumed his role as the guy snapping the ball in 7-on-7 drills. So, I have no idea what’s really going on with the guy that the Eagles named as their starting left guard in training camp last year before then going on to bench him after two starts in the 2017 season. It seems like the team has soured on him. It’s possible they’re hoping to move him in a trade. Seumalo hasn’t been in the locker room during media availability sessions, so we haven’t been able to hear from him.
• In other offensive line news, Taylor Hart was taking first team reps at right tackle with Johnson out. Jason Peters is limited in team drills so Halapoulivaati Vaitai was filling in at left tackle.
• Mike Wallace made a really impressive leaping grab in traffic on a throw from Nick Foles. The veteran wide receiver has quietly had a nice spring. He’s caught just about everything thrown his way and he doesn’t struggle to get open. Seems like a pretty capable replacement for Torrey Smith, which is what everyone expected.
• Ronald Darby, who took some reps as a nickel corner today, broke up a Foles pass intended for Wallace. Wallace called for a flag, so there may have been some holding, but I’ll give Darby the credit here. I thought he covered receivers well for most of the practice. One example was when Mack Hollins went deep and Darby was there with him the entire way.
• Greg Ward Jr. was getting some run with the first team offense before getting knocked out of practice. Ward leapt high in the end zone to make a contested catch and then hit the ground hard after the ball just went over his outstretched hands. He laid motionless on the field before the training staff turned him over to be on his back. He was eventually able to get up with some help and he took some slow steps to the cart. After practice, Ward was seen in the locker room and told reporters that’s he fine. Good to hear. Scary moment.
• Nate Sudfeld (AKA Nate Studfeld) threaded a gorgeous pass over the middle of the field to Dallas Goedert (AKA Philly Goedert) in 11-on-11. Sudfeld was super fired up after the play. He pumped his fist and then ran up to Goedert and started shaking him. Studfeld is a character. He’s got some moxie. And he’s not bad at throwing the football.
• Fantasy football alert: Corey Clement made a number of nice catches out of the backfield. His Super Bowl performance was not a fluke. He’s going to have a role in this Eagles passing attack.
• I’ve written about this in previous offseasons but I’ll never get tired of Steven Means doing his sack celebration during non-contact practices. Means flew off the edge and notched a would-be tackle for loss and started celebrating like he just sacked Tom Brady in the Super Bowl. I genuinely appreciate his enthusiasm. Here’s a clip of what the celebration looks like, in case you were curious.
• Foles had a real nice ball to Mack Hollins on a double move after Jalen Mills bit on the fake. The offensive coaching staff was audibly pleased with that play.
• Today is the second day in a row where Joe Ostman stood out to me. He notched a would-be sack on Joe Callahan. Now, the quarterback did hold on to the ball for a considerable amount of time, so that helped, but still. Last year’s NCAA sack leader has shown the ability to generate pressure in practice. The Eagles are already deep at defensive end so it would be ideal if they could hold on to Ostman for the fuutre.
• Fourth-round rookie Avonte Maddox took reps as the first team jammer (the guy on the returning team who tries to block the gunner) on special teams. Even if Maddox ends up winning the slot job, he’ll be counted on for special teams contributions as well.
• Rashard Davis had at least two drops today, including one in wide receiver drills (no defense). Tim Wilson dropped at least one. Undrafted rookie free agent safety Stephen Roberts dropped a diving pick on an overthrow by Sudfeld.
• Sorry the practice notes aren’t as long today. The Eagles practiced on a field that was farther away so it was hard to see all the action clearly.
• Watch unedited video of Eagles practice below via the Bleeding Green Nation Facebook page (click here if you can’t see it).
LIVE FROM PHILADELPHIA EAGLES PRACTICE!Posted by Bleeding Green Nation: For Philadelphia Eagles Fans on Thursday, June 7, 2018
EAGLES PRACTICING NOWPosted by Bleeding Green Nation: For Philadelphia Eagles Fans on Thursday, June 7, 2018
Remaining offseason workout schedule
Mandatory Minicamp: June 12-14.
BGN Coverage: The following practices are open to the media: June 12-14. I’ll be at all of those practices. Follow me for live updates: @BrandonGowton.