Today marked the first full 2018 Philadelphia Eagles training camp practice. It was a 10-10-10 session so make sure you [read this] if you don’t know what that means. Here we go.
• Let’s start with today’s most important takeaway: Carson Wentz continues to progress towards a Week 1 return. After being merely limited to individual drills and 7-on-7 in training camp, Wentz participated in full team 11-on-11 with the second unit today. Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles was still with the first team, so Wentz’s reps were naturally a little limited, but it was still encouraging to see him take another step forward. He’s showing no signs of limitation while passing or running. I continue to believe he’s going to play in Week 1. Before he gets there, though, he’ll need to be cleared for contact. That’s the next step for No. 11.
• Other injury updates: The Eagles placed three players on PUP (Brandon Graham, Alshon Jeffery, Chris Maragos) and two players (Timmy Jernigan, Bryce Treggs) on NFI. Doug Pederson did not disclose the full extent of Treggs’ surprise injury. He’d only say that it was a lower body concern. Everyone else on the roster seemingly practiced, which is good to see. That includes guys who missed the entirety of spring drills such as Haloti Ngata, Josh Adams, LaRoy Reynolds, and Ryan Neal. Jason Peters, Jordan Hicks, and Darren Sproles participated in 11-on-11 and looked healthy. Sproles especially looked as spry as ever. Sidney Jones was also back after dealing with “lower body soreness” in OTAs and minicamp.
• Jones took first team reps at nickel cornerback, just like he did during the first OTA practice this year. I didn’t notice much from him but it’s a good sign for him that he continues to get looks there.
• With Jones working as the first team slot corner, De’Vante Bausby was relegated to second team outside corner. He picked up where he left off from the spring with a nice pass breakup.
• Rasul Douglas notched a pick on Foles at one point. The second-year corner jumped a short route and took the ball the other way for a pick six.
• Lots of cornerback notes so far. Here’s another! Avonte Maddox got worked by Nelson Agholor at one point. Benjamin Solak has more details on that play (and a few others) right here.
• Jeremy Reaves picked off Joe Callahan at one point. That’s another play that Solak wrote about.
• Isaac Seumalo participated in full team drills as the Eagles’ second team center. It was a real rough day for him in terms of snapping the ball. He sailed the pigskin over the heads of Wentz and Nate Sudfeld at various times during practice. Another snap to Sudfeld was too low and caused the quarterback to ultimately fumble the ball. It hasn’t been a great offseason for Seumalo so far, which is a shame because he’s in need of a bounce-back.
• Kamu Grugier-Hill took first team reps at weakside linebacker. Good day to be a member of the #KamuClub. Corey Nelson and Joe Walker were working as the primary second team linebackers.
• Donnel Pumphrey had a few nice runs today. It’s hard to get a great read on running backs since no one is allowed to tackle them but he’s shown me more than he did at this point last year. I still need to see him impress during game action but I slowly continue to be more encouraged about him. I’m still reserving the right to jump ship at any moment.
• Dallas Goedert had a rare drop. D.J Killings had nice coverage and impacted the play.
• Shelton Gibson bobbled a pass up into the air and somehow managed to re-catch it. The end result was good but he needs to show steadier hands than that.
• Jalen Mills notched a nice pass breakup. He’s had a good offseason.
• Aziz Shittu managed to notch the rare “actual sack” during practice. He drove an offensive lineman back into Callahan, who tripped and fell. Remember that Shittu was singled out and praised by Pederson for his efforts during OTAs and minicamp.
• Sproles, Agholor, and Markus Wheaton were back to receive punts from Cameron Johnston.
• Johnston had some real nice deep boots. There’s no question he has a leg. (Or two of them, for that matter.) But he’s not consistent. He shanked one attempt real bad and a few others weren’t very impressive. He should hardly be a lock to make the team.
• Foles kept the ball on an RPO and started running up field. Mack Hollins ran with him and joked that no one had the speed to catch Foles.
• The mood at Eagles camp was loose. In a good way, I think. This team was at their best last season when they were loose and everyone was having fun while getting their work done. It was nice to see that carry over from last year.
• I’ve been bamboozled! Michael Bennett will NOT being No. 95 despite the fact both the Eagles’ media guide AND the team’s official roster page indicated that was the case! He’s still No. 77. Instead, it’s undrafted rookie Joe Ostman who will be wearing No. 95 instead of his previous No. 76 jersey.
• Speaking of jerseys, new wide receiver Kamar Aiken is wearing No. 81. Aiken had a tough first day with two drops. In fairness, he did make a tough contested grab on the final play of practice.
• I do like the Eagles’ new motto for this year. They’re no longer the underdogs. Instead, it’s time to EMBRACE THE TARGET. Pederson always talks about how this team is going to have a target on their back now. They can’t afford to let their guard down.
Eagles no more underdog shirts. New slogan for repeat— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) July 26, 2018
“Embrace the target”#FlyEaglesFly pic.twitter.com/9xR9ZfUofd
• Benjamin Solak update: As a reminder, BGN’s Deputy Manager is covering training camp with me. Today was his first day. It was a solid day for young Benjamin. But the rookie journalist wasn’t without his mistakes. Somehow he allowed his battery to die before he could go into the locker room after practice for interviews. He did manage to get an interview in with his favorite player of all time, though. Of course. (More very important analysis of Solak’s performance on the latest BGN Radio Training Camp Update.)
First player that @BenjaminSolak goes up to after Eagles practice: his boy, Donnel Pumphrey. pic.twitter.com/faaIcuMfbl— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) July 26, 2018
• Shameless BGN promotion time: Make sure you check out the latest BGN Radio training camp update. And the photos/videos I posted to the BGN Instagram (@BleedingGreenInsta) and BGN Snapchat (Bleeding-Green) accounts. And this video from the Bleeding Green Nation Facebook page:
LIVE FROM FIRST DAY OF EAGLES CAMP!!!Posted by Bleeding Green Nation: For Philadelphia Eagles Fans on Thursday, July 26, 2018
And this one too:
Eagles QBs Nick Foles and Carson WentzPosted by Bleeding Green Nation: For Philadelphia Eagles Fans on Thursday, July 26, 2018
• I apologize for not getting these notes up sooner. I’ve been going through some crazy stuff in life lately and that really delayed me today. Moving forward, I’ll be better at getting up my observations much sooner. I hope. Thanks for your patience in the meantime.
Up next: Right back at it tomorrow with another Eagles training camp practice. Friday’s start time is set for 9:15 AM ET. Stay tuned to BGN, as always.