Today marked the sixth day of 2018 Philadelphia Eagles training camp practice. There was no tackling to the ground like there was on Tuesday. Here’s what I observed.
• Daily Carson Wentz update: For the third practice in a row, Wentz did not participate in 11-on-11. After practice, Doug Pederson said he saw enough good things from Wentz last week that he doesn’t need to see No. 11 in full team drills right now. Cautious approach. As for Wentz’s in-practice performance, there was some good and some not so good. Wentz threw a beautiful deep bomb to Billy Brown, who burned Jeremy Reaves. During a 7-on-7 red zone drill, Wentz found Rashard Davis for a touchdown from 20 yards out. Wentz’s accuracy faltered at times. He sailed a pass out of bounds that was intended for Markus Wheaton on a corner route. For as good as he is, we’ve seen Wentz struggle with those passes to the sidelines. He overthrew another receiver during a red zone drill.
• Injury updates: Josh Adams and D.J. Killings were back at practice. Pederson said Matt Jones suffered a “lower body” injury on Tuesday but it’s “nothing serious” and he should be back soon. Shelton Gibson is in the NFL concussion protocol. Still no Adam Zaruba since he was carted off.
• It was incredibly humid to start practice. The weather is an additional element that makes camp even more challenging.
• Lots of red zone work today for the first time in camp.
• Red zone day might as well be called Dallas Goedert day. The rookie tight end simply dominates down there. Goedert’s first reception in 11-on-11 came when he was lined out wide against Sidney Jones. Nate Sudfeld threw his way and the tight end made an effortless one-hand grab. Then Sudfeld hit him again for a touchdown in the middle of the end zone. Unguardable. Later in practice, Goedert got some work with the first team. Nick Foles found him on a curl despite the fact Jordan Hicks was there to contest the play. Goedert’s just too big. During 3-on-2, Goedert ran a corner route to shake off Jeremy Reaves and make a catch. Reaves really must be starving because Goedert has eaten his lunch all day long. Goedert did have one drop during 3-on-2. That’s probably like his first or second drop all offseason.
• The only player who successfully covered Goedert: Ronald Darby. Darby, who’s been having a great camp, broke up a pass for the rookie tight end right at the goal line. As the defense was celebrating the play, the Eagles offense called a hurry up and Foles hit Goedert for ANOTHER touchdown. Rodney McLeod failed to cover No. 88 that time. Goedert may not finish the season with a huge yardage total but boy is he gonna score some touchdowns.
• Getting back to Darby, he almost picked off Sudfeld on a rep where he jumped a throw meant for Kamar Aiken. He had several other pass breakups on the day. It’d be nice if he could start turning some of these into interceptions. [Read more on Darby from BGN’s Benjamin Solak.]
• The Eagles worked in Rasul Douglas at first team corner in place of Darby at times today. He did pick off Nick Foles at one point. Bad throw from the Super Bowl MVP. Douglas notched a diving deflection on a Joe Callahan pass later in practice. I still don’t think Douglas is bound to get a lot of playing time but at the very least he looks like a nice backup corner to have around.
• De’Vante Bausby took today’s first team nickel corner reps. That’s three days for him and three days for Sidney Jones so far.
• Nate Gerry got some first team WILL linebacker reps. So did Kamu Grugier-Hill.
• Decent amount of three safety looks in the red zone with Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, and Tre Sullivan all out on the field. In my opinion, Sullivan has looked good enough where the Eagles might not need Corey Graham. But it wouldn’t hurt to have four guys they feel pretty good at safety.
• I liked what I saw from Nate Sudfeld. I think he showed real nice touch and accuracy in the red zone. He completed three different fade passes: one to Corey Clement, one to Nelson Agholor, and one to Greg Ward Jr. All right on the money. Sudfeld fired a laser through traffic to a diving Billy Brown. The third-year quarterback then followed that up with a strike to Davis along the back of the end zone.
• Mack Hollins made a contested catch with Darby playing him tight. Nice to see him use that size. Hollins also had a funny touchdown during red zone drills. Foles sold the defense on a pump fake, which left Hollins wide open in the end zone. He didn’t even move or jump to catch the ball. Just stood there.
• Agholor made a real nice leaping catch in the end zone on a throw from Foles in 7-on-7.
• Derek Barnett had a ‘sack’ on a play where he was originally lined out wide but shifted inside RIGHT before the ball was snap. He shot the gap unblocked and arrived at the quarterback to end the play.
• Zach Ertz was smoking undrafted rookie corner Chandon Sullivan time and time again. To his credit, Sullivan didn’t give up or get down on himself.
• Richard Rodgers’ route-running stood out to me during a 3-on-2 drill. He’s not fast so that’s how he needs to rely on getting open. Rodgers made a pretty sweet one-handed catch down the field during 11-on-11 but the play had already been whistled dead so the defense backed off.
• Markus Wheaton made a nice hands-extended grab on a ball while beating Chandon Sullivan in coverage. Wheaton dropped a pass over the middle of the field later on.
• Donnel Pumphrey spun out of a “tackle” attempt from Joe Walker. Nice to see the elusiveness.
• Josh Sweat drew praise for bending the edge to get around left tackle Toby Weathersby and cut back inside to make a ‘tackle’ on Wendell Smallwood for no gain.
• Joe Ostman accidentally (?) strip-sacked Joe Callahan.
• Elijah Qualls and Aziz Shittu combined for a “tackle for loss” in the backfield.
• Kind of random but Darrell Greene pancaked the hell out of Bruce Hector on a running play.
• During 3-on-2, LaRoy Reynolds did a nice job of shielding off Jay Ajayi’s wheel route so that the running back ended up out of bounds without a chance to even make a play on the ball thrown to him. Reynolds’ habit of being a little overly aggressive backfired on him today. He went to go pop Wendell Smallwood during a running play but the running back trucked the linebacker as he arrived. There’s been some buzz that Reynolds could make the team.
• 1-on-1 offensive line versus defensive line notes: Stefen Wisniewski does a nice job of standing up Destiny Vaeao. Michael Bennett’s bull rush looks very hard to stop. Isaac Seumalo gets beaten by Bruce Hector, who also shined yesterday. Josh Sweat tries to get around Jordan Mailata’s left side but the massive tackle drives him into the ground (!). Elijah Qualls gets stood up by Chance Warmack. Steven Means absolutely destroys Taylor Hart. Matt Pryor contains Aziz Shittu within his framework and then drives him into the ground. It’s been a good camp for Pryor.
• Jake Elliott was perfect on his field goal attempts. Or, at least I think he was, since it’s not always easy to tell with the angle I get. In any case, he doesn’t seem to be struggling, which is good.
• Found it mildly interesting that Nick Foles, and not Wentz, led the post-warmup team huddle. QB CONTROVERSY!? Nah. Wentz does it most days. I just think Foles got the opportunity with Wentz being scaled back and everyone having a lot of respect for Nick as well.
Eagles executives having a lengthy conversation with Drew Rosenhaus after practice. Rosenhaus represents Ajayi, Jernigan, Bradham, Mills— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) August 1, 2018
• Watch Doug Pederson’s presser below (or click here if you can’t see it):
Doug Pederson speaking after Eagles practicePosted by Bleeding Green Nation: For Philadelphia Eagles Fans on Wednesday, August 1, 2018
• Watch Carson Wentz’s presser below (or click here if you can’t see it):
Eagles QB Carson WentzPosted by Bleeding Green Nation: For Philadelphia Eagles Fans on Wednesday, August 1, 2018
• Watch Nick Foles’ presser below (or click here if you can’t see it):
SUPER BOWL MVP NICK FOLESPosted by Bleeding Green Nation: For Philadelphia Eagles Fans on Wednesday, August 1, 2018
UP NEXT: The Birds are back at practice tomorrow starting at 9:15 AM ET. Doug Pederson said the Eagles will do some live tackling during red zone drills. Stay tuned to Bleeding Green Nation, as always. BGN life. For life.