Today marked the seventh day of 2018 Philadelphia Eagles training camp practice. The Eagles were back in pads and they did some live tackling. All told, it was the most physical practice of camp so far. Here’s what I observed.
• Daily Carson Wentz update: For the fourth practice in a row, Wentz did not participate in 11-on-11. This isn’t surprising considering the extra physical nature of practice. Wentz looked really sharp in wide receiver versus defensive back 1-on-1. His first attempt was an accurate strike to Mack Hollins on a comeback route with Ronald Darby right behind the receiver. Then he hit Bryce Treggs for a good gain over the middle. Wentz connected with Hollins again on a deep ball touchdown with Chandon Sullivan beat in coverage. Wentz didn’t look quite as sharp in 7-on-7. Chandon Sullivan broke up one of his throws meant for Zach Ertz. Then No. 11 was picked off by De’Vante Bausby. In fairness, the pick probably wouldn’t have happened if Rashard Davis didn’t fall down on his route.
• Injury updates: Matt Jones was out at practice early on but headed back inside after individuals. The aforementioned Treggs was activated off the NFI list; nice to see he’s healthy. Shelton Gibson is still out. Same for Adam Zaruba. Greg Ward Jr. went down and started to grab his ankle after running a route in individual drills. He returned with it taped up. Haloti Ngata did not practice due to a planned veteran rest day. Josh Sweat left practice and was seen limping but early word is that it’s not serious. Richard Rodgers left practice after suffering some kind of arm/wrist injury during a red zone drill. No major injury concerns here but some depth players are getting nicked up.
• One of the big news items was an update on the nickel corner battle. After three days of alternating Sidney Jones and De’Vante Bausby’s first team slot reps, the Eagles tried a new looked with Jalen Mills in the slot and Jones on the outside. That’s a lineup that we’ve previously suggested as a possibility but really haven’t seen until now. Intriguing.
• Today was a great member for those of us in the #KamuClub. Kamu Grugier-Hill had hell of a practice, as Benjamin Solak already noted. He flew into the backfield on multiple occasions in order to pick up two tackles for loss. Kamu also intercepted Nate Sudfeld in the end zone. It ended up being a pass breakup. It was great to see Eagles defensive players get really fired up about Grugier-Hill’s performance. They were yelling out KA-MUUUUUUUUUU! There’s been a heavy rotation at first team linebacker aside from Jordan Hicks and Nigel Bradham. I still like Kamu to win the WILL job.
• Bryce Treggs really stood out to me in his first day back at practice. It probably helps that he has fresher legs than the other guys who’ve now gone through a week of camp. Still, he made a number of quality catches. In 1-on-1, Treggs flashed his vertical speed on a play where he beat Chandon Sullivan over the top. Treggs made a contested catch on a quick slant with Rasul Douglas draped all over him.
• Sticking with the battle for the fifth or sixth receiver spot, Rashard Davis has been quietly impressive. I know Solak is with me on that one. The 5-9, 175 pound Davis looked especially filthy in 1-on-1 drills. He schooled Mills on a curl. Then he shook Douglas badly. There were a number of other reps where he was creating a lot of separation with the combination of his quickness and route-running. He even got some looks as the recipient of shovel passes from Joe Callahan during team drills. If Davis can provide value as a returner, which he did in college, he could make a strong case for himself. Whether that’s here or another team picking him up.
• Sidney Jones slipped and fell while trying to cover Kamar Aiken on a corner route during 1-on-1. He also got beat by Markus Wheaton at one point.
• Bausby struggled in 1-on-1. He got beat deep by rookie Anthony Mahoungou. Then by DeAndre Carter. He rebounded with a diving pass breakup on a pass to Treggs during 11-on-11.
• Josh Adams had some nice runs today. He looked quick getting to the outside and looked hard to bring down out in space. Adams powered his way into the end zone during a goal line drill. I’m interested to see how handles preseason action.
• Jordan Mailata drove Corey Nelson, who is repping at third team linebacker, off the ball on a running play.
• Malcolm Jenkins stiff armed the crap out of Rodgers after picking off Nick Foles in the end zone. Rodgers actually fell to the ground. Later, Jenkins knocked down a Foles pass meant for Aiken.
• Corey Clement took the 1st first team carry during goal line drills. The offensive line drove him into the end zone for a touchdown. After the play, Lane Johnson started dancing. Duce Staley was very happy and gave Johnson a big high five. Lane’s a beast.
• Jordan Hicks made a good tackle during 11-on-11. It’s nice to see him healthy and fully practicing out there. Hicks and Nigel Bradham combined to stuff a running back short of the goal line at one point.
• Eagles defensive line coach Chris Wilson was PISSED at Elijah Qualls for jumping offside during Sudfeld’s hard count. “WATCH THE F***ING BALL!”
• Carter made a contested catch with D.J. Killings defending him. Then he failed to track a deep ball pass from Nate Sudfeld.
• Sudfeld dropped a dime down the field and along the sideline to Aiken in 1-on-1. Mills was beat on the tight window throw.
• Mills locked down Mahoungou. The quarterback couldn’t even get the throw off. Mills has done that a number of times this summer. He also tipped a pass to himself and managed to stay in bounds for a pick during 1-on-1.
• Mike Wallace won a jump ball opportunity against Ronald Darby. Darby was frustrated. Wallace also dropped a pass in the flat during 7-on-7.
• Douglas continues to be active around the ball. He knocked down a Nick Foles pass meant for Hollins. Douglas made a diving interception on an off-target deep throw from Sudfeld during team drills.
• Wheaton shook Douglas on a double move in 1-on-1.
• Foles overthrew Darren Sproles.
• Zach Ertz made an incredible one-handed catch on a quick throw by Foles. He then spun and dove into the end zone.
• LaRoy Reynolds totally bit on a play-fake and left Josh Perkins wide open for a touchdown pass from Sudfeld.
• Undrafted rookie free agent safety Ryan Neal, who missed all of spring drills, flashed a little today. He broke up a pass along the sideline after Joe Callahan rolled out right. Neal also made a one-handed interception on a tipped ball during team drills.
• Isaac Seumalo continues to snap the ball way over the quarterback’s head at times.
• Daily update: Aiken dropped a pass. The ball actually bounced off his hands and into Douglas’ waiting arms. Luckily for the quarterback, Douglas was out of bounds when he gained full possession.
• Steven Means ended practice with a “sack” on Callahan.
• 1-on-1 offensive line versus defensive line notes: Lane Johnson holds firm against Chris Long’s bull rush. Brandon Brooks holds up against Michael Bennett. Stefen Wisniewski doesn’t give up ground against Destiny Vaeao. Elijah Qualls uses quickness to get around Matt Pryor. Qualls follows that up by using his power to drive Taylor Hart backwards. Derek Barnett bends around Halapoulivaati Vaitai for a would-be sack. Wisniewski manages to thwart Bennett, who calls for a rematch, and then beats Wis the second time. Jon Toth was holding on for dear life against Bruce Hector, who showed some real nice hand usage. The most dominant rep of 1-on-1 was when Steven Means straight up pushed Mailata (6-8, 346) into the ground flat on his back.
• The Eagles were doing some blocking drills while I was largely watching 1-on-1. Thankfully, Ben was watching them instead. His notes:
RB/TE pass protection 1 v 1 against LB/SAF (advantage will be for defense)— Benjamin Solak (@BenjaminSolak) August 2, 2018
In pass protection, Pumphrey and Smallwood whiff badly. Duce, pissed, gets Smallwood back in. He does better and Duce screams "How hard is that?!"— Benjamin Solak (@BenjaminSolak) August 2, 2018
Reaves smokes Goedert on his next rep. Just toasts him. Jenkins whoops and celebrates with Reaves as he returns.— Benjamin Solak (@BenjaminSolak) August 2, 2018
Best/worst of pass protection/blitzing drills— Benjamin Solak (@BenjaminSolak) August 2, 2018
B: Corey Clement
W: Donnel Pumphrey
B: Richard Rodgers
W: Josh Perkins
(Overall they did great)
B: Kamu Grugier-Hill
W: Nick Wilson
B: Malcolm Jenkins
W: Tre Sullivan
And here’s a fun thing on personnel:
Eagles in 14 (!!) personnel on first goal line snap. Richard Rodgers aligned as FB.— Benjamin Solak (@BenjaminSolak) August 2, 2018
Next snap is 22. Pumphrey as FB (?!?!) runs a banana route, covered well by Walker.
We're trying some fun stuff folks.
• We still haven’t had a real camp fight yet but there was one little “scuffle” today. I didn’t see it myself but three different reporters (Jimmy Kempski, Les Bowen, Jeff McLane) each noted some combination of Michael Bennett and/or Chris Long had words with Rodgers after a rep. Not exactly main event material.
• It appeared to me that Michael Bennett led the post-warmup huddle before practice today. Bennett also spent time working with Mailata after practice. Last week, Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz praised Bennett’s leadership abilities during a press conference. It looks like those weren’t empty words. Bennett appears to be far from a “distraction” in the locker room.
After practice today, Michael Bennett pulled aside rookie OT Jordan Mailata and was going over how to work on his sets. This has been a frequent occurrence for Bennett since he arrived. #Eagles— Zack Rosenblatt (@ZackBlatt) August 2, 2018
• One thing I’ve enjoyed throughout camp is Chris Long and Malcolm Jenkins racing to be the first one to get to the ball that’s set up for the drill they’re about to do. Long beat Jenkins today.
• I’m sorry for getting these notes up so late. It’s been a busy day for some reason.
The BGN Radio as you knew it is dead. I’ve been forced off the podcast I originally reached out to create back in 2013. It’s a long story that I plan to address in a post on @BleedingGreen at some point soon. For now, I feel incredibly betrayed, demoralized, and defeated.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) August 2, 2018
UP NEXT: The Eagles are back at practice tomorrow starting at 9:45 AM ET. I think we’re in store for a 10-10-10 day so that means it’ll be a lighter session. Stay tuned to Bleeding Green Nation, as always. Long live BGN.