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Eagles OTA Practice Notes: The Carson Wentz to DeSean Jackson connection is looking good

Observations from Tuesday’s session.

NFL: Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles resumed their OTA practice schedule on Tuesday. The session was open to media and I was there. 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 guys running around in shorts, but here’s what I noticed.

CARSON WENTZ UPDATE: Louis Riddick just might be on to something because Wentz was looking awfully sharp out there today. I didn’t see an incompletion from him in 3-on-3 drills. Wentz dropped a dime to Zach Ertz on along the sideline during 11-on-11. (UPDATE: The Eagles posted a video of this play.)

Then Wentz hit DeSean Jackson over the middle from about 35 yards for a touchdown. Wentz found an open Jackson for another touchdown in red zone drills. Wentz and Jackson haven’t connected on a 40+ yard deep bomb just yet — Wentz aired one out today but Rasul Douglas had good coverage and it was incomplete — but they already seem to have a good chemistry in the short and intermediate passing game. That’s an encouraging sign at such an early point in the offseason. Another highlight came when Wentz lobbed up a pass to JJ Arcega-Whiteside, who made one of his signature jump ball catches in the corner of the end zone. Sidney Jones basically got Moss’d in coverage. Good to see Wentz making those kind of trust throws after struggling to do that at times in 2018. It wasn’t a flawless practice for Wentz as Kamu Grugier-Hill and Jones broke up a couple of his attempts but there was a lot more good than bad.

ATTENDANCE UPDATES: Malcolm Jenkins, Alshon Jeffery, Lane Johnson, and Jason Peters still aren’t at OTAs. Zach Brown was at practice after missing last week’s session but he didn’t participate at all. Brown was chatting up Jim Schwartz prior to practice.

INJURY UPDATES: Mack Hollins, Ronald Darby, Jalen Mills, Rodney McLeod, Corey Clement, Nigel Bradham, and Brandon Brooks (see video update below) are all still recovering. Miles Sanders still hasn’t practiced yet; it’s unclear why. Linebackers Nathan Gerry and Paul Worrilow weren’t practicing after participating in last week’s session. Gerry was doing some rehab work on a side field.

DEPTH CHART UPDATES: Avonte Maddox was playing on the outside with the first team defense while Jones was working in the slot. Last week it was the other way around. The Eagles are experimenting with their defensive back options, as they should. L.J. Fort and Kamu Grugier-Hill took first team linebacker reps with Bradham, Brown, and Gerry not practicing.

Nate Sudfeld was up and down once again. He held on the ball for too long before throwing to a receiver on a crossing route. As a result, Josh Hawkins was able to undercut the route for a pick six. Sudfeld also overthrew a quick slant to Charles Johnson. Sudfeld did earn praise from coaches and teammates after hitting Richard Rodgers on a fade route in the back corner of the end zone for a touchdown.

• Undrafted rookie free agent linebacker T.J. Edwards stood out on a few occasions. The Wisconsin alumnus notably blew up a screen and broke up a short pass over the middle meant for Wendell Smallwood. Edwards reportedly received the most amount of guaranteed money of any Eagles UDFA signing. He could really push for a roster spot.

• Grugier-Hill had an active practice as well. He picked off a bad throw from rookie quarterback Clayton Thorson during 3-on-3 drills. Kamu also knocked down a goal line pass meant for Dallas Goedert. He proceeded to stare down the second-year tight end and yell “GET THAT SHIT OUTTA HERE” at him. Love Kamu’s energy.

• One of the biggest plays in practice was a reception by ... Carlton Agudosi?! The Rutgers alumnus caught a wobbly pass from Clayton Thorson deep down the field. Avonte Maddox and Rasul Douglas both had Agudosi covered well; the ball should’ve been picked off ... but the 6-6 wide receiver tracked the ball better than his defensive back couterparts. This might be the only time I write about Agudosi this entire offseason.

• Arcega-Whiteside’s jump ball touchdown reception from Wentz was really impressive. Fantastic body control and strong hands. JJ almost made another impressive jump ball catch along the sideline but he lost control as he was being “contacted.” That’s the second week in a row I’ve seen that happen. He obviously has to do a better job of finishing those plays.

• Some highlights for the Boston Scott hive out there: the running back had a nice reception on a wheel route. He also saw a first team group install rep where he pitched the handoff back to Wentz, who connected with Nelson Agholor deep down the field. Flea flicker!

• DeSean Jackson, Boston Scott, Donnel Pumphrey, and DeAndre Thompkins were the punt returners during practice. Jackson’s the only roster lock at that spot and it’d be surprising if he was the full time punt returner. I wonder about the Eagles’ plan at that spot.

Cameron Johnston was booting punts. He looks good. There’s a very important punter observation for you. (But really just for BGN’s own Alexis Chassen.)

Shelton Gibson and Sidney Jones have been the first team gunners on punt coverage. Maybe a good sign for Gibson as he tries to fight for a fifth or sixth roster spot?

• Blake Countess was the first team personal protector.

• Undrafted rookie free agent offensive lineman Ryan Bates is lining up at right tackle on the second team offensive line but he’s also getting center reps during 7-on-7 drills.

• #NicknameAnalytics update: Prior to practice, Jim Schwartz referred to Andrew Sendejo as “Dejo” (pronounced: Day-ho). That could be a good sign for his roster chances and thus a bad sign for the Eagles landing another 2020 fourth-round compensatory pick.

• #JerseyNumberAnalytics update: Casey Tucker is wearing No. 50. He’s an offensive tackle. That’s a horrible selection. It really makes me wonder if he’s even taking this NFL opportunity seriously. Does he even know he’s not a linebacker?

Remaining offseason workout schedule

OTA Offseason Workouts: May 30-31, June 3-6.

Mandatory Minicamp: June 11-13.

BGN Coverage: The following practices are open to the media: June 3, June 5, June 11-13. I’ll be at all of those practices. Follow me for live updates: @BrandonGowton.

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