Today marked the third 2019 Philadelphia Eagles training camp practice. With the pads going on, though, it felt like the first real practice. Read on to see what I observed! Also, listen to the latest BGN Radio practice recap podcast by streaming below or [CLICKING HERE]:
• CARSON WENTZ UPDATE: Wentz easily had his worst practice of the entire offseason; spring and summer combined. It’s officially time to cancel the 2019 regular season. Wentz notably struggled with his accuracy on deep passes. He overthrew an open DeSean Jackson on a go route (for the second day in a row) and later did the same with Alshon Jeffery. There’s been a notion that Wentz can’t throw the deep ball well but the stats don’t entirely back that up. Wentz rank tied for 8th in deep ball accuracy (passes of 21-plus yards) last season. (Nick Foles, who anecdotally has a better deep ball reputation, ranked 22nd on such throws.)
It wasn’t just the deep ball that plagued Wentz. He also got picked off by Kamu Grugier-Hill on a throw over the middle of the field. In fairness, Grugier-Hill made a great play on the ball to snag it out of the air. Wentz jokingly acted like he was going to tackle Grugier-Hill on the return and half-hardheartedly tried to strip the linebacker. Kamu’s having a good offseason, by the way. He might get the second most linebacker snaps on the team after Nigel Bradham.
Wentz almost got picked off again during wide receiver versus defensve back 1-on-1s. Rasul Douglas knocked Jeffery off his route and made the catch down the field. One of the ref at practice said the ball hit the ground, though, though Douglas ultimately didn’t finish the play.
Wentz’s throw to Zach Ertz during a 2-on-2 drill was knocked away by Jeremiah McKinnon. Just got the ball out a little too late. An 11-on-11 Wentz pass intended for Shelton Gibson over the middle of the field was thrown higher than necessary. The leaping Gibson almost got it but he couldn’t quite hold on.
It wasn’t ALL bad for Wentz. He did have a couple nice completions to Dallas Goedert. One went for a 30-plus yard gain down the field. Wentz would’ve had a deep completion to Nelson Agholor if the wide receiver hadn’t lost track of the ball with Malcolm Jenkins face-guarding him. The pass went right through Agholor’s hands. Agholor failed to track another Wentz pass along the sideline later in practice. Wentz connected with Jeffery on an out route to beat Sidney Jones.
I wonder if Wentz throwing in pads for the first time since December 2018 partially explains today’s struggles. One could also point to the fact this is the first full training camp Wentz has ever had with both Jackson and Jeffery.
In an effort to improve their timing, Wentz and Jackson did work on some throws after practice was over.
• INJURY UPDATE: Blake Countess did not practice for the second day in a row. Cre’Von LeBlanc also did not practice for the second day in a row. Strap was seen wearing a boot and using a roll-a-bout to get around in the locker room. Jeff McLane reports Strap’s injury “isn’t considered something serious, like an Achilles rupture.” It is serious enough that the Eagles claimed Alex Brown off waivers and are now working out veteran slot corner Orlando Scandrick, though. Boston Scott had to leave practice after taking a big hit (more on that later) but he ultimately returned later on.
• Sidney Jones took first team outside corner reps today with Avonte Maddox back in the slot. Jones had a standout moment during Friday’s practice and he followed that up with another good showing today. The highlight play was when Jones picked off a Nate Sudfeld deep pass meant for Mack Hollins. Now, it must be noted that Sudfeld’s attempt was underthrown as he tried to roll out away from pressure. A good throw there would’ve seen Hollins burning Jones for a touchdown. But Jones does deserve credit for making a play on the ball in the air against the taller Hollins. Good job to maintain possession while going to the ground as well. Jones broke up a Wentz pass meant for Jackson on a comeback during 1-on-1. Just another example of Jones’ ability to click and close. Jones did get outmuscled by Jeffery on some contested catch attempts.
• The Eagles continue to heavily utilize 12 personnel during practice. The first rep of 11-on-11 was a Wentz completion to Goedert. The first rep of the second 11-on-11 set was ... another Wentz completion to Goedert. Goedert has already been getting a lot of targets. He’s really good. His one-handed catch along the sideline was a reminder of that fact. (Speaking of Sanders, he dropped a routine short pass at one point. He was visibly frustrated with himself for that one.)
• Vinny Curry was responsible for one of today’s standout plays. The veteran defensive end — who is appropriately big wrestling fan — clotheslined the crap out of Miles Sanders in the backfield for a loss. A true “Welcome to the NFL” moment for the rookie running back. After the play, Curry got up and started doing a Fornite dance. The defense loved it. You have to appreciate the personality and energy that Curry brings to the team.
• Andrew Sendejo continues to take all the first team safety reps next to Malcolm Jenkins with Rodney McLeod still not doing team drills. Sendejo came flying in off the edge to put a big thud on Josh Adams as the running back tried to get to the outside. You can’t say Sendejo’s looked bad this offseason.
• Former Canadian Football League linebacker Alex Singleton also broke out the hit stick by absolutely decking Boston Scott on a short reception. The coaching staff doesn’t want players getting THAT physical in this setting but Singleton definitely thrived with the pads going on. Singleton is an interesting long shot guy to watch. He posted large tackling numbers in the CFL.
• Wentz wasn’t the only Eagles quarterback to struggle. We already talked about the pick he threw to Jones. Nate Sudfeld’s throw for Charles Johnson over the middle of the field way WAY too high and incomplete. Sudfeld had Joshua Perkins open on a post in 7-on-7 but his throw way too wide/out in front. Sudfeld completed a deep pass to a wiiiiide open Greg Ward (Jay Liggins lost him) but the throw didn’t look good in the air and Ward had to wait for the ball instead of getting hit in stride. Sudfeld did complete a pass to Braxton Miller 30 yards down the field in 1-on-1s.
• Cody Kessler made another nice throw today. This time he hit Charles Johnson in stride for an over-the-shoulder touchdown reception. Josh Hawkins got beat on the play. Kessler also made one of the worst throws of the offseason when he threw an absolute duck that went nowhere.
• JJ Arcega-Whiteside runs crisp routes. He beat Douglas on a comeback. McKinnon also failed to succesfully defend him.
• Josh Sweat hype train alert: the second-year defensive end swallowed up a ball carrier for no gain.
• 2019 first-round pick Andre Dillard stuffed Zach Brown on a blitz attempt. A left tackle doesn’t get a gold star for successfully blocking a linebacker but it was still nice to see the rookie easily handling a physical veteran.
• Jordan Howard had some quality runs, including one attempt where he made some subtle moves to avoid defenders and get to daylight.
• Douglas did a good job of setting the edge in run support and stopping a ball carrier for no gain.
• Stefen Wisniewski continues to struggle snapping the ball as he takes ssecond team center reps.
• Carlton Agudosi ran a nice route and made a jumping catch during 1-on-1s. Tough to defend.
• Daeshon Hall exploded into the backfield to blow up a Scott run.
• That new guy the Eagles claimed on waivers yesterday — Alex Brown? He stripped Will Tye during 2-on-2.
• Undrafted rookie free agent Ryan Bates started throwing up at one point. The training camp grind is not so glorious.
• Cool to see Jason Peters (the mentor) and Dillard (the mentee) talking as they walked off the field into the locker room.
• Here’s a look at DeSean’s Nipsey Hussle-themed cleats (RIP):
• Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry — a Philly native and Villanova alumnus — was in attendance today. The 2019 NBA champion had a long conversation with Wentz after practice.
Carson Wentz and Kyle Lowry have been talking for a long time after Eagles practice. pic.twitter.com/m8vDuQrRcZ— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) July 27, 2019
• Undrafted rookie free agents T.J. Edwards, Joey Alfieri, and Kevin Wilkins were among those tasked with bringing Rita’s water ice (sic) to the locker room for the vets.
Eagles UDFA LB T.J. Edwards carrying a tray of Rita’s water ice (sic) for his teammates. pic.twitter.com/bpaduC8ACk— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) July 27, 2019
• Here’s some practice video:
Live from Eagles training camp (Day 3) https://t.co/IJn0nHomdL— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) July 27, 2019
UP NEXT: The Eagles are OFF tomorrow: Sunday, July 28. Rest day. They’ll resume practice starting at 9:15 AM ET on Monday, July 30. Stay tuned to BGN, as always.