Today marked the fourth 2019 Philadelphia Eagles training camp practice and the team was in pads once again. 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 struggled with the deep ball during Saturday’s practice and he got off to a bad start in that regard on Monday as well. Wentz targeted Alshon Jeffery deep with his first 3-on-3 pass attempt but the ball was overthrown once again. Rasul Douglas made a pretty nifty one-handed pick on the play.
Wentz really bounced back after that early mistake, though. The fourth-year quarterback hit DeSean Jackson on a comeback for about 25 yards. The offense then hurried up to the line and Wentz aired it out to Jackson deep down the field for a 40-plus yard touchdown (Avonte Maddox was the burn victim). Wentz found Jackson again on a post for at least 30 yards. He went back to Jackson yet again on a post for at least 20 yards. The Eagles must be very happy to see those guys getting on the same page. It’s also just very clear that Jackson hasn’t lost a step. Wentz threw to Jackson on a slot screen and the wide receiver took it to the house after a block gave him an opening to out-run the defense. Ain’t nobody catching No. 10 from behind.
Wentz also did a great job of working the middle of the field and spreading the ball to multiple targets. Zach Ertz and Nelson Agholor were among those recipients. Wentz targeted Jordan Howard 15-plus yards down the field and it didn’t look pretty as the ball was off target. Seemed like there was a miscommunication, though, since they spent time talking after the play. Howard later dropped a pass in the flat from Wentz. Gonna go out on a limb and say that Howard, who’s averaged 1.5 receptions per game over his career, isn’t going to be a huge pass-catching factor in this offense.
Back to Wentz, though, it’s worth noting that a former NFL quarterback was impressed by his performance today.
At the @Eagles training camp practice-Carson Wentz is putting on a dang clinic of anticipation and ball placement and touch and zip and all things that pertain to flat out “DEALING”— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) July 29, 2019
• EAGLES INJURY UPDATE: Starting safety Rodney McLeod participated in 7-on-7 drills. That’s a good sign for his recovery. Mack Hollins did not participate in practice; he was spotted watching from the sideline. After practice, Doug Pederson told reporters Hollins didn’t have a setback in relation to the groin injury he was dealing with for over a year. Rather, it’s a new “lower body injury.” Tough development for Hollins. [UPDATE: Hollins told reporters he should be back in a day or two. Then again, Hollins also told reporters he expected to play in Week 1 last year before being placed on injured reserve for the entire 2018 season. So, we’ll see!] In other injury news, Pederson said Cre’Von LeBlanc is “week-to-week.” Guys who previously got that label — such as Richard Rodgers and Jalen Mills last year — missed months of action. So, not the most encouraging update. Backup safety Blake Countess returned to practice after missing two days last week. Backup linebacker Paul Worrilow did not practice.
• Jordan Howard gets the bulk of first team running back reps but he does share some time with Miles Sanders. It’s apparent that Sanders has explosiveness/shiftiness that other Eagles running backs just don’t possess. Speaking of the rookie running back, he did take some kick return reps today. Sanders handled 38 kick returns at Penn State but he only averaged a mere 20.1 yards per return.
• New Eagles cornerback Orlando Scandrick is wearing the No. 45 jersey. So, he’s sharing a number with Eagles long snapper Rick Lovato. Oof. Scandrick lined up as the Eagles’ second team nickel cornerback during practice.
New Eagles CB Orlando Scandrick is wearing No. 45. pic.twitter.com/lM01MIzK1q— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) July 29, 2019
• Sidney Jones continued to line up as the first team nickel cornerback with Avonte Maddox and Rasul Douglas playing on the outside. I did notice one base defense snap, though, with Maddox coming off the field to leave Jones and Douglas on the outside.
• Like Wentz, Nelson Agholor struggled on Saturday but bounced back today. He proved to be tough to cover over the middle as he beat both Jones and Maddox.
• Nate Sudfeld made a nice touch throw to Donnel Pumphrey on a wheel route during 3-on-3. The running back failed to secure the ball, however, and ultimately had it knocked loose by Alex Brown.
• In addition to intercepting Wentz, Rasul Douglas tipped a short Clayton Thorson pass that almost got picked off by Nathan Gerry. Douglas has had an encouraging offseason as he heads into Year 3.
• Clayton Thorson has NOT had an encouraging offseason. The rookie quarterback has really struggled at times. Two of his throws towards the sideline today were way overthrown and out bounds. One of his deep attempts over the middle of the field was essentially an arm punt that hung in the air for way too long. A lot of Thorson’s throws wobble in the air as opposed to looking like a crisp spiral.
• Fourth-string quarterback Cody Kessler has quietly had an okay camp after struggling in spring drills. He impressively fit a ball in a tight window to Braxton Miller along the sideline. I think the Eagles will keep Thorson on the 53-man roster (unless they’re able to stash him away on injured reserve) after spending a 2019 fifth-round pick on him. But if Wentz gets hurt for an extended period of time, I think the Eagles would re-sign Kessler to be their No. 2 behind a starting Nate Sudfeld instead of immediately moving Thorson to that backup role.
• It’s been a very quiet offseason for Miller but the former Ohio State star had a couple nice catches today. In addition to the aforementioned throw from Kessler, Miller made a leaping grab along the sideline on a Thorson throw. Really doubt he makes the team but nice to see him doing more than nothing.
• Kamu Grugier-Hill continues to have a good offseason. He came down to stuff a Howard run attempt up the middle.
• Timmy Jernigan is looking healthy and effective. He exploded into the backfield to tackle Howard for a significant loss. Then he got up and started taunting the offense by dancing.
• Tre Sullivan ranged over and knocked down a Sudfeld jump ball throw to a receiver.
• Hassan Ridgeway, who has previously earned praise from the coaching staff, came up with a “sack” on Sudfeld. On the bubble to make the 53-man roster.
• Joe Ostman, who is essentially the Eagles’ new Steven Means, beat Jordan Mailata at right tackle during 11-on-11 to log a “sack” on Sudfeld. Ostman also came up with a tackle for no gain on one rep. Mailata held his ground against Ostman later on during 1-on-1s.
• Third string defensive end Daeshon Hall absolutely whooped Ryan Bates’ ass during an 11-on-11 rep. The undrafted rookie free agent out of Penn State, who was lined up at left tackle, found himself on the ground shortly after the snap.
• Bruce Hector forced Thorson into fumbling by exploding throw the line right after the snap. I also noticed Hector really drive Jason Kelce back with a bull rush in 1-on-1s, though Kelce managed to stay in front the whole time.
• Shelton Gibson dropped a routine quick slant pass thrown his way. His hands have improved since his rookie year but they’re hardly his best asset.
• Boston Scott (5-6, 203 pounds) totally trucked Trae Elston (6-0, 203 pounds) on a run that made it 20 yards down the field. Boom. Would’ve been a penalty on Scott, though, since he lowered his helmet into Elston.
• Last year, Chris Long and Malcolm Jenkins would always race to be first to get to the ball that was set up for team drills. This year, it’s Brandon Graham and Malcolm Jenkins. The veteran safety beat Graham to the spot for the first 11-on-11 today.
• DeSean and Agholor were working on a handshake - dance celebration combination. Gotta practice those things, too.
• I’ve noticed Eagles wide receivers coach Carson Walch being real hands on with a number of his guys. He grabbed Carlton Agudosi as the receiver was walking to warmups and was going over some things with him. This isn’t to suggest other position coaches don’t talk to their guys, but I guess I’ve just noticed him doing it more often than others. Always seems to be in their ears.
• Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie and defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz were having a long chat before practice.
• Make sure you’re following BGN on Instagram! Account name: @BleedingGreenInsta.
• Here’s a video of Wentz’s entire press conference:
Carson Wentz speaking after Eagles practice https://t.co/y76GUVY3R6— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) July 29, 2019
UP NEXT: The Eagles are back with another 9:15 AM ET practice tomorrow morning: Tuesday, July 30. Stay tuned to BGN, as always.