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Mike Groh talks Andre Dillard, Clayton Thorson, Cody Kessler, and more

Plus, other Eagles updates.

Eagles’ offensive coordinator Mike Groh spoke with the media on Wednesday after training camp practice, and on top of noting some individual development on offense, also made note that the team has a really good defense that runs a really good scheme.

It’s not exactly his area, but did note that Joe Ostman was having a good camp — something Jim Schwartz alluded to on Tuesday — and that Timmy Jernigan is tough to face.

Here’s what else he said about the offense:

On the QB options

Clayton Thorson

Groh was asked about some of the biggest hurdles a rookie quarterback has to face in their first NFL training camp. The OC admitted that it was a good question, with a lengthy answer. More specifically, he was asked about draft pick Clayton Thorson and what they’re seeing from him so far.

“I think he’s done a good job. His grasp of the system is good for where we are at this point, how long he’s been here.

His ability to communicate that in the huddle, his demeanor in the huddle is really good. I think he does a really good job enunciating the play calls, there’s no like ‘What was the play’, the guys hear it. So he’s very demonstrative in that way. I think he handles himself with poise at the line of scrimmage.

And now he’s just getting comfortable with the reads and the progressions.”

Cody Kessler

“Cody has done a really good job of coming in late and acclimating himself quickly to our system. He has the benefit of having been in a couple different systems in the NFL. Coming from a pro-style offense like he played in at SC, so he’s got a lot of background. And once you start to build up and bank different concepts and things like that, you can fall back on that experience, and he’s done a really good job with that.

Just like Clayton, he’s really good in the huddle, he’s confident, he’s really steady in terms of his emotional level each and every day and does a good job distributing the football.”

Carson Wentz

Groh wouldn’t get into specific comparisons about the starting quarterback from this offseason to last, but did talk about how he’s looked so far in training camp.

“Carson is operating really well. I think he’s free of mind, body and heart right now and he’s the leader of our team. He’s playing a high level for us right now. He’s embracing everything that we’re giving him and really doing a good job each and every day, coming out here being efficient with the football, spreading the ball around. Everybody is involved and I think everybody is having fun right now playing offense.”

On Andre Dillard

Groh smiled and agreed with the reporter who said Dillard looked as smooth as glass out on the field, with the rookie even getting some time with the ones on Wednesday.

“He certainly is doing a really nice job. He’s taking the instruction that Coach Stoutland is giving him, as we know Coach Stoutland’s one of the best line coaches in the NFL and has done a great job of bringing him up to speed.”

The OC mentioned that Dillard has a lot of the same things to develop that Thorson does, and all rookies coming into a new environment.

“I think Andre has done a really good job of just coming in here, he’s steady, he’s working really hard every day and you can see him kind of settling in and getting more and more comfortable and more confident each day.”

On the offensive weapons

Groh noted that it was another grueling day of camp and there were things that worked out well and plays that they need to continue to improve on, but that’s the nature of camp.

DeSean Jackson

He was also asked about what it was like coaching a guy and talent like DeSean Jackson.

“He’s been a real pro since he’s been here. As a guy whose been in the receiver room, a position coach, he’s uniquely talented and can do just about anything that you ask him to do from a route and physical standpoint. So, that’s a lot of fun.”

Groh also noted that Jackson has a done a great job coming in as a teammate as well, ingratiating himself and becoming one of the Eagles.

JJ Arcega-Whiteside

He didn’t get into too many specific players who had stood out, but did say that JJ Arcega-Whiteside had a good play that showcased his speed a bit. Groh couldn’t guess whether the rookie’s speed surprised people, but he noted that he showed the burst at the end of a hard 2.5 hour practice, which was good to see.

Miles Sanders

“We’ve been able to get him in there more, I think he’s feeling good with his fitness level. I think he’s getting more confident coming off a hamstring there in the spring. He’s just learning how to run our plays, but there’s been some plays where you’re standing at it from behind, and you say, ‘Wow, that was a really good cut right there’. Unique skill level in the hole and a short area, and being able to make quick cuts and get vertical.”

Greg Ward

Groh talked about how Ward has improved a lot over the past few years, and that he really took a big step up after his time in the AAF League before it folded. Just getting some additional playing time as a receiver helped him learn what things might work, what releases work and routes create separation. The accumulation of those reps is great.

Other notables

Groh was asked about Jason Kelce’s absence, but he noted that Coach Pederson does a really good job of managing these guys through the course of camp. And specifically commented that there was nothing wrong with Kelce.

Isaac Seumalo got some reps in Kelce’s spot on Wednesday, but they just saw that as a good opportunity to get another guy some experience there, like they’ve done with Stefen Wisniewski as well.

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