Today marked the first full 2020 Philadelphia Eagles training camp practice. It was a 10-10-10 session — you can click here to read more about what that means. Here’s what I observed!
• So great to be back at the NovaCare Complex fields. The Eagles have a special media entry setup this year where we have to get our temperatures taken (via scan) before being allowed in. I passed the test, thankfully.
• CARSON WENTZ UPDATE: The Eagles’ franchise quarterback started camp strong. He hit Jalen Reagor in stride twice over the middle on slant routes. He also looked sharp in the red zone with back-to-back touchdowns to Quez Watkins and another to Dallas Goedert. Wentz did almost get picked off by Alex Singleton on a ball he needlessly forced into tight coverage but the linebacker dropped it. In Wentz’s defense, it might’ve been on him to throw the ball there to give the defense a look they wanted to get. Such a possibility exists in a 10-10-10 practice format.
• EAGLES INJURY UPDATE: Too long to explain here but the short version is the Eagles are already dealing with two key defensive line injuries in Derek Barnett and Javon Hargrave. Read our injury update for more details.
• Miles Sanders headlined my first day of Eagles training camp practice notes last year. This year it’s another offensive rookie that people are excited about: Jalen Reagor: The No. 21 overall pick from the 2020 NFL Draft got off to a bad start by muffing two punt return attempts with no real coverage around him. But he sure looked good on offense, where he was mostly playing with the staters. I already mentioned the pair of slants he caught from Wentz; it was good to see those two on the same page timing wise. Reagor also made a nice diving touchdown on the right side of the end zone that elicited high fives from his teammate. Encouraging first impression from a young player that the Eagles are really counting on this season.
• Reagor (X), DeSean Jackson (Z), and Greg Ward (slot) were the Eagles’ first team wide receivers. It was just Reagor and Jackson on the boundary when the Eagles went with two tight end sets. It’ll be interesting to see if Reagor is replaced by JJ Arcega-Whiteside if/when JJAW returns from his day-to-day injury.
• Reagor wasn’t the only Jalen to have a good first day. Jalen Hurts made the most of his opportunities working as the third string quarterback. That aforementioned Hurts throw to Reagor for a diving touchdown catch was placed where the receiver could make a play on it but the defense didn’t have a chance. Hurts also dropped a dime to John Hightower in stride down the sideline with Rasul Douglas beat in coverage. Hurts didn’t shy away from taking off running on multiple reps. He did have his fair share of incompletions, especially in the red zone. I think it’s safe to say he’s not pushing Wentz out of the starting job just yet.
Jalen Hurts footwork drill. pic.twitter.com/S9NrO5159j— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) August 17, 2020
• Didn’t notice a ton of noteworthy stuff from Nate Sudfeld. Bunch of checkdowns, I guess.
• The aforementioned Quez Watkins got fairly open in the middle of the end zone on his first red zone touchdown. He created enough separation on a short route for another score. Watkins did drop a Sudfeld pass over the middle. Overall, I noticed Watkins more than Hightower. Then again, the former is a more natural replacement for Jackson, who doesn’t really practice much.
• Defensive lineup notes: Avonte Maddox and Darius Slay were the first team cornerbacks. Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas were the second string guys and did not rotate in with the starters. Nickell Robey-Coleman was the first team slot cornerback. Jalen Mills was lining up at safety and shadowing tight ends in the old Malcolm Jenkins role. Will Parks was the third safety up in three safety packages. Nathan Gerry and T.J. Edwards were the primary two linebackers.
• Matt Pryor was the first team right guard with Jason Peters not practicing. Jordan Mailata split some first team left tackle reps with Andre Dillard since the latter is reportedly being eased in while returning from injury. The backup offensive line from left to right: Mailata, Sua Opeta, Luke Juriga (undrafted rookie free agent), Nate Herbig, and Jack Driscoll (rookie). It piqued my interest to see Herbig lining up on the right side of Lane Johnson in a six offensive linemen set with the first team.
• Dallas Goedert made a real impressive one-handed diving tip catch in the back of the end zone on a pass from Wentz. That effort earned a high five from the starting quarterback. UPDATE — The Eagles posted video:
• Elijah Holyfield did some nice things in practice as he tries to push for the third or fourth running back spot. He juked a defender during a special teams drill and that earned praise from Gerry. Holyfield also broke off a big run against the defense where a couple defenders bounce off him.
• Corey Clement also broke off a long run against the first team defense at one point. That play had Boston Scott pumped up on the sideline. Clement put a pop on Darius Slay while finishing one run down the field.
• Shaun Bradley put a big hit on Goedert after the tight end made a short catch over the middle.
• Joe Ostman looked like a beast (shocker) during special teams drills. He totally shut down Shareef Miller on one rep, earning praise from his teammate and the coaching staff. The next play, Genard Avery failed to sustain his block.
• Special teams lineup notes: Reagor and Greg Ward were the only two guys back returning punts. Parks was lining up as the Eagles’ personal protector; he could have an important role on special teams in addition to defense. Rookie Davion Taylor was notably on the Eagles’ first team special teams units.
• Josh Perkins dropped a back-shoulder touchdown throw from Sudfeld.
• Alshon Jeffery was watching practice from sideline while wearing his jersey. He was logging some stationary catches from an assistant at one point. Doug Pederson said earlier today that there’s still no timetable on his return.
• Eagles special assistant to the general manager Connor Barwin was intently watching practice and expressing excitement at various times.
• New warmup drill that the defensive backs were going through:
Here’s a new thing at Eagles camp. pic.twitter.com/LxLIeRbfSC— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) August 17, 2020
Up next: Another 10:30 practice start time for the Eagles on Tuesday. Stay tuned to BGN, as always.