Today marked the seventh 2020 Philadelphia Eagles training camp practice open to media. Here’s what I saw!
• The Eagles wore pads except when they took them off towards the end for some 7-on-7 work and a final block of 11-on-11. Doug Pederson joked with the media that they’re getting soft and we should tweet about that.
• EAGLES INJURY UPDATE: Most of my comprehensive overview from Sunday still applies. It’s worth noting that Andre Dillard is now being listed as day-to-day with an upper body injury. My BGN Radio co-host Jimmy Kempski also said Dillard was dealing with another injury prior to camp starting. Boston Scott returned to team drills after missing about a week of practices. Corey Clement, Vinny Curry, and Hassan Ridgeway returned after missing Sunday’s practice due to “illness.” Genard Avery left practice early to get looked at by trainers and did not return.
• CARSON WENTZ UPDATE: Wentz started out well with some money throws down the field in 1-on-1. He hit J.J. Arcega-Whiteside nicely on an out route for a first down in team drills. He also had a connection over the middle with Zach Ertz for a 20-yard gain, which I considered not even writing down since that’s just so routine for those two. Wentz was efficient in the red zone, per usual, connecting with multiple different players (notably Dallas Goedert) for touchdowns. Wentz threw a perfect fade touchdown to Jalen Reagor. He rescued a bad Jason Kelce shotgun snap by quickly picking it up off the ground and instantly throwing it to Noah Togiai for a touchdown. Those were the positives I saw from No. 11.
The negatives go back to what I was saying about Wentz’s accuracy issues on Sunday. Wentz threw a little too high and behind Reagor over the middle one time to where the rookie could only get one hand on the ball. He overthrew Reagor high along the sideline where the ball was too much of a bullet and didn’t have enough touch on it. Same issue applied to three different red zone fade throw attempts where the receiver didn’t even have a chance to make a play on the ball. Wentz had one pass tipped by T.J. Edwards (and luckily into the arms of Goedert) and another knocked down by Nathan Gerry. Wentz got one-handed picked by Jalen Mills during red zone 7-on-7.
After watching Wentz have some accuracy issues over multiple practices now, I’m wondering to myself: is it maybe a bad thing he showed up to camp so jacked up? Some of his throws could some more finesse. Just a thought.
• Jalen Reagor stood out again today. The rookie got off to a fast start — quite literally — by burning Darius Slay for a deep touchdown reception from Wentz in 1-on-1. I already mentioned Reagor caught a touchdown on a fade throw by Wentz. That wasn’t the only contested catch he made. Reagor made multiple short contested grabs with defensive backs draped all over him. Not all receivers have the strength and focus to stay with the ball in those situations. That Reagor led all 2020 first-round receivers in contested catches doesn’t come as a surprise after watching him. He plays bigger than his listed 5-11, 197 pound size. Reagor looks ready to contribute right away, which is exactly what the Eagles need from him. Oh, and I also haven’t noticed Reagor drop any punts lately. He’s progressed in that regard.
Carson Wentz to Jalen Reagor. Wide open, just too easy. #Eagles pic.twitter.com/C6wnnOkmRR— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) August 24, 2020
• Jalen Mills had tight coverage on Zach Ertz to help force an incompletion. Mills also had a one-handed interception on Wentz in the end zone, as previously mentioned. Mills is having a good camp. He definitely doesn’t look totally out of place at safety.
• Duke Riley and T.J. Edwards both picked off Nate Sudfeld. The defense was especially excited for Riley’s interception that he returned for a touchdown. The sideline erupted with screams, Mills ran over to chest bump Riley, and Connor Barwin also celebrated with the linebacker as well. Riley is lining up next to Gerry as the primary two linebackers in the Eagles’ nickel defense. The former Atlanta Falcons draft pick is going to have a bigger role on defense than some may currently realize.
• The Eagles’ defensive line continues to get the best of the Eagles’ offensive line in camp. Of course, Jordan Mailata and Matt Pryor lining up as the first team tackles helps the defense. Mailata gave up a sack on the Eagles’ very first rep of 11-on-11. Mailata also had a false start later in practice. Just hasn’t been a good summer for him.
• I wouldn’t say JJAW has been dominant by any means but he has looked pretty reliable. That’s obviously a big upgrade from the player we saw during the season last year. Only one drop in camp so far.
• Nickell Robey-Coleman’s had a great camp but he did get beat deep on a stutter from Quez Watkins during 1-on-1. Rare to see NRC lose a rep.
• Newly acquired wide receiver Travis Fulgham made a couple tough grabs along the sideline in 1-on-1. He did get stripped by Michael Jacquet after one of them, which prompted praise from defensive backs coach Marquand Manuel. One of Fulgham’s catches was a dime by Jalen Hurts.
• Undrafted rookie free agent safeties Grayland Arnold and Elijah Riley each made plays today. Arnold knocked the ball out of Noah Togiai’s hands as the tight end was about to catch it. Riley similarly bumped a receiver just as the ball came to his hands to force a drop. Arnold could make the roster while Riley is more of a practice squad candidate.
• Offensive line versus defensive line 1-on-1 notes: Pryor stood up Brandon Graham and earned a pat on the head from the veteran pass rusher. Sua Opeta shut down Joe Ostman. Avery clearly lost a rep to rookie fourth-round pick Jack Driscoll. With Avery failing to impress and now potentially missing time to injury, I just fail to see how he can justify a roster spot.
• Very important note: Mills wears a red visor, Rodney McLeod wears a blue visor, Malik Jackson wears an amber visor, and Fletcher Cox wears a black visor. Colored visors look cool.
UP NEXT: The Eagles have another training camp practice tomorrow starting around 10:30 AM Eastern. Stay tuned to BGN, as always.