Today marked the ninth 2020 Philadelphia Eagles training camp practice open to media. Here’s what I saw!
• The Eagles were in pads today and it was the longest practice of camp so far.
• EAGLES INJURY UPDATE: Jordan Mailata, Vinny Curry, Lane Johnson, Miles Sanders, Marcus Epps, Derek Barnett, and Javon Hargrave are all still out. Josh Perkins was placed on season-ending injured reserve. Sidney Jones returned to practice but I didn’t see him take part in team drills so he’s still not 100%. Genard Avery went down in serious pain and had to get carted off the field early in practice. He wasn’t having a good camp but now he’ll be able to stick around if the Eagles put him on IR.
• CARSON WENTZ UPDATE: Wentz to Jalen Reagor on the slant continues to be an effective connection. Seen much more of that than the two connecting deep down the field. Wentz did overthrow Reagor on a crossing pattern where he leaked out deep.
Carson Wentz to Jalen Reagor. #Eagles pic.twitter.com/IDuGmQovDn— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) August 26, 2020
Wentz’s deep ball throw to John Hightower was tightly contested but ultimately caught by the leaping rookie receiver. Highlight play. Wentz and Hightower struggled to connect on another deep shot; didn’t look like the two were fully on the same page on where the ball was supposed to go.
Some more inaccuracy issues for Wentz: He was wide right on a throw to a diving Zach Ertz and then again on a play where his feet weren’t set due to pressure in the pocket. Wentz overthrew Boston Scott on a short throw right in front of him. Wentz threw a pass right to Avonte Maddox that was dropped. Wentz threw another pass that was picked off by Nickell Robey-Coleman, who continues to excel. Wentz overthrew a red zone fade to the right by a lot.
Wentz did have some good throws over the middle to Ertz and Greg Ward. He also threw some touchdowns to J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, which brings me to my next bullet point ...
• Really good practice for JJAW. The 2019 second-round pick managed to make some difficult grabs during red zone drills. Wentz threaded a needle through the defense and JJAW caught the heater in the back middle of the end zone for a score. Jason Kelce and Corey Clement came up to JJAW to hype him up and celebrate. JJAW had another catch that I don’t even know how he made. Wentz was rolling right and seemingly targeting Ward ... but JJAW cut the laser throw off with a one-handed juggling grab and tapped his toes to stay in for the score. Looked like an interception. JJAW caught another red zone touchdown on a fade throw from Nate Sudfeld in the back left corner. Good hands, good route-running, and good body control from the second-year receiver. JJAW’s had an encouraging camp. I think he’s going to rotate with Reagor at the X receiver position like we’ve seen in practice. He’s definitely going to get some kind of playing time on offense.
• Not so good of a day for the Eagles’ 2019 first-round pick. Andre Dillard got pancaked into the back of Wentz’s legs by Joe Ostman. We all know the bull rush was a weakness for Dillard as a rookie and there was thought he’d improve in that regard since he’s added more muscle. But the extra 15 pounds clearly didn’t help on that rep and it could’ve been very costly if Wentz got seriously hurt. I can’t say that Dillard has been a disaster in camp but he’s hardly erasing doubt about him that was often raised throughout the offseason. Dillard has a lot to prove. I’d say my concern level with him is a 7 out of 10.
• Maddox’s size has caused him to lose some reps — like the aforementioned Hightower deep catch — but he’s been very sticky in coverage. I can’t recall him being beaten badly or caught out of position. Maddox broke up two fade passes in during red zone 7-on-7, including one meant for JJAW.
• Another good day for Sudfeld. He was especially sharp in the red zone with back-to-back touchdowns to JJAW and Quez Watkins. Watkins made a nice over-the-shoulder grab and managed to keep both feet in. Sudfeld did get picked off by Rasul Douglas on a play where he held the ball too long before throwing. Douglas pitched to Craig James on the return for a touchdown, which caused the defense to erupt with excitement. The Eagles’ defense is an especially energetic group.
• Jalen Hurts has cooled off a little since really impressing early in camp. Not to say he’s looked bad but he isn’t clearly outplaying Sudfeld as much as he previously was. Hurts overthrew Hightower on a red zone fade. Also threw behind Travis Fulgham. He did have a back shoulder (or underthrown pass?) to Fulgham where the receiver made a nice adjustment on the ball with his size. Fulgham also made a full extension diving catch. Fulgham has done some nice things since joining the team only recently, could be in practice squad consideration.
• Elijah Holyfield unleashed a spin move to fake out Shaun Bradley on a long run. He was fired up about that one. Looking like the favorite for the fourth running back spot if the Eagles keep that many.
• Deontay Burnett made a real impressive sliding one-handed catch on a ball thrown behind him from Wentz. That play drew praise from Kelce. There’s no question in my mind that Burnett at least deserves to be on the practice squad.
• At the risk of jinxing everything, the Eagles’ receivers haven’t had much of an issue with drops in camp. Refreshing to see after watching the 2019 season.
• Shareef Miller was getting some run at first team defensive end and he beat Matt Pryor around the edge to “sack” Wentz. Or at least force a throwaway. Miller’s roster chances go up with Avery hurt but he still might be behind both Ostman and Toohill.
• Zach Ertz isn’t known for being the most dominant blocker but he absolutely pancaked Elijah Riley during a red zone running play. Welcome to the NFL, rook.
• Duke Riley notched a pass breakup along the goal line. Continues to be active in coverage.
• Offensive line versus defensive line 1-on-1: Nate Herbig had a good rep where he held up against Fletcher Cox, who usually destroys him. Prince Tega Wanogho forced Joe Ostman to go way wide on one rush. PTW lost a hand fight to Casey Toohill but bounced back by stifling his fellow rookie on another rep. Both PTW and Toohill have shown some encouraging signs as far as standards for late Day 3 picks go.
• Reagor dropped a punt. He had a few of those early in camp and then they went away ... until today.
• In case you missed it, the Eagles re-signed cornerback Trevor Williams and defensive tackle T.Y. McGill before practice. Williams is wearing No. 41 while McGill is sporting No. 76.
UP NEXT: The Eagles have another training camp practice tomorrow starting around 10:30 AM Eastern. It’s expected to feature some live tackling with the team having off on Friday. Stay tuned to BGN, as always.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 27
10:30 AM - Practice begins
FRIDAY, AUGUST 28
Off day - No practice
SATURDAY, AUGUST 29
10:30 AM - Practice begins
SUNDAY, AUGUST 30
10:30 AM - Practice begins