Eagles’ training camp Day 2 wrapped up with several players speaking to the media, including Lane Johnson, who pointed out some things he really likes about the way Nick Sirianni and the new coaches are running things. We also heard from new-to-Philly Steve Nelson, safeties Anthony Harries and K’Vonn Wallace, and running back Miles Sanders.
Here’s what some of the guys had to say:
OT Lane Johnson
The veteran said that things have gone well the first two days, and he likes that everything is charted so at the end of the day, they know whether offense or defense won — noting defense won on Day 1, but he thought the offense may have taken the lead on Day 2. He later mentioned again that everything is charted, including what they do in meetings, which will help all the players see where they’re at later on in camp, particularly those guys (like Jordan Mailata and Andre Dillard) who are competing for the starting role.
He smiled when asked about going against Ryan Kerrigan, and admitted it’s weird seeing him in an Eagles jersey, but between Kerrigan and Brandon Graham, those guys will get the o-line where they need to be.
On Jalen Hurts
Johnson was asked about what he learned about the quarterback during their workout together over the summer.
“He works his ass off, that’s really what it is. Most of the time he was done before I woke up. He worked out early, but he’s pretty quiet, stays to himself, and so far he’s getting the work in. He got a lot of work in with the receivers throughout OTAs and the summer, so trying to be where we need to be.”
On Nate Herbig
“He went from about 355 to 325. We ran the hell out of him, we had a hard offseason with him, but he’s been great. He’s got a great attitude. I think when he stepped in last year, he performed very well, and he’s just trying to keep progressing and going on. But, as far as his body, he’s taking it a lot more serious than he used to — he’s looking really good.”
CB Steve Nelson
On choosing Philly
“Tremendous city. Fan base, you know, is outstanding. It’s just a great opportunity for me, you know, new coaching staff and already had a winning tradition within the players. I just liked the opportunity.”
Nelson also admitted that Darius Slay played a major role in signing with the Eagles, and Slay had reached out on Twitter and it showed him that someone recognized his talent and wanted him to help out. The corner had also played with Javon Hargrave in Pittsburgh, and he’s someone else that had reached out and told him about the opportunity.
SAF Anthony Harris
On the linebacker group
“They’re flying around. Getting a lot of hands on a lot of balls, whether that’s pass deflection and just getting to the ball carriers and receivers just as they’re catching the ball. So, being able to see them get there, I’m excited to see once we can get into pads and just play more football, continue to grow together.”
On Avonte Maddox
“He’s quite a character, has a lot of energy — if you can’t tell from the interview. But, he’s a good teammate. He’s always out there, he’s asking questions, he’s never assuming, and it’s just all about communicating and being on the same page.”
SAF K’Vonn Wallace
The second-year players said that the game has slowed down a bit, and the coaches are putting him in positions to be more comfortable and making sure he knows where he needs to be and avoid rookie mistakes. Wallace talked a lot about how there were disadvantages last year due to the pandemic, but it humbled him and he’s prepared to excel this season both on defense and special teams.
On DeVonta Smith
“He really took it up a notch [since college]. I feel like he’s getting better, he’s getting bigger, he’s getting stronger. He’s getting smarter in his stims and his route running. We always knew, even at Clemson, we always knew he was a tremendous athlete.”
RB Miles Sanders
The running back said that the whole team had a bad taste in their mouths from their four-win season last year, and he’s been identifying areas that he could’ve been better, like with catching the ball and not putting it on the ground, and making those fixes. Sanders thinks he’ll have more opportunities this season to contribute to the passing game, similar to his rookie season. He noted that his drop-off in Year 2 was all mental, and he’s been working on the mechanics and fundamentals of catching the ball, and took more reps this offseason.
Sanders also acknowledged that he saw instant chemistry between Jalen Hurts and DeVonta Smith as they reunited from their brief time together at Alabama. He noted that Hurts and Smith also got a lot of work in together this offseason, but that Hurts also got work in with Sanders, Boston Scott, Dallas Goedert, and a lot of others. Now it’s about translating that onto the field in camp.