Today marked the third 2021 Philadelphia Eagles training camp practice. It was a relatively short session at about only 70 minutes long. Here’s what I observed! UPDATE: Here’s our daily BGN Radio podcast:
• JALEN HURTS UPDATE: Nothing overly flashy but more good than bad from QB1. During a red zone drill, Hurts had a nice completion to Dallas Goedert in the front right corner of the end zone. Hurts also hit Jason Croom for a back-shoulder touchdown catch. Hurts avoided making many big mistakes, except for when he sailed a target to Greg Ward way out of bounds on the right side of the end zone.
• INJURY UPDATE: Today was a rest day for a number of veterans: Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Jason Kelce, Zach Ertz, Lane Johnson, Ryan Kerrigan, Darius Slay, and Rodney McLeod (who is on the active/PUP list anyway).
Jalen Reagor (lower body tightness) is still limited after getting banged up while failing his physical. Brandon Brooks (hamstring) is being described as “day-to-day” after leaving practice early on Thursday. Travis Fulgham (lower body) and Greg Ward (non-COVID illness) were both upgraded to full participants today.
J.J. Arcega-Whiteside was walking slowly after an 11-on-11 rep. Looked like he tweaked something but he didn’t leave practice. Andre Dillard also stayed in despite tweaking his ankle while dropping back during a team drill.
• LEFT TACKLE BATTLE: Andre Dillard got the first crack with the first team once again with Jordan Mailata rotating in. I didn’t notice Dillard struggle as much as he did on Thursday.
• DEPTH CHART NOTES - OFFENSE: Luke Juriga was the first team center with Kelce resting and Landon Dickerson not yet practicing. Jack Driscoll predictably took right tackle reps with Johnson resting.
• DEPTH CHART NOTES - DEFENSE: Davion Taylor was with the first team again with Shaun Bradley as his new partner in crime. There appears to be a three-way battle for the MLB spot between Eric Wilson (Day 1 first team reps), T.J. Edwards (Day 2 first team reps), and Bradley (Day 3 first team reps). K’Von Wallace was back at first team safety after Marcus Epps took reps there on Thursday. Michael Jacquet was Slay’s replacement at cornerback.
• I continue to be perplexed by the Eagles’ inexplicable decision to give Joe Flacco $3.5 million guaranteed this offseason. Just not seeing the appeal early in camp. He’s been the worst quarterback in camp.
Flacco overthrew 6’7” Tyree Jackson on a post route in the end zone during a red zone series. He threw behind Jordan Howard in the flat, who ended up making the catch but didn’t have much RAC opportunity. He then threw a heater behind Jason Huntley that wasn’t able to be caught. Zech McPhearson dropped a pick on a Flacco throw over the middle into a crowded end zone. Prior to team drills, I saw Flacco overthrow John Hightower and throw wide of the hoop target during individual work.
These struggles aren’t new. Flacco’s inaccuracy issues were clearly present last season when he completed just 55.2% of his attempts, a career-low. Flacco’s adjusted completion percentage (as calculated by Pro Football Focus) ranked 41st out of 42 quarterbacks ... only above Hurts.
No dice for Joe Flacco. #Eagles pic.twitter.com/UiiJklXPZ0— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) July 30, 2021
The one positive I can say about Flacco is that he had a nice completion about 20 yards down the field to Michael Walker while rolling left.
• Nick Mullens has arguably been the best passer in training camp thus far. Now, this isn’t to suggest he’s the best overall quarterback on the team. Hurts’ ability isn’t on full display in practice settings since it’s not like quarterback runs mean much when the defense isn’t allowed to touch him. But Mullens had a done a good job of getting the ball out (sixth quickest time to throw last year), throwing with accuracy, and avoiding mistakes. If both quarterbacks continue at their current pace, Mullens deserves to be QB2 over Flacco.
• Nick Sirianni stopped practice at one point to have the team huddle up. It turns out that the head coach wasn’t happy with how things weren’t looking crisp. Just another example of Sirianni being really hands-on. Not a guy who seems willing to let things slip.
• Miles Sanders, Jordan Howard, and Kerryon Johnson all broke off some nice long runs. Howard has looked better than expected in camp.
• Sanders dropped a pass in the front right corner of the end zone from Hurts. Didn’t look like the best throw but the quarterback was trying to put it where the defender couldn’t pick it. Davion Taylor, who is known for his speed, closed well on Sanders and prevented him from better securing the ball as the running back went to the ground.
• T.Y. McGill logged a “sack” today. I also saw him with a nice 1-on-1 rep on Thursday. Could be in the mix to win a roster spot as DT4 or DT5.
• Steve “Don’t call me Steven” Nelson committed pass interference and received up close feedback from secondary coach Dennard Wilson at one point.
• Jack Stoll had an over-the-shoulder reception up the seam on a Mullens throw for a touchdown. Edwards trailed in coverage.
• Kenny Gainwell dropped at least two of the punt returns I watched him field. He had trouble tracking the ball in the air.
• I feel like Arryn Siposs hasn’t gotten a ton of work in camp so far, which is kind of weird considering he’s an unproven punter. I did time the hangtime of two of his punts at 4.54 and 4.71. Those are good marks. Of course, he wasn’t facing real (or even simulated) punt block pressure.
• Hakeem Butler was working with the wide receivers despite being listed at tight end. Perhaps that’s due to the Eagles being light at WR right now. Butler, a former (?) receiver, certainly has more of a WR body than a TE body.
• My view of today’s action, for those curious:
Out here for Eagles training camp Day 3. Number of veteran players seemingly getting rest today. pic.twitter.com/MWMMPLylUA— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) July 30, 2021
UP NEXT: The Eagles practice again on Saturday but it’s an unusually late start time at 5:30 PM. Stay tuned to BGN, as always.