Today marked the fourteenth 2021 Philadelphia Eagles training camp practice. It was the second and final of the Birds’ two joint sessions against the New England Patriots. Here’s what I observed! UPDATE: Today’s BGN Radio podcast episode is live!
- The Eagles and Patriots were in pads and worked exclusively in the red zone.
JALEN HURTS UPDATE: Not a bad day for Hurts.
11-on-11: For the second day in a row, Hurts had multiple good completions to Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert. Hurts specifically connected with Goedert in the back left corner of the end zone after the tight end beat Adrian Phillips in coverage. Hurts didn’t turn the ball over and didn’t have any near picks from what I wrote down. He generally took advantage of his targets making life easy on him by getting open.
1-on-1: For the second day in a row, Hurts attempted a back shoulder throw that hit the defender’s back instead of being within reach of the target.
11-on-11: Phillips broke up a pass to Zach Ertz, though some believed Phillips got away with a hold. The play really should’ve been dead anyway with Jack Driscoll, who was lining up at right guard, allowing instant interior pressure for a likely sack. Hurts overthrew Kenny Gainwell over the middle.
EAGLES INJURY UPDATES: The big news is that DeVonta Smith (knee) participated in some team drills today. He didn’t see any targets (perhaps intentionally) and he didn’t participate in 1-on-1. He was officially listed as a “limited” participant. Going to guess he won’t play much — if at all — on Thursday night but he might be full go next week with the Eagles practicing against the New York Jets. More on DeVonta outside of the injury section in the notes below.
John Hightower (groin) also didn’t participate in 1-on-1 but returned to team drills.
Derek Barnett (shoulder), Javon Hargrave (ankle), and Jake Elliott (ankle) are all new additions to the report. They’re “day-to-day.” Wonder what the Eagles will do at kicker if Elliott can’t play on Thursday.
• As you’ve already seen by now, Jalen Reagor made the play of the day in 1-on-1. The play of camp, really:
ＮＥＥＤ ＩＴ— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) August 17, 2021
ᴘᴏꜱᴛ ᴛʜᴇ ʀᴇᴀɢᴏʀ ᴄᴀᴛᴄʜ
Wow! Certainly not hard not believe this is a guy with a 42” vertical leap (97th percentile). This OBJ-like catch was even better than the one Reagor had about two weeks ago. Good to see these positive flashes.
That being said, I’m just a hater, so I have to point out the negatives as well!!!! Seriously, though, I do wish we could see Reagor finally have a clean practice or game performance. For every highlight, it feels like there’s always a drawback. On Monday it was how he double-caught two of his deep catches. Today it was Reagor dropping a pass in routes on air and then another in 7-on-7. Also didn’t like seeing Reagor giving up on a route on a Hurts scramble, which resulted in Joejuan Williams having a diving PBU. I didn’t have any positive notes about Reagor after the big catch early in practice.
• DeVonta flashed fancy footwork to absolutely smoke J.C. Jackson with a nasty release during red zone 11-on-11. As a result, Smith was open for a score underneath but Hurts threw to Zach Ertz for a touchdown in the back right corner of the end zone instead. Impressive for Smith to have a noticeable highlight on a play where he wasn’t even targeted. The rookie looks nice and healthy. One thing I didn’t like from Smith was when he kinda gave up on a play while Hurts was still scrambling, not dissimilar to how Reagor did. Smith actually stepped out of bounds, causing the ref to throw his hat off to mark him as an ineligible receiver after coming right back in.
• Quez Watkins broke Jackson’s ankles in red zone 1-on-1. The corner thought the receiver was staying right but Watkins broke left to leave Jackson totally lost in the sauce. Watkins then dusted old friend Jalen Mills. Watkins was also jawing at Mills a bit, claiming he previously committed defensive pass interference on a rep against Reagor. He even threw his own penalty flag by launching his hand towel into the air.
• Good day for J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. We’ve previously seen him thrive in red zone practice situations, so today was hardly a breakthrough for him. Still, good to see the production. He had a nice grab while going out of the back of the end zone but managing to tap his toes for the completion. JJAW had another touchdown catch in the back left corner of the end zone on a good throw from Joe Flacco.
• Flacco was up and down in the red zone. Had some nice completion, overthrew some others. He a had one pass knocked down by Kyle Dugger.
• Tyree Jackson bounced back after dropping two passes on Monday. Good to see that kind of resiliency. He made a leaping catch in the back middle of the end zone where the ball was in on him very quick after getting a glimpse on it. Good pass by Nick Mullens. Jackson almost made another leaping catch for a touchdown but he landed out of bounds real hard on his back. Looked like it hurt! He was on the ground for a bit but didn’t need to leave practice early, which was encouraging. Even though Jackson didn’t stay in, it was really impressive for him just to come down with such a high throw. And he wasn’t that far off from being ruled in-bounds. It looked close.
• Whereas other receivers excelled, Travis Fulgham didn’t really stand out in a positive way. I wouldn’t say that Fulgham has had a terrible camp by any means but I would say this summer probably isn’t going the way the Eagles wish it would. With Fulgham, there have been too many drops/tough catches not made. Just hasn’t shined.
• Darius Slay had a pass breakup against Nelson Agholor in 1-on-1 but there was a flag. From a distance, couldn’t tell if it was called OPI or DPI.
• Eric Wilson nearly picked Cam Newton but the ball bounced off his hands and into those of a Patriots player. Wilson’s got his hands on a number of passes this summer.
• Speaking of linebacker coverage success, both T.J. Edwards and Alex Singleton came away with interceptions. Edwards picked off Mac Jones in the back of the end zone while Singleton made an impressive diving pick on a short throw along the goal line.
• Patrick Johnson, who continues to spend time with the first team in that pass rushing linebacker role, had a key breakup during a goal line sequence. Newton went through his progressions on the left before finally looking right to see a WIDE OPEN Agholor in the back of the end zone. Johnson read Newton’s eyes and timed his jump well to knock the flat pass down. Touchdown saving breakup.
• I was paying more attention to the Eagles’ offense versus the Patriots defense during 11-on-11 but whenever I had the chance to look at the Eagles’ defense versus the Patriots’ offense during 7-on-7, I was seeing a lot of New England touchdowns. I wouldn’t make the world of it since the offense has a big advantage with no pressure but I’m just noting what I saw.
• Agholor dropped a touchdown pass for the second day in a row. Don’t miss those!
• Kayode Awosika began camp at left guard after swinging inside from playing left tackle at Buffalo. The undrafted rookie free agent then took right tackle snaps in last week’s game and Saturday’s practice. Today, Awosika was taking some right guard reps. Really moving him all over, perhaps in an effort to hide him and get him to the practice squad.
UP NEXT: The Eagles have a walkthrough tomorrow that’s closed to media access. The Eagles and Patriots will face off next for real (well, by preseason game standards at least) on Thursday night at Lincoln Financial Field starting at 7:30 PM ET. Stay tuned to BGN for complete coverage, as always.