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Eagles Training Camp Practice Notes: Defense wins the day again

Here’s what happened on Sunday evening.

NFL: AUG 03 Philadelphia Eagles Training Camp Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Sunday evening marked the fifteenth 2021 Philadelphia Eagles training camp practice. The team practiced in their indoor bubble at the NovaCare Complex after cancelling their public practice due to weather concerns. Here’s what I observed! UPDATE: Here’s the accompanying BGN Radio practice recap podcast.

PRACTICE NOTES

• Practice had an intense pace indoors as the Eagles worked on some situational football.

JALEN HURTS UPDATE: Hurts was a full participant at practice after unexpectedly missing Thursday’s game due to a stomach infection. Good to see. The bad news is he didn’t have a great practice.

THE GOOD

Hurts hit an open Zach Ertz for a chunk gain down the left sideline with a linebacker trailing in coverage. The wheel route is undefeated. Hurts completed a number of solid but unspectacular short passes.

THE BAD

Hurts held on to the ball too long and took multiple “sacks.” He still threw on one of them anyway and the pass was wide/out of bounds. Hurts overthrew Travis Fulgham on a pass over the middle.

In a scenario where the Eagles were down eight points with no timeouts and 45 seconds to go from the opponent’s 25-yard line, Hurts couldn’t get the Eagles into the end zone. His first pass was a completion to Sanders, who didn’t manage to get out of bounds. Hurts then ran to the sideline for a first and to stop the clock at 22 seconds. After the Eagles had a false start, Hurts checked down to Smith in the middle of the field, which seemed like a bad decision in that it took 15 seconds off the clock to go about seven yards without even moving the chains. With seven seconds left, Hurts threw high and incomplete along the left sideline to leave four seconds. On the final play, Hurts tried to fire a ball in to Quez Watkins but it was a high bullet and Avonte Maddox had good coverage (much to the delight of a nearby Jonathan Gannon, who praised the corner).

EAGLES INJURY UPDATES:

DeVonta Smith had his ankle looked at but he didn’t miss any first team reps and was able to finish practice. Smith was not on the pre-practice injury report for the first time since suffering a knee injury early in camp.

Andre Dillard (knee) returned to practice in a limited capacity. Fletcher Cox (groin) was held out of team drills but did some individual work. Shaun Bradley (groin) is a new addition to the injury report; he was also limited. JaCoby Stevens (hamstring) and Craig James (foot) returned to practice in a limited capacity.

Genard Avery (groin) suffered a new injury and is “day-to-day” once again.

K’Von Wallace (groin) missed practice and is “day-to-day” after re-aggravating his injury against the Patriots.

Ryan Kerrigan (thumb) was doing some conditioning work off on the side as he ramps up to return.

The Eagles are officially listing Tyree Jackson (back) as “month-to-month.” He is expected to miss 8-to-10 weeks.

• New practice experience since I started covering the team in 2013: Sirianni had a megaphone and we could hear him shouting out the down and distance in addition to other things. Sirianni also announced the results of the Eagles’ in-practice scoring system, at one point revealing that the defense won the first period. That much was apparent, anyway. The defense won the practice as a whole. Wasn’t a good day for the starting offense. That’s been a common theme in camp.

• Miles Sanders and Travis Fulgham both had bad drops. They’ve both dropped the football way too much this summer.

• Sanders also had a rep where he wasn’t lined up in the right spot, which was pointed out by both a coach and a teammate.

• Joe Flacco had a good completion to Richard Rodgers in a tight window over the middle. He had another good ball to Andre Patton. Flacco got picked off in 7-on-7 (more on that below). Flacco had a deep touchdown dropped by John Hightower. Flacco had a nice ball to Hightower, who redeemed himself, in the back of the end zone for a touchdown in the ‘down eight points’ crunch time scenario. But then Flacco threw a pass on the two-point conversion attempt into the dirt. Not totally sure what happened there but it seemed like the offense was out of sorts.

• Good practice for Josiah Scott, who appears to be on the roster bubble. The backup nickel cornerback made the play of the day with a nice leaping pick on Flacco in 7-on-7. Scott was also in position to light up Greg Ward on a short completion. He disrupted another Flacco attempt meant for Jack Stoll to force a breakup.

• Zech McPhearson broke up a Flacco deep throw to Patton that was slightly underthrown.

• Elijah Riley earned an impassioned high five from Sirianni after a leaping effort to down a punt at the 1-inch line during a special teams drill.

• Le’Raven Clark, who had a false start at one point, worked in as the second team left tackle with Brett Toth moving inside to left guard. Interesting offensive line tweak.

• Rashad Smith had a pass breakup on a Nick Mullens throw that was behind Stoll. None of these players will be on the Eagles’ roster in about a week. (Probably.)

• Here’s a look at the Eagles’ aforementioned indoor facility. Note that the big picture of Sirianni’s five core values (connecting, competition, accountability, intelligence, fundamentals) has replaced the image of the Eagles’ Vince Lombardi Trophy.


UP NEXT: The Eagles are off today as they travel north to Florham Park, New Jersey for their two joint training camp practices against the New York Jets. Those will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday. Stay tuned to BGN for complete coverage, as always.