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Eagles Training Camp Practice Notes: DeVonta Smith is back and looking good

Observations from Sunday’s session.

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles Training Camp Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Today marked the eleventh Philadelphia Eagles training camp practice ahead of the 2022 NFL season. Here’s what I observed at the NovaCare Complex. UPDATE: The BGN Radio practice recap podcast is live! We talk about takeaways from the Jets preseason game in addition to practice observations.


JALEN HURTS STOCK REPORT: Hurts did not follow up his stock up showing against the New York Jets with a stock up practice performance. He was definitely either stock even or stock down today.

The bad: Hurts’ first 7-on-7 sequence was not fruitful. He clearly got ‘sacked’ by Josh Sweat on a play where he threw a ball anyway to a leaping A.J. Brown. Had DeVonta coming free on the left side of the field but didn’t see him, ultimately held the ball for too long while drifting to his right. Hurts woefully underthrew a downfield target intended for Smitty but hit Avonte Maddox in the back instead. Hurts underthrew Quez Watkins deep and was nearly picked off by Darius Slay.

Hurts got ‘sacked’ by Sweat again in 11-on-11. Unlike other reps, this time the whistle being blown multiple times didn’t even allow Hurts to throw after the ‘sack’ occurred. Again with the slow time to throw. Hurts and Jason Huntley had a botched handoff exchange that resulted in a fumble recovered by the defense.

Hurts threw a ball to DeVonta that was ultimately a positive result as the receiver caught it along the sideline with room to run to the end zone. But the throw looked like it could’ve been picked had not Avonte Maddox and Zech McPhearson bumped into each other while trying to make a play on the ball.

To the delight of clapping defenders, Hurts took off running again in another 7-on-7 series. Feels like that happens at least once per practice, which is too often. It’s a passing drill!

Hurts isn’t solely to blame for the offense struggling in an 11-on-11 sequence where the offense was backed up against their own goal line. There were issues across the board with a false start, a fumble, and a drop. But Hurts could be more accurately described as “part of the problem” as opposed to “part of the solution” in that case. The offense got their butts kicked by the defense.

The good: Hurts did connect with DeVonta for a deep touchdown in 1-on-1. The throw was right on the money. Same when Hurts aired it out to Watkins down the left sideline in 11-on-11. Hurts delivered an accurate ball over the middle to Brown, who came free on a crossing route for a first down and then some.

Originally I thought Hurts was more stock even than stock down. After looking at my notes and consulting with multiple other practice observers, the latter option makes more sense. Just let the record show I was willing to go easier on him until I re-read my notes.

Stock down.


Day 1: Stock even

Day 2: Stock down

Day 3: Stock down

Day 4: Stock even

Day 5: Stock up

Day 6: Stock down

Day 7: Stock even

Day 8: Stock up

Day 9: Stock even

Day 10: Stock up

Day 11: Stock down


DID NOT PARTICIPATE: WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside (not injury related), TE Grant Calcaterra (hamstring), OT Le’Raven Clark (hamstring) LB Christian Ellis (hamstring), Javon Hargrave (toe), Jason Kelce (elbow), Jared Mayden (ankle), Miles Sanders (leg soreness), Boston Scott (concussion), Greg Ward (toe).

Sanders, Elliss, and Mayden are new additions to this list. Sanders obviously being the most noteworthy absence with the unusual description of “leg soreness.” That doesn’t sound too serious, so perhaps we’ll see him back soon.

LIMITED PARTICIPATION: WR Britain Covey (thumb), WR John Hightower (groin), CB Jimmy Moreland (ankle).

Covey had said he injured his thumb in the preseason game. At least he’s able to avoid missing practice entirely.

Hightower and Moreland are ramping up to return. They have a lot of work to do as long shots to make the roster.

RETURNED TO PRACTICE: DeVonta Smith, Landon Dickerson, Kenneth Gainwell, and Jaquiski Tartt were back in action. Especially nice to see DeVonta return after he had missed several practices.

• Today was a change of pace for the offense with A.J. Brown not being the focal point. Instead, it was the returning DeVonta Smith who saw a lot of targets. He looked good out there with no signs of a lingering injury. Although there may have been a defensive miscue with Maddox and McPhearson bumping into each other, Smith still made a nice leaping grab on that play. Smith burned James Bradberry, who’s certainly had a good summer in coverage, for a deep touchdown in 1-on-1. Not the first time that’s happened in camp. DeVonta almost Moss’d Bradberry on another 1-on-1 rep but the corner was able to get his hands on the ball to knock it out as DeVonta was trying to bring it in to his possession. DeVonta did drop a pass on a comeback and failed to hold on to a short hospital ball that resulted in him accidentally taking a big pop from T.J. Edwards. Smith popped right back up after the play.

• In addition to Smith returning, the other big storyline from today’s practice with Andre Dillard getting chippy with some of his defensive teammates. Jimmy Kempski had a good, in-depth recap of the action in today’s BGN Radio practice recap podcast. But the short of it that Dillard and Derek Barnett got into it after the former anchored well against the latter’s bull rush attempt. Then it was Patrick Johnson who got heated with Dillard to the point where the second-year defender threw a punch at the backup left tackle. There’s thought that this aggression from Dillard is good to see since he’s been criticized for a lack of toughness and passion. The flip side of the coin is that you want your players to play with emotion and not have emotion play with them. The Eagles don’t want Dillard taking a dumb penalty in game action ... or him getting easily rattled by the competition. Back when Barnett and Dillard got into a few years ago, the team did not see that as a positive development for Dillard as emotions got the better of him. To be determined how they view these dust ups. Dillard ultimately left practice early with a trainer but the team said they’re being cautious with him coming off his concussion.

• Outside of the Dillard interactions, Johnson generated some good pressure and was disciplined enough to not be fooled by a Gardner Minshew keeper on the read option.

• Kyzir White continues to make plays. Today he punched the ball out of Kenneth Gainwell’s possession after the running back made a short catch. White is sure looking like a good player. On the other side, Gainwell is not really lighting the world on fire this summer.

• Interesting to see Josiah Scott taking first team safety reps (in place of Marcus Epps, who didn’t appear to be injured). Perhaps a good sign for his stock that the Eagles wanted to evaluate him there.

• The Eagles’ defense used a five wide look with the offense backed up against their own end zone. Josh Sweat and Haason Reddick lined up as the stand up rushers with Milton Williams (in place of Javon Hargrave), Jordan Davis, and Fletcher Cox on the interior.

• Zach Pascal looked pretty unguardable in 1-on-1. It helped that he was facing younger guys such as McPhearson and Mario Goodrich. Still, he can be a tough cover.

• More 1-on-1 notes: Josh Jobe got flagged for DPI. Jobe followed that up by knocking a pass out of Devon Allen’s hands. Watkins made a good leaping back shoulder grab. Jalen Reagor made a contested catch on a slant in addition to a deeper reception.

• Davion Taylor either had a pick or a PBU in 7-on-7. Couldn’t perfectly tell from my angle. Later, I had a better view of Taylor breaking up a pass. He’s been around the ball a lot this summer.

• Tarron Jackson logged another sack. What’s new. This time he beat Kayode Awosika at left tackle.

• Reid Sinett made a nice opposite hash throw to Lance Lenoir for a first down on an out route.

• Carson Strong had his best throw of camp with a completion to Deon Cain along the right sideline in 7-on-7. Good zip and ball placement on that one. Strong ran up to Cain after that play to celebrate; he was feeling good about it.

• Multiple notable guests at today’s practice: Darren Sproles, Brandon Brooks (who’s slimmed down in retirement), Sixers GM Daryl Morey, and NFL insider Jay Glazer.

UP NEXT: The Eagles have a walkthrough closed to media on Monday before they practice again on Tuesday morning. Then it’s a travel day on Wednesday ahead of joint training camp practices with the Cleveland Browns on Thursday and Friday.

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