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Eagles Training Camp Practice Notes: Browns struggle to stop Jalen Hurts to DeVonta Smith connection

Observations from Thursday’s session.

Cleveland Browns Training Camp Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images

Today marked the thirteenth Philadelphia Eagles training camp practice ahead of the 2022 NFL season. It was the first of the Birds’ two joint sessions against the Cleveland Browns. Here’s what I observed at the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus in Berea, Ohio. UPDATE: Today’s BGN Radio practice recap podcast is LIVE!


JALEN HURTS STOCK REPORT: Hurts started this practice on fire

1-on-1: Hurts dropped a ball in the bucket deep down the left sideline to A.J. Brown, who made a one-handed catch to score on Lavert Hill (former Eagle). Hurts threw a back shoulder completion along the right sideline to Jalen Reagor. Hurts had another good completion along the right sideline to DeVonta Smith. And then another when Smith burned Martin Emerson Jr. for the score.

7-on-7: Hurts completed a pass to a crossing Dallas Goedert by fitting a ball just past the outstretched arm of Ronnie Harrison Jr., who trailed closely behind. Hurts connected with Smith down the right sideline after the receiver had gotten wide open with Greedy Williams seemingly responsible for him. A better throw may have allowed Smith to stay in bounds as opposed to leading him out ... but it was still a big play.

11-on-11: Hurts floated a ball to a tightly covered down the left sideline for a 15-yardish gain. Hurts pulled off what was perhaps his best throw of camp when he slightly drifted to his left (!) and connected with Brown along the left sideline. Hurts hit Brown again over the middle in the intermediate range for at least a 20-yard catch with some YAC opportunity.

The offense as a whole did go a bit cold (naturally right after I tweeted that Hurts was hot) at one point. Hurts held on to the ball and took at least two sacks. He did end the final 11-on-11 drive by moving the offense efficiently and throwing a pass that ended up with Smith drawing a DPI flag.

It’s probably worth noting that the Browns were missing several key defenders today. Starting cornerbacks Denzel Ward (Pro Bowler last year) and Greg Newsome II didn’t practice. Neither did the Browns’ best overall player, Myles Garrett. Not insignificant.

Still, this Hurts performance had me feeling encouraged about his outlook. He attempted and completed difficult throws at a higher rate than normal.

Stock up!


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

Day 12: Stock up

Day 13: Stock up


DID NOT PARTICIPATE: James Bradberry (groin), Grant Calcaterra (hamstring), Christian Ellis (hamstring), Javon Hargrave (toe), Jason Kelce (elbow), Miles Sanders (hamstring), Greg Ward (toe).

Sanders has now missed three straight practices.

Bradberry missed his first full practice after having to leave early on Tuesday.

Calcaterra hasn’t practiced since getting hurt on July 30. He’s missed a lot of time.

RETURNED TO PRACTICE: Boston Scott, John Hightower, and Le’Raven Clark were back in full after being listed as limited on Tuesday.

• I already touched on much of DeVonta’s domination in the preceding Hurts section. But I can’t stress enough that this dude is pretty good. He’s such a sharp route runner, as his teammate Brown spoke about after practice. It’s not just about that, though. He also looked dangerous and slippery after the catch on one play over the middle of the field. Might’ve been a touchdown had it not been whistled dead. The Browns simply didn’t have an answer to stop Smith, who has been great since returning from injury. It’s not just the A.J. Brown show in practice anymore.

• I wasn’t able watch the Eagles’ defense super closely during this practice because it was on the farthest side of two fields directly in front of my sideline view. And watching the offense feels a bit more important given Hurts’ importance to the team’s overall success. From what I gathered in limited glances, the Eagles weren’t shutting them down. I don’t think the Eagles’ defense forced a turnover. And I saw them allow some big plays, such as Deshaun Watson connecting with Anthony Schwartz down the left sideline to beat Avonte Maddox for a big gain. Watson and Jacoby Brissett split time with the Browns’ starters following the news that the former will be suspended for 11 games this season.

• Boston Scott looked good upon fully returning to practice action. He’s the second best running back on this team, not Kenneth Gainwell. Gainwell just hadn’t much juice to offer this summer. Perhaps he’s still bothered by the hip injury he missed some time with. Whatever the case, he’s not having a good camp. Honestly, the Eagles should indeed be looking to add more talent at RB. (Kareem Hunt trade?)

• Josh Sweat had an impact sack, though I think it may have come with a tight end blockign him? I saw No. 88 in the area.

• Landon Dickerson absolutely flattened Browns linebacker Jacob Phillips while pulling on a running play to the right side. Dickerson celebrated with a dance after it happened. A force in the run game.

• Jimmy Kempski touched on some OL vs. DL 1-on-1 notes in today’s BGN Radio podcast, so make sure you listen to that. One noteworthy spoiler: Marlon Tuipulotu looked good. He’s making the team.

• Patrick Johnson, who is also making the roster, notched a sack.

• Marvin Wilson (AKA Big Marv) notched a sack with the second team defense. He earned an enthusiastic chest bump with Jonathan Gannon and high fives after generating pressure up the middle.

• Both Gardner Minshew and Reid Sinnett were picked off on throws over the middle. Sinnett telegraphed a checkdown to prompt a Browns interception that was taken to the house.

• Jack Stoll and Noah Togiai both made some nice catches over the middle in traffic.

• Devon Allen hurdled a Browns special teams player after knocking him to the ground on a punt coverage drill. The player certainly didn’t enjoy that. It’s the most notable thing Allen has done for the Eagles this summer.

• New Eagles defensive back Ugo Amadi participated in his first practice after only watching from the sideline on Tuesday. I didn’t notice where he was lining up on defense (far field) but I did notice him get into it with a Browns gunner during a special teams drill. The two had to be separated.

• Some views:

UP NEXT: The Eagles and Browns will practice again on Friday starting around 2:00 PM Eastern. The Eagles will then have a walkthrough on Saturday before playing a preseason game against the Browns on Sunday starting at 1:00 PM.

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