Today marked the second Philadelphia Eagles training camp practice ahead of the 2023 season. Man, it was a hot one out there with temperatures around 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Here’s what I observed at the NovaCare Complex. NOTE: Stay tuned for today’s BGN Radio practice recap podcast that will be embedded directly below once the episode goes live.
EAGLES PRACTICE NOTES
• JALEN HURTS WATCH: Through two practices, I’d say Hurts has performed as expected. Which is not a bad thing!
Hurts started 11-on-11 off by showing great touch and accuracy on a fade pass down the left sideline to A.J. Brown. There was also a rep where he was rolling right and delivered a strike down the right sideline to Quez Watkins, who may or may not have gotten both feet in-bounds (opinions differed from various onlookers, including members of the Eagles’ coaching staff). It also looked like Hurts may have been “sacked” by Josh Sweat on that rep. Still, a high quality throw.
Hurts has yet to throw an interception in camp but he came close on Friday when he underthrew a streaking DeVonta Smith, who established a step or two on Josh Jobe. Jobe was unable to properly track the ball and make the play. Hurts also lofted a ball intended for Dallas Goedert too high on a screen play.
• EAGLES INJURY REPORT: No changes from Day 1. Haason Reddick (groin soreness) is still out with the expectation he’ll return to practice after this weekend. Avonte Maddox (toe) and Derek Barnett (knee) are still limited participants. Devon Allen is still on NFI. No players noticeably got injured in this practice, which is always a win.
• Nick Sirianni is taking no prisoners early in camp. The Eagles’ head coach is no stranger to showing emotion but he’s been especially fiery through two practices thus far. Check out this moment from just a few minutes into today’s session:
The thought here is that Sirianni is really trying to battle against complacency setting in after the team was so successful in many regards (except for, well, you know) last season. He’s doing his part to send the message that it’s a different year and they need to start all over again.
• Cam Jurgens was the first-team right guard once again. So, this isn’t like the 2021 left tackle battle where Jordan Mailata and Andre Dillard rotated with the starters. Jurgens is the favorite and we’ll see if he can continue to hold off Steen.
• This was an active practice for D’Andre Swift as a receiver. None of the grabs were insanely impressive or anything but he did make a nice leaping effort to reel in a ball that Hurts threw a little high. I don’t recall Swift having any drops thus far. He looks like a pretty natural pass-catcher. Running back catches have the potential to be a bigger part of the offense this year, though that isn’t much of a high bar to clear relative to last season.
• Olamide Zaccheaus flashed a little bit today. After catching a pass in the flat, he took off running and cut back against the defense to avoid a couple defenders with a shifty move. OZ also managed to catch a screen pass from Mariota that was thrown significantly behind him. The rep ended with a loss or no gain since he was immediately “tackled” ... but credit to him for showing good hands.
• Marcus Mariota had a much better practice today after turning in a stinker on Wednesday. The Eagles’ backup quarterback made one of the plays of the day when he unleashed a deep ball in the end zone to Greg Ward (yes, still on the team!). Given there are concerns about Mariota’s effectiveness as a downfield passer, that throw was nice to see. Mariota also had an accurate strike to Deon Cain over the middle and creatively flipped the ball to Trey Sermon while navigating the pocket on another rep. One of his worst throws was a Donovan McNabb-esque worm burner.
• Jalen Carter pressured Mariota into an incompletion at one point.
• Nolan Smith continues to be active. On today’s BGN Radio episode, Jimmy Kempski noticed that he saw Smith cover Boston Scott with ease to lock him up. I also noticed Smith lined up over Britain Covey in the slot towards the end of practice. Interesting utilization.
• Grant Calcaterra is getting a decent amount of reps with the first team. Seems like a good sign for his stock.
• Still waiting for the first Nakobe Dean flashy practice moment since the team drafted him.
• Whenever I notice Nicholas Morrow, he’s getting beat in coverage. In fairness to him, Goedert is a pretty tough cover.
• Patrick Johnson generated two “sacks” in this practice, including one where he looked really fast coming off the edge. Johnson did also had a neutral zone infraction penalty that would’ve moved a game-winning two-point conversion scenario (as described by Sirianni) up to the 1-yard line. Kinda curious that the Eagles didn’t even bother to run the rep after the penalty and instead took the first team units off the field entirely.
• Greedy Williams got flagged for defensive pass interference at one point.
• Joseph Ngata made a solid catch over the middle. Quietly building off of a nice spring. Looking like a likely practice squad candidate, at least.
• Ian Book made a really nice tight window throw to Britain Covey on a slant route to beat tight coverage from Mario Goodrich. Not too long after, though, Book looked like he needed to put a lot into a backfoot throw that barely made it his intended target and may have actually been incomplete. Yikes. Book also underthrew a deep pass that turned into a Goodrich interception during the end of practice developmental period.
• Tanner McKee had a pass knocked down at the line of scrimmage by Noah Elliss. McKee was also in danger of getting picked off on a short pass to Brady Russell. Credit to Tristian McCollum for the tight coverage and breakup. Second straight practice where McCollum has made a play on the ball.
Darius Slay on the Eagles hiring Matt Patricia: “It’s cool with me.”— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) July 28, 2023
Slay said they’ve talked and they respect each other. pic.twitter.com/OvjQpIu0DX
UP NEXT: Eagles players have off on Saturday, July 29 before returning to practice on Sunday, July 30 at 10:00 AM Eastern.