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Eagles-Browns practice notes: Some good, some bad

Observations from the NovaCare Complex.

Philadelphia Eagles Training Camp Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Today marked the eleventh Philadelphia Eagles training camp practice ahead of the 2023 season. It was the first of the Birds’ two joint sessions against the Cleveland Browns. Here’s what I observed from being on the scene at the NovaCare Complex.

EAGLES PRACTICE NOTES

• General overview: the Browns looked significantly better early on before the Eagles closed the gap a bit towards the end of practice.

JALEN HURTS WATCH: Another day with mixed results.

THE GOOD

1-on-1: Hurts connected with A.J. Brown to beat Cleveland starting cornerback Martin Emerson, a third-round pick last year. Video of this rep and more 1-on-1 action below, courtesy of EROCK.

7-on-7: Hurts connected with a leaping Dallas Goedert for a 15-yard gain along the right sideline. He also hit Olamide Zaccheaus on an out route for about 10 yards along the left sideline. Hurts twice found DeVonta Smith deep.

THE BAD

1-on-1: Hurts had a short pass to Brown broken up by Emerson.

7-on-7: Hurts got picked off by Denzel Ward on a deep throw down the right sideline to DeVonta. The pass was slightly underthrown, which created a contested catch situation. DeVonta originally had his hands on the ball but Ward was able to wrestle it away as they went to the ground.

11-on-11: Browns backup cornerback Mike Ford broke up another slightly underthrown deep pass meant for DeVonta.

• Hurts got “sacked” quite a bit. Part of that was Jordan Mailata struggling to block Myles Garrett, who is pretty freaking good. Part of that was him not being so quick to get rid of the ball. With Hurts often under pressure, it was not a sharp outing for the offense as a whole. Brian Johnson’s unit did pick up a bit later in practice ... after Garrett left early.

• Perhaps the Browns’ new defensive coordinator might know a thing or two about what he’s doing?

EAGLES INJURY REPORT: Two different categories today.

PRE-PRACTICE UPDATES

Quez Watkins (hamstring) and Britain Covey (hamstring) missed practice. Nick Sirianni indicated in his Saturday postgame press conference that this would be the case, so, no surprise here. Guessing they won’t be back until Saturday at the earliest and perhaps later than that.

Patrick Johnson (ankle) missed his fifth straight practice after getting carted off on August 4.

Deon Cain (ankle) was upgraded to limited participation after sitting out of seven practices.

IN-PRACTICE UPDATES

Landon Dickerson visited the medical tent after the first 11-on-11 period. He wasn’t noticeably in pain but he did not return to practice. Dickerson seemed to be in good spirits while talking to teammates on the field after practice, so, that seems like a good sign that it’s nothing too serious.

Jason Kelce said he’s OK after getting banged up late in practice.

Josh Sweat was slow to get up at one point. He didn’t leave practice, though, and later told reporters that he merely felt dizzy.

• DeVonta was tough for the Browns to cover at this time last year. As detailed in the preceding Hurts section, he was a problem for them again today. Pretty good player! Spoiler alert: He’s getting my MVP point for this corresponding BGN Radio practice recap podcast episode.

• Sydney Brown took some first-team safety reps. It wasn’t the entire first-team since Derek Barnett was at defensive end and Nicholas Morrow and Christian Elliss were the linebackers. Still, it’s a good opportunity for Brown to slowly but surely move up the depth chart.

• The Browns weren’t the only team with a good day rushing the passer; the Eagles got to Watson a number of times. Josh Sweat, Haason Reddick, and Nolan Smith all notched “sacks.”

• Darius Slay surrendered several catches. Nothing egregiously bad but the Browns didn’t exactly fear throwing his way.

• Nakobe Dean gave up two catches during his two 1-on-1 battles to Browns fourth-string running back John Kelly Jr. His lack of size showed up as an issue as a pass went past his outstretched arm.

• 1-on-1 WR vs. CB leftover notes. EAGLES OFFENSE: Joseph Ngata made a nice catch in stride with his hands extended away from his body to beat Cameron Mitchell on a slant. OZ made a good catch over the middle. EAGLES DEFENSE: Mekhi Garner got roasted by Anthony Schwartz to allow a deep touchdown. Amari Cooper absolutely routed up Kelee Ringo exactly like an established veteran would be expected to do against a rookie corner. Later, Ringo got some redemption by being physical and breaking up a pass meant for Donovan Peoples-Jones.

• Sua Opeta repped at first-team left guard shortly after Dickerson left. Then it was Josh Sills practicing there in the next 11-on-11 period.

• James Bradberry and Terrell Edmunds were looking at each other and communicating after Anthony Schwartz roasted the Eagles’ defense down the right sideline. That wasn’t the only time that the Browns were able to have vertical success.

• Jalen Carter started to heat up towards the end of practice with a “sack” on Watson up the middle and a fumble recovery.

• Tyrie Cleveland made some nice back shoulder catches in the Eagles’ first preseason game. He picked up where he left off on Saturday night with another good back shoulder grab along the right sideline, this time on a pass from Marcus Mariota. Cleveland had a slow start to camp but he’s coming on more recently.

• Zach Cunningham has been more impressive than Myles Jack so far. Cunningham created an interception for Reed Blankenship by being in position to have a pick of his own before the ball bounced off his hands and into the air. Cunningham also had a nice TFL. He should get some more first-team opportunities with none of the other linebackers really standing out.


UP NEXT: The Eagles and Browns will practice again on Tuesday starting at 5:00 PM Eastern. The Eagles will then have a walkthrough closed to media access on Wednesday before playing a preseason game against the Browns on Thursday night.

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