Today marked the twelfth Philadelphia Eagles training camp practice ahead of the 2023 season. It was the second of the Birds’ two joint sessions against the Cleveland Browns and red zone work was the primary focus. Here’s what I observed from being on the scene at the NovaCare Complex. UPDATE: Today’s BGN Radio practice recap podcast is live!
EAGLES PRACTICE NOTES
• General overview: Whereas the Browns were the more energized team from the jump on Monday, the Eagles set the tone on Tuesday. Things were close between the two teams early on before the Birds ultimately pulled away in dominant fashion. Of course, it helps that Myles Garrett did not participate in team drills today.
• JALEN HURTS WATCH: Once I saw Hurts wearing these cleats, I knew the Eagles were going to have a good day.
Hurts started slow. He overthrew DeVonta Smith when a more accurate ball would’ve resulted in an over-the-shoulder touchdown catch. Hurts also threw a tad too high to miss a touchdown throw to A.J. Brown, who was only able to get one foot down (at most) in the back of the end zone.
Hurts rebounded with a throw on a rope to a crossing Dallas Goedert along the back line. Hurts then connected with A.J. Brown through traffic in the middle of the end zone.
The threat of Hurts’ mobility helped to generate a touchdown run for Boston Scott. The Browns’ defense crashed hard on the quarterback, leaving a ton of room for the running back to scamper for six.
Thanks to a sharp route, DeVonta got wide open for a catch in the back left corner of the end zone. He can make it look real easy.
Hurts rolled left and threw a ball about 25 yards down the field and to the right in order to connect with A.J. Brown for a touchdown against Martin Emerson.
This was the strongest Hurts practice we’ve seen in a bit. Encouraging stuff.
• EAGLES INJURY REPORT:
Landon Dickerson (foot) did not practice after leaving practice early on Monday. The Eagles don’t seem too concerned about him.
Haason Reddick (thumb) did not practice. It sounds like he might miss a little time but he’s expected to be good for Week 1.
Quez Watkins (hamstring) and Britain Covey (hamstring) missed practice for the second straight day.
Patrick Johnson (ankle) missed his sixth straight practice after getting carted off on August 4.
Deon Cain (ankle) was upgraded to full participation.
• FIGHT! Nothing too violent. But the Browns did not like how Sydney Brown absolutely decked Browns running back Demetric Felton on a Reed Blankenship interception return set up by Zach Cunningham tipping a Deshaun Watson pass. (Yes, that’s the second day in a row Watson was picked off by Cunningham creating a Blankenship interception.) A scrum formed but the crowd dispersed quickly enough.
• Blankenship had a great practice. After intercepting Watson as described above, he stepped in front of another Watson pass intended for Jordan Akins later in practice. Make that three Blankenship picks in the past two days. The second-year safety also had a nice pass breakup on a throw to David Njoku. Blankenship was flagged on the play but it looked clean to me and some other observers. It’s been a great summer for No. 32.
• The Browns had no answer for DeVonta Smith over the past two days. Their best shot of stopping him was an inaccurate ball from Hurts. After practice, Darius Slay said “it’s not going to be too much longer that we’re saying Smitty is the best receiver in the league for sure.”
• Jalen Carter had an eye-opening rep where he shoved two-time first-team All Pro and five-time Pro Bowl left guard Joel Bitonio on his back right after the snap. Bitonio may have tripped to make it look worse than it was for him ... but, still, the Eagles’ rookie defensive tackle showed some serious power to knock him off balance like that. Carter’s stock continues to rise.
• The Eagles’ defensive line had some nice moments once again. Josh Sweat had multiple “sacks” on Deshaun Watson, including a strip-sack.
• Marcus Mariota turned in a nice practice. The good: Accurate pass to Jack Stoll up the seam for a touchdown, dime in a tight window to Greg Ward on quick slant for a touchdown, perfect fade ball touchdown to Tyrie Cleveland (who continues to ball out), sprint out right to hit Cleveland again for a two-point conversion. The bad: Overthrows to Greg Ward and Deon Cain that weren’t really close.
• Justin Evans took some first-team reps at safety next to Blankenship for the first time this summer. They came during a 7-on-7 period. Terrell Edmunds was back working with the starters in 11-on-11. Still, Evans is on the roster bubble and might be able to sneak on.
• K’Von Wallace put a big pop on John Kelly Jr. during a running play. Like to see that physicality.
• Zech McPhearson logged a pick on an inadvisable forced throw in the back right corner of the end zone in 7-on-7. McPhearson saw some more outside cornerback reps than usual with Mario Goodrich manning the slot when he was in.
• Derek Barnett seemed to be involved in offseting personal foul penalties. It’s always him.
UP NEXT: The Eagles have a walkthrough closed to media access on Wednesday before playing a preseason game against the Browns at Lincoln Financial Field on Thursday night.