Today marked the fifth Philadelphia Eagles training camp practice ahead of the 2023 season. 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: Unlike the previous two practices, Hurts was not on fire today. I don’t think he had a bad practice; I thought he was OK. Hurts made a really nice tight window throw over the middle to Dallas Goedert, who had Zech McPhearson and Reed Blankenship closing in on him. Hurts did almost throw his first pick of camp when Kelee Ringo broke on a ball thrown to DeVonta Smith near the front left corner of the end zone. That was an interceptable pass that ended up as a deflection.
• EAGLES INJURY REPORT: Nakobe Dean visited the trainer’s tent after position drills. He ended up watching the rest of practice from the sideline, therefore missing all team drill participation. The Eagles don’t seem too concerned about him.
James Bradberry was evaluated in the trainer’s tent later in practice. He ended up watching the rest of practice from the sideline as well. That’s typically a much better sign than an injured player going back into the team’s facility and not returning.
Haason Reddick (groin soreness), Avonte Maddox (toe), and Derek Barnett (knee) are still limited. Deon Cain (ankle) missed his second straight practice. Devon Allen (calf) is still on the NFI list.
• Christian Elliss and Nicholas Morrow were the first-team linebackers with Dean missing practice.
• Josh Jobe was the first-team cornerback working opposite from Darius Slay with Bradberry missing reps.
• He did not line up there exclusively but Nolan Smith was taking some off-ball linebacker snaps for the first time today. It remains to be seen if that development was related to the Eagles being thinner at that position with Dean missing practice.
• Also working at off-ball linebacker in 7-on-7 as opposed to being in offensive line vs. defensive line drills? Derek Barnett. Weird to see him lined up in the slot and dropping into coverage.
• My BGN Radio co-host Jimmy Kempski noted that a second-team offensive line shift today with Tyler Steen moving from right guard to left tackle, Dennis Kelly moving from right tackle to left guard, and Sua Opeta moving from left guard to right guard. The backup offensive line hasn’t exactly shined in camp so maybe the team wants to see if a new configuration helps. And/or they could want guys to get reps at more spots to help promote versatility.
• Patrick Johnson will be making the roster. The 2021 seventh-round pick has flashed more than a few times while generating pressure from the edge. He would’ve had a strip-sack on Hurts in a real game setting today. The Eagles have really good depth at SAM linebacker with Haason Reddick, Nolan Smith, and Johnson.
• During 11-on-11 red zone work, D’Andre Swift had one of the flashiest running back carries in camp by taking advantage of a hole to explode to the end zone against the second-team defense.
• Marcus Mariota had a real ugly moment in 7-on-7. He simply overthrew an open Joseph Ngata — the tallest wide receiver on the roster at 6’3¼” — way high and wide on a post route. Mariota also had a screen pass knocked down by Josh Sweat. Mariota did make a nice anticipatory throw to Grant Calcaterra coming out of his break. He also looked really good as a runner, though it’s not like the defense can actually hit him.
• “Greedy Williams has been flagged multiple times for being too grabby.” <— That was a line from my Tuesday notes. Guess who got penalized in practice while going up against A.J. Brown today? The penalty was so egregious this time that two different refs threw their flag. It was also noteworthy that Jobe filled in for Bradberry ahead of Greedy.
• Offensive line vs. defensive line 1-on-1 notes:
Jalen Carter put forth a very violent bull rush that had Brett Toth holding on for dear life as he was easily driven back into the quarterback. Jason Kelce has talked about Carter having real strong hands. Well, the rookie’s strength was certainly on display here.
Moro Ojomo beat Cameron Tom but then got shut down by Dennis Kelly.
Jordan Davis got really good push on Tom to drive him back.
Undrafted rookie free agent offensive tackle Trevor Reid held up against a rush from Nolan Smith.
Tarron Jackson got shut down by Fred Johnson. Jackson had a nice camp last year but it did not translate into any regular season success.
• Because the Eagles do 7-on-7 and OL/DL 1-on-1 on different fields at the same time, I can’t see everything that goes down. I try my best to see both but I’ll inevitably miss some things. And so I’ll outsource a few notes here:
Jalen Carter just took a rep against Lane Johnson, then the other side against Jordan Mailata. Not much penetration vs either, but that’s quite an education #Eagles— Martin Frank (@Mfranknfl) August 3, 2023
Nolan Smith had a couple really nice rushes in OL-DL 1-on-1s to close out practice. Had a ghost move against Tyler Steen and then a push-pull reverse-pancake against Trevor Reid.— EJ Smith (@EJSmith94) August 3, 2023
Safe to say he’s ready for more reps against the starters. #Eagles
• Thought Davion Taylor actually had good coverage on a Swift wheel route that Hurts underthrew. Taylor is a forgotten man after showing some promise early last summer only for it to be undone by disastrous preseason game performances.
• Tyrie Cleveland botched what could’ve been a deep touchdown in 7-on-7. Got open but didn’t track the ball well and only got one hand on it. Thought Cleveland might be a deep sleeper to take over the Zach Pascal role but he hasn’t shown much.
Eagles official team dog Reggie is here after practice pic.twitter.com/bscJL5caEk— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) August 3, 2023
UP NEXT: For the first time this summer, the Eagles are practicing on back-to-back days. Players will be on the field for another 10:00 AM start on Friday.