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Eagles Training Camp Practice Notes: Nick Sirianni shows Jalen Hurts some tough love

Observations from the NovaCare Complex.

Philadelphia Eagles v Detroit Lions Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Today marked the sixth Philadelphia Eagles training camp practice ahead of the 2023 season. Here’s what I observed at the NovaCare Complex. UPDATE: Today’s BGN Radio practice recap podcast is LIVE!


• Setting the scene: at nearly an hour and 50 minutes long, this may have been the longest practice in the Nick Sirianni era. The weather was pretty favorable by typical training camp standards; relatively cool temps and an overcast sky that gave way to a light drizzle towards the end of practice.

JALEN HURTS WATCH: Hurts had his worst day of training camp thus far. SEASON OVER.

Not quite. There’s still been much more good than bad on the whole.

That said, here are the negatives from my notes today: Hurts generally held the ball for too long, resulting in multiple would-be sacks. He took off running twice during 7-on-7 drills, which isn’t what you really want to see ... just make a throw! Hurts had a pass to DeVonta Smith along the sideline knocked down. He threw a pass meant for A.J. Brown a little too low/short and it got tipped by Reed Blankenship ... into a completion to Brown anyway. But very well could have been a pick. Not too long after that, Hurts threw his first actual interception of training camp when he tried to force the ball to Dallas Goedert along the sideline with 16 seconds left in a two-minute drill. Darius Slay took advantage of the mistake for his first pick this summer. Hurts also missed seeing Brown running open in the back of the end zone during one drill. Some of the wide receivers watching practice from the sideline were pointing up to Brown and trying to make Hurts aware he was there. Hurts failed to get the ball into the end zone with his arm during a red zone 11-on-11 series.

Hurts drew criticism from Nick Sirianni towards the end of practice after he slid just short of the marker in the open field and then didn’t properly hand the ball to the ref for them to spot it as quickly as possible during a running clock scenario. Sirianni was not shy to get after Hurts from a distance as the quarterback took a knee on the sideline. Hurts seemed frustrated with himself and ended up doing some pushups as a punishment.

To his credit, Hurts is capable of handling tough coaching, unlike a previous Eagles quarterback. He also did still have some quality connections with Brown in addition to some good 1-on-1 throws on Friday.

It’ll be interesting to see how Hurts responds to this practice on Sunday night. The expectation here is that he’ll look sharper in his next outing.

EAGLES INJURY REPORT: The big news here is that Patrick Johnson was rolling around on the ground pain after an 11-on-11 rep. He had to be carted off the field, which is typically never a good sign. However, there’s a report that his injury actually isn’t considered serious. This is a situation to continue to monitor. As noted on Thursday, Johnson has been having a really good camp. Though not a full-time starter, he serves an important role as Haason Reddick’s top backup.

Nakobe Dean (ankle) and James Bradberry (groin) both missed practice after getting banged up on Thursday. Neither injury is believed to be serious; the team is officially describing them as “day-to-day.” It’s not really ideal that Dean is missing time as he prepares to taken on a bigger role as the defensive signal caller in Year 2. It’s not like Dean was crushing camp prior to his absence, either. The Eagles will hope to have him back on the field sooner than later.

Hasson Reddick (groin soreness), Avonte Maddox (toe), and Derek Barnett (knee) are still listed as limited but seem to be trending in the right direction as they get more involved in practice.

Deon Cain (ankle) missed his third straight practice.

Devon Allen (calf) is still on the NFI list.

• Wide receiver vs. cornerback 1-on-1 notes:

DeVonta Smith shook Darius Slay to create separation for an underneath throw. Slay also got beat easily by A.J. Brown, who is pretty good.

Olamide Zaccheaus ran one of the sicker stop-and-go routes I’ve ever seen in 1-on-1 to roast Kelee Ringo down the left sideline. OZ also made a nice deep catch crossing left in the end zone against Mario Goodrich.

Quez Watkins made a leaping catch facing the quarterback to catch a ball over Avonte Maddox in the end zone. Watkins also beat UDFA cornerback Mekhi Garner down the left sideline for an over-the-shoulder catch.

Greedy Williams did a nice job of not falling for Tyrie Cleveland’s double move but then he lost to the receiver at the catch point. Not what you want to see from your 6’2” cornerback.

Marcus Mariota made one of his better throws of camp with a back shoulder toss to Charleston Rambo, who made the catch while facing tight coverage from Ringo.

• Mariota completed a deep pass to Greg Ward down the right sideline to beat a trailing Greedy Williams. G-Ward’s made some big plays in this camp. It’s hard to see how he makes the roster from a numbers perspective ... unless they’d keep him over Britain Covey? Or OZ? But he’s not going down without a fight. Williams, meanwhile, continues to struggle.

• Dallas Goedert made a pretty impressive one-handed catch with his momentum taking him away from the ball. He also had a great leaping grab in 1-on-1.

• DeVonta Smith made the play of the day when he brought in a catch tight along the left sideline and managed to get both feet in via toe tap. One of the best in the business in this regard.

• Rashaad Penny looked good on a toss play. Get him into the open field and he’s taking off.

• Kenneth Gainwell made a nice snag when he had to turn around to catch a low ball just above the ground. He managed to stay on his feet and quickly transiton to running after the catch.

• Tyler Steen was the second-team left tackle for the second day in a row. He looked pretty good in that spot! He easily fended off Kyron Johnson, who’s had some nice pass rushes this summer. He also looked athletic and effective getting out in space on run plays. It’s not exactly a shock that Steen looks better at left tackle than right guard since he just played the former position for Alabama.

• The Eagles opened 11-on-11 with Nolan Smith as a first-team off-ball linebacker next to Christian Elliss. Again, it wasn’t like Smith was lining up exclusively in that role; he still took the majority of his reps from the edge. Prior to practice, Sean Desai talked about using Smith at that spot.

• Following up on the previous bullet point, Smith rushed the passer from an inside linebacker position. The very next rep, Terrell Edmunds lined up in that role and was sent on a blitz.

• Offensive line vs. defensive line 1-on-1 notes were not so easily possible today because the dudes in the trenches were practicing far away (beyond the width of the football field, with some players/staffers standing in the way of the action) from where media was allowed to watch from. And that while 7-on-7 was happening directly in front of where we were standing. That said, BGN alumnus Shamus Clancy did his best to watch some of the OL/DL action and mentioned the following: Nolan Smith looked good. So did Cam Jurgens. Tyler Steen had a good rep against Jalen Carter.

• Haason Reddick may not be thrilled with his current contract ... and that’s pretty understandable. Only two players — T.J. Watt and Myles Garrett — have logged more sacks than him since 2020. And they’re making over $13 million and $10 million more than him annually, respectively. But Reddick hardly seems like a malcontent:

• Britian Covey dropped a catchable pass while going to the ground. He did have a touchdown catch on a slant from the slot during a red zone drill.

• Brett Toth’s bad snapping continues to be a problem. There was a rep that was blown dead because Mariota basically had to dive on the ball that went wide of his hand while lined up in the gun.

• Ian Book is not going to win an arm strength competition. He took a deep shot to Tyrie Cleveland that ended up underthrown and nearly picked off by Sydney Brown. The rookie safety failed to make the catch, mistiming his jump a bit.

• Haven’t really seen Tanner McKee air it out much yet.

• Ringo tackled the crap out of Tyrie Cleveland in the end zone to prevent a deep touchdown throw from Mariota. One of the more obvious DPIs there ever was.

• The Eagles don’t do live tackling to the ground in camp ... except when it comes to their end of practice developmental period. The young guys were doing some of that today. Nothing too noteworthy from that period, though.

• Shout out to Ryan Phillippe, who’s a big Birds fan and once called me “cool.” In case you ever thought otherwise.

UP NEXT: The Eagles have a walkthrough closed to media access on Saturday. Their next practice is their one and only open to the public at Lincoln Financial Field! Tickets are $10 each and all proceeds benefit the Eagles Autism Foundation.

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