Eagles (Abbreviated) Practice Observations

Today was the Eagles’ first training camp practice, but the session included only rookies and selected veterans.

In all, 28 players participated, after running back Matthew Tucker and punter Brad Wing failed their conditioning tests.

Here’s a photo from a TV monitor in the cafeteria of what the players’ schedule looked like:

* As for the on-the-field session, undrafted free agent Jake Knott gave new meaning to the term “one-on-one instruction.” He’s the only linebacker here, so when players split up by position, it was just him and inside linebackers coach Rick Minter. As we mentioned earlier this week, backup linebacker jobs are up for grabs, so the extra time can only help a player like Knott.

* The wide receivers ran through some interesting drills. The first image shows them making catches behind a contraption that presumably simulates a defender.

Update: Thanks to the commenter for pointing out the purpose of this drill is for wide receivers to focus on catching the ball with their hands.

And they also worked on ball security:

* One nice part about these practices is you can get up close to the field and actually listen to the coaches. For example, I spent some time around Jeff Stoutland and the offensive line. There were only five players in attendance – Lane Johnson, Jason Kelce, Michael Bamiro, Nic Purcell and Matt Tobin. On one rep, Johnson held an orange blocking pad and was supposed to simulate a 3-technique defensive tackle.

But when the ball was snapped, Johnson didn’t go where Stoutland wanted him to go, so he blew the whistle and stopped the drill. Remember Chip Kelly’s philosophy of teaching in the classroom, not on the field? That doesn’t apply to these practices. Stoutland explained how the 3-technique could either attack the gap or the offensive tackle.

Next, the five offensive linemen went up against grey and yellow trash cans. Bamiro was just signed last week, but Stoutland wasn’t about to take it easy on his newest pupil. “I taught you this already,” he told the 6-8, 339-pounder.

Stoutland then used an analogy of pushing a car uphill. “Are you going to push it from behind or from the side?” he asked, after knocking over a trash can. On this specific run play, the point was the offensive tackle needed to take a couple steps to his right before squaring up on the defender.

* It’ll be just the rookies and selected vets again Wednesday. Veterans check in Thursday. And then the real fun begins with the first full-squad practice on Friday.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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