Running Diary: Eagles Practice Observations
One more before the team’s off day on Saturday…
12:50 – Once again, Chip Kelly goes with a “pressure play” as soon as stretching is over. The other day, he placed the ball on the 3 and had the offense set up for a 2-point conversion with the “game on the line.” This time, Alex Henery gets a shot at what looks like a 42-yard field goal. Kelly Counts down… 6, 5, 4…. and it’s wide right.
12:57 – Individual drills. These guys can expect a heavy workload this season:
By the way, yes, that guy is telling me to shut it down, but I think he thought I was a fan (credentialed media members are allowed to shoot video for a 20-minute period). Either way, glad I could show off my rebellious side.
Meanwhile, defensive backs work on defending the slant.
Sorry about my finger in the corner there…
1:05 – It’s 3-on-2 time. Three defenders go up against two receivers with the field split in half vertically. DeSean Jackson beats Brandon Boykin deep on a post. Beautiful throw by Michael Vick. We haven’t written a lot about Jackson so far, but he beats guys deep pretty much every day and looks locked in.
1:15 – Special-teams time, but the offensive and defensive lines stay on a separate field. Fun, physical drill. Two offensive linemen go up against one D-Lineman. DL coach Jerry Azzinaro is very vocal. “Way to fight!” he screams at undrafted free agent Damion Square.
1:26 – 7-on-7s. Matt Barkley throws one of his best balls of the week, hitting Ifeanyi Momah on an intermediate out between two defenders. Excellent anticipation, and good job by Barkley to get the ball up high where only Momah could reach it.
If you’re wondering about the wide receiver position without Riley Cooper here, Damaris Johnson is getting most of the first-team reps alongside Jackson.
1:36 – T-Mac points out that there have been no scuffles this camp, and he’s right. In past years, we would get at least two or three per week. If nothing goes down on Sunday, maybe I’ll deliver a cheap-shot so McManus feels more at home.
Another nice bomb from Vick to Jackson. Looked like a straight-go route, and the ball landed right in his hands. He beat Eddie Whitley on the play.
1:45 – One-on-one blocking drills. Zach Ertz takes one rep against an outside linebacker and then heads to the other side of the field with Brent Celek and the wide receivers. Something tells me Ertz isn’t going to be used much as an in-line blocking tight end. Especially now that the Eagles are thin at receiver.
1:50 – Special teams. Random thought: Can the Eagles still afford to use Jackson as a punt returner now that Maclin’s out for the year and Cooper’s gone indefinitely? Something to ask Kelly about next week.
2:00 – 7-on-7s. Foles goes with the first team (yes, he and Vick rotated once again). Celek with a drop on the first rep. He’s had quite a few of those this summer.
On the next play though, Celek beats Kendricks, and Foles shows great touch on a ball near the sideline.
Barkley with a beautiful throw on a deep ball down the left sideline. Didn’t write down who the receiver was, but he beat Curtis Marsh. One of Barkley’s best downfield throws all camp.
Vick, meanwhile, throws a dart to Momah on the post between Jordan Poyer and Kenny Phillips. Pretty good day all around for the quarterbacks.
Also worth noting: This was easily Momah’s best day of practice.
2:09 – It’s a teach period, and I’ll admit I’m not paying much attention. Instead, reporters spend time ripping Jonathan Papelbon. This is fun.
2:13 – No Jason Peters once again today. It’s Todd Herremans–Danny Watkins–Jason Kelce–Evan Mathis–Lane Johnson from right to left. Watkins does a nice job getting to a defender on a wide receiver screen.
We’ve talked a lot about disguise on defense. On one play, safety Patrick Chung is up in the box, but turns around and sprints to get deep before the ball is snapped.
I’m not sure what just happened, but Boykin just sent Greg Salas to the ground with a two-handed shove at the end of the play. This wasn’t after the whistle. It was after Salas made a reception in front of Boykin. The second-year corner seems to be taking the whole “practice like you play” thing very seriously. Not sure if Salas enjoyed though.
Chris Polk with another nice run. He’s quietly having a pretty good camp and has certainly performed better than Felix Jones up to this point.
2:28 – Kelce took it easy on the knee at the end of practice, but Kelly said it was no big deal. Taking his place at center is Julian Vandervelde. That backup center spot seems to be open between Dallas Reynolds, Vandervelde and Matt Tennant.
It also looks like Brandon Graham is rotating in with Trent Cole at right outside linebacker with the first team on this drill – something we had not seen previously.
Interesting nickel package here. The Eagles are going with three safeties: Chung in the slot on Ertz; Nate Allen and Earl Wolff are playing deep.
Another Momah highlight: He makes an adjustment against Trevard Lindley on a deep pass from Foles for a 50-yard touchdown. The fans love it. And so do Momah’s teammates. James Casey runs over to congratulate him, as do his fellow wide receivers.
2:37 – Another week in the books. We’ll be back at it Sunday.