For much of the spring and summer, Nate Allen has occupied the starting safety spot opposite Malcolm Jenkins. On Wednesday, though, it was Earl Wolff running with the ones.
“I saw it this morning,” said Wolff, speaking about the depth chart. “I don’t think too much of it. I just went in there, made a couple plays.”
“I thought he did well,” added Jenkins. “As far as communications he was loud, he was on point, he thought before the play. I know they’re going to be continuously rotating — even I was with the twos a couple practices ago — it’s good for him to get that exposure, those reps, and I’m watching the competition just like you guys.”
Wolff looks fully recovered from the knee injury that kept him out of action down the stretch last season. He has flashed at times early on in camp. The most notable play came at Lincoln Financial Field on Monday, where he broke on a pass intended for Arrelious Benn along the sidelines and extended himself to come up with the deflection. The second year safety out of N.C. State is still a work in progress, but seems to be coming along.
“I feel real comfortable with everything,” said Wolff. “When it comes to my press technique, when it comes to my zone drops. I feel like last year I got out-leveraged a couple times. I feel like I’ve been doing a great job of getting width and depth at the same time. Every day I watch film, I write my corrections down and then I work on them the next day, and I feel like that’s what’s really getting me better.”
Jenkins was asked for his take on the two men fighting for the spot next to him.
“Nate is a veteran. He knows what he’s doing, he’s in the right place at the right time. I think what everyone wants to see is him just cut it loose,” he said. “Last year because he was the veteran he had to get guys lined up and that kind of slowed down his progression but I think this year playing next to me where you’ve got two veterans that can make calls, you want to see him cut it loose.
“Earl is a young player that has a lot of talent. Everything he’s done thus far has been off of raw talent and his athleticism. He just has to learn the game when it comes to being loud and decisive with his calls, knowing what offenses are giving him. And that all comes with time. You have two different dynamics but they’re both great players and I know whoever ends up on that other side is going to be more than capable of getting the job done.”
Defense comes alive
The defense did not register a single interception through the first three training camp practices. Good for the quarterbacks, not so good for this Eagles secondary, who were starting to hear about it.
“Yeah I know y’all was talking about us yesterday — three days without an interception and stuff like that,” said Cary Williams. “So we relayed the message, me and Jenk [Jenkins] and we got to it today.”
They got four of them, to be exact. Jenkins had a pair of picks and both Williams and Brandon Boykin grabbed one each. Mark Sanchez was intercepted twice while Nick Foles and Matt Barkley were both picked once.
“You know they’re going to come back tomorrow ready to go and are going to make adjustments,” said Jenkins. “It’s got to be an ongoing thing.”
While the secondary made a bunch of big plays, it should also be noted that Jordan Matthews did as well. His best practice as an Eagle, in my opinion. Just all over the place.
Bennie Logan (hamstring) returned to practice. Riley Cooper (foot), Chris Polk (hamstring) and Julian Vandervelde (back) all sat out. Chip Kelly said he expects everyone to be back within the next few days.