Running Diary: Eagles Practice Observations

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Unfortunately, the Eagles were on practice field No. 3 today. The sight lines made it impossible to see certain portions of practice, so this is a slightly abbreviated version of what we saw.

11:46 – During the first part of practice, the quarterbacks take turns throwing to the different positional groups. First the running backs, then the wide receivers. The session with the tight ends comes in the red zone. After they throw their passes, the QBs sprint to the end zone and back. Conditioning is built into everything this team does.

There is a Dunkin’ Donuts cruiser here at camp today. This may be the most controversial take I’ve ever had, but their coffee is borderline undrinkable without sugar. And if ordered with sugar, it pretty much turns into a dessert, not a warm, caffeinated beverage.

I prefer bitter coffee with just a splash of milk, although I’m not as picky if we’re talking iced. Just wanted to make sure I got the important stuff out of the way.

11:58 – A fan next to me watches the deep balls. He doesn’t like what he sees out of Mark Sanchez and actually goes through a rifle motion while yelling: “Boom boom! That’s a duck, Sanchez!”

At this point, I put his chances of not getting kicked out of practice at 20 percent.

James Casey makes a grab and raises his arms for a touchdown. Then the tight ends work on double moves – selling the corner route before cutting it back in for the post. Tight ends coach Ted Williams keeps his eye on the players’ feet and makes sure they sell the first part of the route before hitting the post.

12:25 – During 7-on-7s, rookie Jaylen Watkins breaks up a pass. I didn’t notice him much in the spring, but he’s flashed the past couple of days.

Emmanuel Acho breaks up a pass. He had a good day today. Nolan Carroll II jumps a Jordan Matthews route and intercepts G.J. Kinne. I don’t mean to go overboard with the Carroll hype, but he’s really looked good.

Jason Kelce is walking around with his jersey rolled up and his mid-section exposed. My 22-month-old daughter sometimes gets belly button-obsessed and sports this look. Kelce said afterwards he wanted to go belly to belly with rookie nose tackle Beau Allen.

12:44 – The Eagles are not required to provide any injury information until Week 1, but I can tell you who’s participating and who’s not. Riley Cooper and Jeff Maehl are both in walking boots. Earl Wolff is out for the second consecutive day. No Julian Vandervelde and no Chris Polk.

Also: Jeremy Maclin was not a full participant today. He was out there in pads and was a part of the one-on-one sessions, but took a knee during team drills.

12:47 – I have a great view during one-on-ones. For the second day in a row, Malcolm Jenkins runs step for step with Matthews on a corner route.

The officials are here and are throwing a lot of flags. Contact downfield is a big emphasis this year. Cary Williams gets beat by Maclin. With his back to the line of scrimmage, he hits Maclin before the ball arrives and is whistled for pass interference.

Jenkins-Matthews again. This time, Matthews is whistled for offensive pass interference for pushing off.

1:04 – During the 7-on-7 period, Josh Huff make a nice sliding grab near the sideline from Sanchez. Good insight from Pat Shurmur yesterday when asked about Huff.

“He walked in here thinking, ‘Hey, I know this offense,’ ” Shurmur said. “He’ll be the first one to tell you there are a lot of things that have changed and been added from what he did at Oregon, which he just really had to do. We see a lot more defense. We see a lot more man coverage in the NFL than they did in college. So we’ve got a lot of the traditional things in the passing game that you would run at this level.

“So that kind of shocked him I think initially that this isn’t exactly what we did at Oregon, but he settled in. He’s done extremely well. He competes every day. He’s very good against bump and run. He’s a strong, physical body. He almost looks like a running back because he’s kind of a powerful type guy. And he’s doing a good job.”

That’s been a theme this summer. Kelly’s offenses at Oregon did not face nearly as much man coverage as his Eagles team did.

1:15 – The Eagles’ offense starts off backed up at its own 2 during the team period. Cedric Thornton makes a nice play against the run on first down.

“Nice job!” yells defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro. But even when he’s complimenting guys, he sounds angry.

Nick Foles gets Trent Cole to jump offsides. And when I say jump, I mean jump – as in leaping over the offensive line. Chip Kelly gets a laugh out of that one.

When the threes get up, Acho bursts into the backfield for a safety on a run play.

With the ones, Foles finds Arrelious Benn on a back shoulder throw against Williams.

Later, Williams delivers a forearm shimmy to Benn on a crossing route.

1:28 – My view is blocked, and there’s nowhere I can go to see anything, but I can tell you that the Inquirer’s Zach Berman knows how to conjugate verbs in Latin.

This is what happens when sportswriters get bored.

Off day tomorrow and then back at it from the Linc on Sunday.

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  • Andy Six Score and Four

    Zach “The Latin Conjugator” Berman. Has a nice ring to it.

    Hear Foles completed like 15 in a row after a pick on his first toss. Good deal. Can’t wait for the games!

    • Johnny Domino

      So today’s trip to camp was a conjugal visit?

      • Kelce’s Beard

        boy, that would be uncomfortable with Chip emphasizing increased tempo and Azz yelling at you to be more violent.

  • peteike

    “#NFL officials talked to players today about rule changes. Reports are that defensive holding and PI calls will be more bountiful this yr” just read this tweet, really, as if the offense doesnt already have enough advantage.

    • aub32

      They don’t want another blowout Superbowl

      • cliff h-MOAR white goons

        how in the world will defense be able to cover Jordan of Nazereth without holding? it doesn’t matter, it just doesn’t matter…


        • Johnny Domino

          Huls was a CIT at Camp Mohawk.

    • anon

      You know B. Fletcher might as well sit the bench for this. That’s been his biggest knock the whole time.

  • John

    I’m really sorry about this Sheil, I hate to do this to you because I love your work, but internet law dictates that when someone says something like “There coffee is undrinkable”, someone has to respond by saying “Your an idiot.”

    • peteike

      More funny than mean, I can dig

    • magicmikec

      Are you being a grammar nazi or just don’t agree with the sentiment?

      • OldDuckMcDoc

        Neither! He’s using Sheil’s typo to poke fun at not smart people who attempt to be grammar Nazis.

        • magicmikec

          I’m the idiot who missed the “your” :) Makes my post look rather silly. I’m on it now, thanks ODR!

          • suthrneagle


    • OldBill1934

      “There coffee is” rather than “Their coffee is”?

      • DoctorRick

        Its supposed to be they’re coffee.

        • Explorer51

          Then you’d be calling them coffee…

    • sdk152

      Yikes! That was a bad one! Thanks for the heads-up, John. Fixed. -SK

    • 370HSSV 0773H

      To make someone feel better when they’ve made a grammatical error, I pat them on the back and say, their, there, they’re!

    • TheLastQuarterTurn

      I drink black coffee and can confirm, Dunkin Donuts coffee is horrible without sugar. I drink still have to drink it to get that fix, but damn.

      • TheLastQuarterTurn

        Oh… just got it. *headslap*

  • Javi Echie

    Nice to hear Jaylen Watkins is doing his thing with the pads on.

  • Heemy224

    I haven’t anticipated a preseason game like this since…..well since last years first preseason game.

    Looking forward to Air Jordan Mathews and Golden Nolan Carroll the most

  • Soybot

    Leave the complaining about coffee to less talented writers, like that hack Peter King.

  • John E. Zang

    I think they’re being extra cautious with injuries. Something tells me they monitor these guys bodies better than anyone with the sports science and all. They take every preventive measure which is a big difference from Andy’s smash mouth camp that ended in a laundry list of guys on IR.

  • PaoliBulldog

    Once I moved to NOLA all other coffees were revealed to be tepid brown dishwater. Order yourself some coffee with chicory: Cafe du Monde, Community or French Market. You’re welcome.

    • DirtyWaters

      Chicory makes everything better.

  • TheLastQuarterTurn

    Something strikes me as odd about the Wolff thing. I’ll bet whatever it is is embarrassing.

  • DirtyWaters

    SK- please don’t forget how good you have it. I know these practices can get mundane, but every single one of us would love to be at field 3, drinking bad coffee, eating subpar water ice and conjugating latin verbs…even if we did have to hang with staff and the occasion national media hack.

    • sdk152

      Not complaining at all! Love my job and don’t take it for granted. Didn’t mean to come off that way. Just trying to add some color to the scene at camp. -SK

      • DirtyWaters

        I know. You do a great job of setting the scene. I can almost smell the stale coffee and old pizza boxes in the press tent. I’m just jealous! Keep up the great work!

  • daggolden

    Is it me or is the theme so far this camp that the defense has been better than the offense thus far? Is that a good thing or a bad thing? I guess you cant win either way. The defense looks good or the offense looks bad. lol

    • wydok

      Doesn’t that always happen in TC?

      • daggolden

        I guess you didn’t watch the Eagles defense last year. So the answer is no.

  • Yes_General

    “With the ones, Foles finds Arrelious Benn on a back shoulder throw against Williams.” Can’t wait until the preseason. Eagles are finally learning from their mistakes against press coverage