Running Diary: Eagles Practice Observations


Here’s what we saw during today’s session.

12:27 – The view for reporters during these practices at the Linc is great. So we start today with videos of a couple running back drills you’ve seen before, but maybe not this up close. You’ll notice the emphasis on making defenders miss at the second level.

12:32 – A piece of paper from the notebook of Inquirer reporter Zach Berman just fell to the ground and flew onto the field past the area where media are allowed to go.

A security guard picked it up after a few seconds. Can you imagine if a player would have slipped? We could have had an LD/Shaq situation on our hands:

12:35 – During the 3-on-2 portion, Josh Huff delivers a great effort on a jump ball down the left sideline, but Curtis Marsh breaks it up. One thing that stands out with Huff: the way he competes for the football. I’m looking forward to seeing him in the preseason.

12:43 – It’s special teams time, but we keep our attention on the quarterbacks working off to the side. They take turns fielding shotgun snaps, reacting to fake pressure from their left, shuffling to their right and then throwing off their back foot.

We’ve covered this before, but new QBs coach Bill Musgrave uses a baseball glove to field throws at practice. From my vantage point, it looks like a black and tan Rawlings. I was a Mizuno man myself, back in the day.

12:55 – During 7-on-7s, Cary Williams stands on the sideline with his helmet in hand. He did not participate in team drills today. While many wondered whether he was being disciplined for his comments about the Patriots, Williams said after practice that he was just experiencing some general soreness.

Jordan Matthews flashes nice hands on an out-breaking route, reaching up and snagging a Mark Sanchez pass while keeping his feet in bounds. As Matthews sprints upfield, the crowd goes nuts.

What I’m convinced of with Matthews: He can get open and catch a lot of balls on short and intermediate routes. What I need to see: That he can get vertical and beat man coverage down the field.

We’ve wondered in this space why Matthews doesn’t get more reps against the ones. Chip Kelly provided an answer today.

“The one thing you don’t want to do with anybody is just throw them out there and then he doesn’t know what he’s doing,” Kelly said. “A lot of the scripting that goes on in terms of play calls, the play calls are different for the ones and the twos and the threes. It’s not ‑ doesn’t matter who is in there right now. We are trying to give those guys a chance to be successful, give them confidence and get their feet underneath them a little bit.

“You can call certain things with our ones, but because they have all been here before, by and large, they have been running with that group right now, so they are pretty comfortable doing it and you can dial up any play you want. But if it’s something that we touch base on in practice but we have not gotten back to and now we are in practice seven or eight, it may not be as quick for him on the recall standpoint. So we are just trying to get him as many reps, get him on film, let him get an understanding of what we are doing. He’s doing a great job of learning but you’ll eventually see that as he continues to improve here.”

There you go.

The Eagles continue to work on a dime look with four corners, two safeties and Mychal Kendricks as the lone linebacker. I’ve said it before, but this seems like an excellent option in third-and-long situations, especially if Nolan Carroll II continues to play well.

1:00 – During 7-on-7s, LeSean McCoy practically incites a riot by tossing the football into the stands. He later runs by and stops to say hello to a female fan who looks like she’s about to faint and does the whole “I’m fanning myself with my hand” thing.

I thought McManus was going to have to put his CPR skills to use there, but she avoided passing out.

1:19 – During one-on-ones, Ifeanyi Momah separates from Brandon Boykin on a go route and makes the grab on a beautiful throw from Nick Foles. I still don’t think Momah makes the squad, but clearly he has improved.

Undrafted free agent Quron Pratt makes a fantastic diving grab while keeping his feet in bounds on a back shoulder throw near the sideline.

Later, undrafted free agent Kadron Boone draws a huge ovation for his double move against Marsh, but he drops the ball, which results in an even louder roar from the fans.

1:32 – Foles held on to the ball quite a bit today.. During this drill, he takes a sack.

Darren Sproles beats Bryan Braman on a wheel route from Sanchez. Matthews then makes a nice grab from Sanchez down the seam.

The catch of the day goes to B.J. Cunningham. Tremendous effort on a 50/50 ball downfield against Marsh. He ended up coming down with the pass from Barkley for a touchdown.

1:44 – Malcolm Jenkins, a former corner, has impressed me with his man coverage skills this camp. Looking forward to seeing if that translates to games.

1:57 – Boykin vs. Momah again. This time, Boykin’s all over him, racing ahead in hopes of an interception. But Momah shoves him from behind to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Huff makes a great adjustment on a ball from Sanchez downfield. The crowd goes nuts, and the offense starts moving to the new line of scrimmage. But Kelly calls it back. Apparently he didn’t have both feet in bounds.

On the last play of the day, Brent Celek gets past Connor Barwin in man coverage and comes down with the TD from Foles in the corner of the end zone.

The Eagles will be at NovaCare Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week. We’ll have it all covered.

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  • damrvrhunter

    “During one-on-ones, Ifeanyi Momah separates from Brandon Boykin on a go route and makes the grab on a beautiful throw from Nick Foles. I still don’t think Momah makes the squad, …” Really Sheil, really. You cant just let us dream huh.

  • Tom w

    At wr – maclin cooper Matthews huff are a definite. Brad smith probably because he can play inside or outside. If we keep six we are looking at Maehl (don’t see any upside) or momah. He probably gets stolen off of the practice squad. Id keep him on the 53 especially since we already have numerous special teams “aces” like smith, maragos, and Braman. Maragos and Braman cost about a million each if we cut them so I expect they make the team (hopefully not over an upside young guy like Travis long or Reynolds or momah). Momah looked good today … Went up and over Boykin on the sideline. Got a couple short balls. Nice stride and didn’t look robotic like last year. Carmichael was in his ear all practice and went nutz when he got that deep ball. Do we really need four special teams guys (Braman maragos smith and Maehl) if we have young guys like Polk smith Goode Allen huff Boykin who are all good steamers.

    • RIP illa

      You forgot Matthews (C) and Phillips in your ST Ace count. Yeah…It’s really overkill right now for those guys who give you very very little or nothing at all on the field.

      • Rick H

        Kelly really believes in great special teams play and the Eagles haven’t had it in years. So everyone of those guys are important. LB Mathews will be replaced. Pre season will sort out the Wide Receivers.
        If one guy stands out after Maclin,Cooper,Mathews, Huff & Brad Smith then that player will make the 53. Otherwise the practice squad will probably carry 2 WR’s.

  • aub32

    3 things that stood out to me:

    Kelce is jacked. I think he may have accidentally been sipping from Lane’s water bottle

    Matthews did enough to make me see what some of the hype is about. I’m really looking forward to seeing him take advantage of the open field space that avant couldn’t capitalize on.

    Not a good day for Foles. He threw a pick and held onto the ball way too often. I’m hoping he was just having an off day.

    • were you there today?

      curious how Ertz looked as well, did the TEs do any 1-on-1 blocking?

      and any chance you saw some other OL? depth sure is scary now…

      • aub32

        I didn’t catch any of the blocking. I was on the far end of the field. Styx did have one decent grab with plenty of space to run after. He also had what appeared to be a drop though I’m not sure it was a catchable ball.

        I saw most of the WR/RB stuff. Shady and Sproles both looked really good. I think we may see Sproles carry the ball more than expected.

        • excellent, thanks. I enjoyed making the trek up there for a TC practice last year, glad to see they still put on a good show! and 25K for TC practice, sheesh….I mean we’re talking about practice here

          • aub32

            Lmao. Yea with only 3 open practices there seemed to be a lot more people than last year. I hope they go back to having more open practices. It’s sort of tough to make when there are so few.

          • dnabrice

            Sounded like there were lots of scheduling conflicts, which made it tougher this year.

  • Rick H

    Sheil, great reporting of today’s practice but an even better article filled with some really funny stuff!

  • Rockedupeaglesfan

    I was there today. I was the “rocked-up” 190 LB guy (not really, just love that expression) with my 3 year old son and my father, all of us wearing kelly green. Didn’t notice me? Not surprising considering there were way more people than I expected. It was a fun atmosphere. I was in the North endzone, where the lineman were working.
    1. Lane looks impressive in stature and mobility. I was surprised or maybe forgot how big Taylor Hart was.
    2. One thing missed from the Lehigh days and my childhood memories of a West Chester, is the ability to move around to different areas and see different units. You can move around but it’s not the same.
    3. Also, TC was the only real chance to see these guys on field level and really get perspective of how immense they are.
    4. I thought catch of the day went to J-Matthews about 2-3 periods before Momah’s catch. Maybe it just seemed bigger because Spadero grabbed the mic and pointed out what a great catch it was, coupled with Matthews existing hype.
    5. The music got a little annoying.

  • Chris Jones

    Is it just me or does it seen like foles hasn’t been that great so far in camp? All I keep hearing is he’s been “good” or had an ok day”. Kinda makes me nervous but it’s only this kids second season so lets be patient.

    • ztom6

      Foles didn’t look that great this time last year. He seemed to be ahead of Vick until the pads came on, then he started to struggle a bit. This year, pretty much the same thing.

    • tomw

      Someone asked Buddy Ryan one time why had Mike Quick not caught a pass all pre season . Buddy’s answer was “I know he can catch” So relax. And it is Foles 3rd year.

  • PhillyPhil

    Sheil, Mizuno? Seriously? You gotta go Rawlings Pro Preferred, man.