Running Diary: Eagles Practice Observations
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.