Running Diary: Eagles Practice Observations
Here’s what we saw during today’s Eagles practice session.
11:51 a.m. – I have joked before about being the lone passenger on the Marcus Smith bandwagon, but I swear that watching him move in practice, he looks like an NFL player. He’s long, athletic, and effort doesn’t seem to be an issue.
Maybe after being ping-ponged from outside linebacker to inside linebacker, it was the mental part that tripped him up last season. We’ll see if that’s the case once the pads come on.
By the way, speaking of the outside linebacker spot, Vinny Curry is getting some reps there, according to Chip Kelly. We know Curry can get after the passer, and he should have no problem setting the edge in the run game. But the question will be whether he can drop into coverage.
12:08 p.m. – Nas’ Life’s a [expletive] is blaring from the speakers today. This seems like a good time to break out the #growthmindset hash tag.
Rookie JaCorey Shepherd got his hands on a lot of passes today. During one 7-on-7 rep, he stuck with Zach Ertz on a corner route and broke up the pass. It’s very early, but he’s had some nice moments this spring.
12:15 – Mark Sanchez throws a nice ball to Riley Cooper on a deep out in between Mychal Kendricks and a safety. I buy the narrative that Sanchez has looked much better this spring. The key with him continues to be in-game decision-making. And I’m in “believe it when I see it” mode there.
Nelson Agholor drops a deep ball from Tim Tebow over the middle and is not happy with himself.
Until a couple months ago, I hadn’t heard Lil Wayne’s Go DJ in probably a decade. But between Boomitis and Eagles practice, it’s back in the rotation, and we’re all better for it.
Josh Huff comes down with a catch on a deep crosser from Sanchez and accelerates towards the end zone. He’s flashed a little more the past couple of days.
Another nice play from Shepherd, who jumps in front of Darren Sproles on a crosser and forces a Matt Barkley interception.
12:27 – Funny moment here. The horn sounds for special teams practice, and Sanchez, Barkley and Tebow take off in full sprints to an adjacent field.
Poor Bradford. He’s with them in spirit, but jogs slowly behind the pack.
The quarterbacks said up an apparatus that looks like a soccer goal on the left side of the field between the hash and the sideline. A ballboy stands behind it as the receiver. The QBs are presumably practicing deep outs or corner routes, which require enough elevation to get above underneath defenders.
12:35 – When DeSean Jackson and Evan Mathis got released, not many teammates spoke up supporting them. I think if Connor Barwin ever gets released/traded, there may be a funeral-like ceremony. That’s a guy everyone seems to love.
While others participate in special teams practice, Barwin goes one-on-one vs. a tackling dummy, practicing pass-rush moves.
12:37 – During 7-on-7s, Bradford throws a beautiful ball to Brent Celek on a corner route in the red zone. It drops right in his hands as Jaylen Watkins can’t make a play on the ball.
Sanchez finds Sproles on a shallow crosser for a touchdown. Later, he hits Agholor for a TD in between defenders.
Cooper does a nice job coming back to the ball on a deep out from Bradford and makes the grab in front of Nolan Carroll.
When Tebow gets his shot, Intern Tucker breaks out the stop watch.
“He held the ball for six seconds,” Tucker says.
And that was probably the quickest release he showed during this period.
12:52 – During 11-on-11s, Agholor beats Eric Rowe on the fade in the end zone. Nice ball from Barkley for the touchdown.
12:58 – Smith comes off the edge to “sack” Barkley. C’mon, I told you, there’s still room on the bandwagon. Anyone? Anyone??
1:05 – Ertz makes the catch of the day, reaching up between Brandon Boykin and Kendricks to haul in a pass down the seam from Sanchez.
I enjoyed this comment from friend of the blog, Jason:
@Jeff_McLane I’m looking forward to being frustrated that he’s not being targeted enough.
— Jason Hutt (@jhutt75) June 17, 2015
On the last play of practice, G.J. Kinne reaches up to make a nice grab on a deep out from Tebow. Jordan Matthews and Lane Johnson erupt on the sideline before running onto the field to congratulate him.
1:15 – That’s a wrap. We’re back at it one more time tomorrow before taking a break prior to training camp.