Running Diary: Eagles Practice Observations

(Photo by: Jeff Fusco)

(Photo by: Jeff Fusco)

Here’s what we saw during today’s practice as OTAs were opened up once again to the media:

10:52 — The quarterbacks are getting loose. Doug Pederson told Sal Paolantonio that “all is good” between the QBs. “Great working relationship. Great dialogue between the guys,” he said. Here they are working side-by-side.

Jimmy Kempski points out that Carson Wentz‘s throws “are a little wobbly.” And he’s right. We do see some of that at times. Maybe just working through an adjustment.

11:06 — The offensive linemen are working on double-team drills. On this play Jason Kelce and Allen Barbre take on poor Bruce Johnson, who is holding one of of those black foam pads, and knock the rookie down to the ground, drawing “oohs” from the rest of the line group.

11:10 — Individual drills. Not a good sequence for the receivers. Josh Huff drops a pass. And then another. “Ahhh!” he screams. T.J. Graham lets one hit the turf. The quarterbacks are struggling some as well. Sam Bradford airmails Huff, then makes the same mistake on a pass to Paul Turner. Frank Reich quickly goes over to him to talk it over. Wentz misfires in the direction of Hunter Sharp.

11:15 — A good time to note the absences. Still no Fletcher Cox or Darren Sproles. Ryan Mathews was at the facility but was sent home because of illness. Rueben Randle recently underwent gall bladder surgery.

11:35 — Jim Schwartz is giving us a different look in the secondary today. Jalen Mills is getting some work with the first team on the outside (particularly in nickel situations) opposite Leodis McKelvin. And Jaylen Watkins is running with the ones at safety alongside Rodney McLeod. (Schwartz later explained that he wanted to get Mills some work against veteran receivers, and that we will continue to see a rotation at defensive back throughout the offseason.)

Jordan Hicks is participating after sitting out last Tuesday’s team drills with leg tightness. Kenjon Barner just found some daylight off the right side, and Hicks is not happy with himself as he runs off the field.

“I f___d that up. I f___d that all the way up,” he tells Schwartz.

11:47 — Bradford is starting to find his rhythm. Hits Nelson Agholor for a long gain, then zips one into Zach Ertz. Some nice throws out of Chase Daniel here as well. Connects with Chris Pantale in traffic, then throws a bullet to Wendell Smallwood over the middle.

12:00 — Wentz is up and down today. Here he throws a beauty to Chris Givens down the right sideline and then finds Jordan Matthews streaking up the middle. As is his custom, Matthews turns upfield and races 40 yards to the end zone, still running long after the play is over in everyone else’s eyes.

12:15 — We’re positioned on the same sideline as the players and coaches today, which is great because it lets us pick up on some of the interactions. Malcolm Jenkins sees the offense is in a personnel grouping that might give them some issues. He yells out the package number to Schwartz. After a beat, the defensive coordinator responds. “Stay in nickel. F__k ’em.”

“F__k ’em,” Jenkins relays. The following play is an incompletion.

12:17 — Daniel fires a strike to Jonathan Krause, who hauls in the pass, hits the deck, gets up and runs for the score. Schwartz and Cory Undlin are both heated, and call for Denzel Rice to be pulled from the action.

“I’m tired of seeing that s__t,” said Schwartz. “Touch him down!”

12:20 — A nice moment for Mills. The rookie is one-on-one with Matthews, and he leaps to break up a pass along the right sideline, drawing praise from the coaching staff. He’s handling his own up with the first unit today.

12:22 — Wentz gets tangled up with a lineman, trips, and unleashes a sidearm pass on his way to the ground that somehow makes it to Trey Burton. Rookie growing pains.

12:35 — Red zone drills. Wentz fires a “touchdown” to Pantale. As he rejoins the quarterbacks, Wentz and Bradford share a laugh and then a high five. Maybe Pederson is right. Maybe all is right in the quarterback world. For now.

That’s it for today. We’ll be back at it next Tuesday.