Running Diary: Eagles Practice Observations
The Eagles returned to the NovaCare for a morning practice. Here’s what we saw:
9:15 — Looks like it’s going to be a lighter day for the boys. Doug Pederson said the plan was to go three days on, one day off with pads, but it’s the third day and the pads are off. We’re living in a world of lies.
Not great news for the select fans gathered here at the NovaCare, but the players seem to be in good spirits. Ron Brooks in particular has some bounce in his step early. He’s having so much fun, in fact, that he temporarily loses focus of the task at hand.
Ron Brooks a little too into the groove, doesn't realize it's his turn. pic.twitter.com/ushzKkyOkT
— Tim McManus (@Tim_McManus) August 1, 2016
Wonder how that will look on Helmet Cam.
9:46 — I was surprised to read Peter King’s assessment of Rueben Randle, that “he’s the fourth receiver at best here, and he may not make the 53-man roster.”
Maybe King sniffed something out during his time in Philly, but that hasn’t been my read. I think he’s been the second-best receiver at camp so far behind Jordan Matthews. Especially given the lack of proven firepower at the position, I don’t see why he can’t carve out a role on this team.
The 25-year-old came up with a pretty one-handed grab at the open practice yesterday and is off to a good start today. Chase Daniel connects with Randle on an out down the left side of the field. Moments later, Carson Wentz finds him in the back of the end zone, and Randle makes a leaping catch for the touchdown over Eric Rowe.
“Pretty good feedback [from the coaches so far],” said Randle. “I’ve just got to continue to get better, fix my mistakes. We’re all still fresh in this offense so we’re going to make mistakes but it’s all about getting better and not making those mistakes again.”
9:52 — Wentz hooks up with Trey Burton, who makes an athletic catch of his own versus Chris Maragos. Wentz then zips one out to Chris Pantale along the right side, but the tight end drops it.
10:03 — Taking in a special teams period with John McMullen. He points out the talent the Eagles have at punt returner. Darren Sproles, Randle, Nelson Agholor and Leodis McKelvin are all back there fielding kicks. Sproles gets under one and darts through oncoming traffic. It’s fun to see a fan’s reaction to watching Sproles live for the first time. First they comment on the size, then they witness the crazy quickness, and the size is forgotten.
10:11 — Zach Berman and others notice Jason Peters hobbling off the field before having his ankle checked. Probably not the last hold your breath moment fans will go through this year with the veteran tackle. Looks like no big deal this time, as he ends up returning before long.
10:13 — It’s another “10-10-10” practice today, meaning there will be periods where the offense or defense will be working with rather than competing against the other side of the ball to give a desired look. That may explain why Wentz just tossed a pass right into the chest of Rodney McLeod with no receiver in the area.
Regardless, Wentz follows that up a couple beats later with a perfect strike to Zach Ertz on a deep crosser.
“I think he’s showed each and every day, there’s one or two throws here and there that kind of [make you] go, ‘Wow’. Sam [Bradford] has the same ones here and there, but I think for a kid that new to the league, it kind of sticks out,” said Ertz.
10:34 — Nolan Carroll is getting the first team reps at corner opposite McKelvin today. Seems like his ankle/leg is doing OK after leaving early with soreness the other day. Still no Brandon Brooks or Ryan Mathews. They’re expected to be back later in the week.
10:40 — We’ve made some progress on the water ice front. Josh goes with the mango today, and seems to be turning into a Rita’s believer. It hurts my soul a little bit that he has yet to try Wawa, but he tells us that’s next on the list. The effort continues to help our troubled youth.
10:47 — McLeod Bethel-Thompson is getting reps at long last. Unfortunately, it’s in the name of helping the defense in a “10-10-10” portion. He throws a pick to McLeod and a pair to Eric Rowe, and he has little choice in the matter. Such is the life of a No. 4 quarterback, I guess.
A day off for the squad tomorrow. Practice resumes on Wednesday at NovaCare.