Running Diary: Eagles Practice Observations

Paul Turner. (USA Today Sports)

Paul Turner. (USA Today Sports)

Here’s what we saw at today’s training camp practice from NovaCare:

8:05 — All right, injuries: Jordan Matthews, Malcolm Jenkins, Jason Peters, Wendell Smallwood, Mike Martin and JaCorey Shepherd are all sidelined. Matthews could miss 2-4 weeks with a bone bruise, per Les Bowen.  

Sounds like the rough stuff is over. Doug Pederson will not be doing any more live drills (tackling to the ground) for the rest of training camp, though it seems that’s more by design than a direct response to the current injury report. Either way, it was fun while it lasted.

8:15 — Brett Brown and Bryan Colangelo are here. They’re chatting it up with Howie Roseman and director of football administration Jake Rosenberg. I like to think the conversation is exclusively about Dario Saric’s block against Spain yesterday and its impact on all of our lives. Brown has some strong offseason scruff going on right now, by the way. Thinking he should go full beard this year to signify the step forward in the process.

8:20 — Ryan Mathews (6-0, 220) says that he didn’t add any weight this season, but he’s a little more rocked up than I remember. Here he is attached to one of those giant rubber bands with he 5-6, 190-pound Darren Sproles playing the role of resisting force.

We haven’t seen Mathews go full-tilt yet, and there’s the obvious injury concerns with him, but I agree with Frank Reich‘s assessment that Mathews has looked “explosive” in the moments when he’s revved it up out here.

9:05 — 4-on-4s. Josh Huff starts things off on a good note with an over-the-shoulder grab on a ball from Sam Bradford. Cayleb Jones follows with a juggling catch over the middle.

Jalen Mills lines up across from Nelson Agholor and is all over the receiver (he may have gotten there early) as Chase Daniel‘s pass falls incomplete.  Curious to see how Mills fares in the preseason game. He carries himself like he belongs at this level and to this point, his play has backed that up.

9:10 — Rueben Randle snags one from Daniel along the right sideline. Carson Wentz jumps in and fires a nice ball to David Watford on a corner route. Wentz looks for Randle on the next play but the pass is broken up by Ron Brooks.

We’ve reached the Paul Turner portion of the program. Wentz finds PT deep for the score down the middle.  “Connection for years to come,” says the excitable Paunil. This time it’s Bradford to Turner, who bats the ball to himself for the completion.

Turner has been catching just about everything thrown his way and has gotten work in the slot with the first team in Matthews’ absence. He’s positioned himself well entering the first preseason game.

9:18 — Chris Givens has a would-be catch broken up by Denzel Rice down the left side. Huff finishes the period off strong for the offense with a grab deep down the right side with Randall Evans tight in coverage.

9:26 — 11-on-11s. Doug Pederson has the team playing a lot of situational ball. Here they are working on the two-minute offense. Still aways out from the end zone with time running down on the game clock, Bradford throws a “Hail Mary” that falls incomplete. Can’t watch one of those without hearing the retiring Tom Jackson screaming, “Knock it down!”

9:30 — Mychal Kendricks is spotted heading inside. Pederson says later that it’s a sore hamstring.

9:40 — With Peters out, Matt Tobin continues to man the left tackle spot with the first team. Pederson says he wants to make sure Lane Johnson is comfortable with what they’re doing on the right side, but seems to feel good about what Tobin has shown him at LT  as well.

So the plan at this point would be to go with Tobin at left tackle if Peters isn’t available?

“I think so,” Pederson replied. “There’s a bunch of combinations. It’s hard to predict exactly what would happen scenario-wise…I can’t get into the what-ifs at this time, but what you’re seeing right now has worked extremely well through camp.”

10:01 — Bradford finds Agholor open down the left side and throws an on-point pass. No. 17 bobbles it twice before finally brining it in, and screams an expletive in frustration. Brooks adds a little levity to the situation by knocking the ball out of the receiver’s hands well after the play, drawing laughs.

A few moments later, Bradford connects with Givens along the sideline. Rodney McLeod was roaming, though, and in a normal situation that throw/catch would have been costly.

10:15 — A familiar sight here: Bradford waits a beat before flicking a short pass to Zach Ertz on a tight end screen. As Ertz makes his way up the field, there’s Jason Kelce in full sprint several paces ahead, bulldozing a path. A reminder of the benefit of having such an athletic center.

That’s it for today. A player’s day off tomorrow and just a walkthrough Wednesday in front of Thursday’s preseason opener against the Bucs.