Eagles Training Camp Day 16 Observations: Catch of the Summer - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Eagles Training Camp Day 16 Observations: Catch of the Summer

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    Eagles Training Camp Day 16 Observations: Catch of the Summer
    CSNPhilly.com
    Eagles training camp Day 16 observations: Catch of the Summer

    After a cloudy day to start the weekend, the Eagles were under the hot sun on Sunday.

    The Eagles will have two more practices before Wednesday's walk-through and Thursday's game against the Bills at home.

    Observation time:

    1. *Clears throat* injuries: Add Fletcher Cox to the injury report. The Eagles' superstar defensive tackle missed practice on Sunday with back spasms. He didn't even come out to the field.

    Nick Foles (elbow), Bryce Treggs (sore legs), Paul Turner (shoulder), Wendell Smallwood (hamstring), Ron Brooks (hamstring), Josh Andrews (hand), Halapoulivaati Vaitai (knee), Brandon Brooks (ankle) and Anthony Denham (calf) all missed practice again.

    Offensive tackle Dillon Gordon (hand) missed the beginning of the day but returned later and even participated in team drills.

    2. New cornerback Ronald Darby took the field for the first time with the Eagles on Sunday. He was a spectator at practice on Saturday because Jordan Matthews hadn't yet taken his physical in Buffalo so the trade wasn't complete.

    The Eagles didn't waste time throwing Darby right into the mix. He worked with the first unit during group install and again in 11-on-11s. He was on his normal left side as the team let him compete in man coverage. He looked good.

    In 11-on-11s, Nelson Agholor made a great catch in front of him but Darby had good coverage. In 7-on-7s, he went up against Alshon Jeffery. The two got tangled and Jeffery came down with the ball. Still, Darby looked good. He even showed that closing speed earlier in the day when he was covering Mack Hollins on a dig route.

    3. Trey Burton made the catch of training camp during an 11-on-11 period. Matt McGloin's pass was deflected by Mychal Kendricks but somehow, Burton made a spinning, left-handed catch as he was moving away from the ball. It drew some gasps from his teammates and the fans in attendance. It also drew a look of "are you kidding me?" from a grimacing Kendricks.

    "It was luck, bro," Burton said. "Just threw my hand out there."

    It was a little more than luck. Great concentration from Burton, who could have a big role in the offense this season.

    4. Jim Schwartz used a bunch of combinations at corner on Sunday. Darby and Jalen Mills began the day as the starters with Aaron Grymes in the slot. Then Patrick Robinson had some time in the slot before moving outside. Then Malcolm Jenkins went into the slot and Corey Graham came in to replace him at safety. Without Ron Brooks, who is the top slot corner, Schwartz is moving guys around trying to find the best combination.

    5. During a 1-on-1 drill, Kendricks was roasted by Darren Sproles. Really, it was unfair. Sproles pulled a super quick double move and put about five yards of separation between him and Kendricks as he ran down the sideline and caught the pass that was lofted in.

    6. Overall, the defense won the day. That happens sometimes during training camp. One side of the ball just clearly outperforms the other. A part of that was that Carson Wentz wasn't very sharp for the second day in a row. Not anything to worry about, but that's just the truth. And after that, the team has McGloin and Dane Evans. By the way, Evans has been the better of the two.

    7. Corey Clement blocked Joe Walker during a blocking drill and Duce Staley was pumped. He jumped into the air to chest bump Clement in celebration. Often pass protection is what keeps rookies off football teams and off the field. At least Clement is willing. In those same drills, LeGarrette Blount couldn't stop Kendricks, who blew past him.

    8. In offensive line vs. defensive line drills, Chance Warmack struggled to block Justin Hamilton and Gabe Wright. That's not a good sign, especially after Warmack didn't have a very good game in the preseason opener. Warmack has been getting a lot of coaching from O-line coach Jeff Stoutland. Right now, Warmack is the starting right guard while Brooks deals with his ankle injury, but it's far to wonder if the team wouldn't be better with Stefen Wisniewski in there.

    9. In those same 1-on-1 drills, Tim Jernigan pulled off a lightning-quick inside spin move. For some guys, that same spin move seems to take forever and they expose their backs to the offensive lineman for too long. Then, that move can end in disaster. But with Jernigan, it happens so quick, the lineman can't react fast enough.

    10. Even after cutting Marcus Smith a while back, the Eagles have some decent depth at defensive end. Recently, last year's seventh-round pick Alex McCalister has been playing better and Steven Means has been consistent too. The team goes six deep at end: Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry, Chris Long, Derek Barnett, McCalister and Means. As McCalister comes on, the coaching staff might have a tough decision when it's time to cut down to 53 players.

    Stupid Observation of the Day: Walker shaved his beard and is probably about five pounds lighter because of it. He no longer looks like football Jesus.