Eagles Training Camp Day 5 Observations: Alshon Jeffery Is ‘as Strong as He Looks'

It's really training camp now!

After four days of light workouts and a lot of standing around, there was something that actually resembled football happening on the fields at the NovaCare Complex. 

So unlike in past days where we had to stretch to come up with 10 observations, we have plenty to choose from after Friday morning. 

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Let's go: 

1. Alshon Jeffery is strong at the line of scrimmage. 

How strong? 

"As strong as he looks," cornerback Jalen Mills said after practice. "You see him walk around, he looks like a giant. That's exactly what he is. He looks bigger in pads. 

"He's definitely a physical guy at the line of scrimmage. You get up there and you say you're going to press him, you better have you mind right. He sees you so he's going to be strong with you."

Early in 7-on-7s, Mills tried to press Jeffery, who threw him off, creating just enough separation on a slant for Carson Wentz to drill a pass into his arms. It was a play that elicited cheers from the crowd. 

"He ended up getting inside on me," Mills said. "Iron sharpens iron. He got me that time, next time's going to be my time. I'm gonna get him. That's good work." 

2. We've heard so much about Jeffery's catch radius and it almost seemed like Wentz was testing it out on Friday. He threw one ball behind him and Jeffery snagged it. He threw another low and he snagged it. Finally, he threw one on his back shoulder that Jeffery nearly made a sensational bobbling catch on. It fell incomplete, but it's likely that Wentz's confidence in his new weapon is growing.  

3. While Jeffery had a really good day, Torrey Smith was even better. Plenty of folks have wondered if the 28-year-old has much left. On Friday, he looked plenty good, making several really nice catches. The first came on an absolute gem of a throw to Wentz. The others were against tight coverage. In 11-on-11s, Smith jumped in front of Mills and then Patrick Robinson on the next play. Smith showed the ability to come back to the ball, something the Eagles' receivers rarely did last season. 

4. Wentz had a good day on Friday. He clearly looks like the best quarterback in camp, which isn't a surprise, but is a good thing to see. He had a couple passes off target, but also had some absolute beauties. And his arm strength is at 100 percent. He fired some balls into the slot on Friday. 

While Wentz looked good on Friday, Nick Foles and Matt McGloin didn't have their best days. 

5. One of the Foles' passes was intercepted and returned the other way for what would have been a touchdown by Aaron Grymes. Looked like some miscommunication on the play. 

Foles also underthrew Shelton Gibson, who created some separation outside. It would have been a big confidence-booster for Gibson to haul in a long touchdown. 

While Foles didn't have a great day, he had one unassuming play that bodes well for the team. With veteran Najee Goode in coverage, Foles looked him off and dropped a pass down to the tight end. It doesn't sound like much, but it's the kind of play a quarterback with experience can make. Foles has much more experience than last year's backup, Chase Daniel. 

6. Deep reserve wide receiver David Watford pulled off an impressive double move and roasted Patrick Robinson for a touchdown down the sideline. That's not a great sign for the Eagles' starting cornerback. 

7. It seems like we mention Donnel Pumphrey every day, but here goes another one. On Friday, the Eagles ran a bubble screen to the left where they had a bunch formation with Jeffery, Smith and Pumphrey. I'd expect to see them use this during the year. Pumphrey is hard to find when he gets some big bodies around him. 

While he wasn't a major pass-catcher in college, it's clear that's how the Eagles intend on using him. 

"The package that they're using ends up being something a lot of times we match nickel against," defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said. "You just treat [Pumphrey] like he's the third wide receiver. There's been a lot of those guys in the past. You go in the wayback machine, Marshall Faulk, you had to treat like he was a wide receiver. If he lined up in the backfield, you had to defend the run but you had to treat him like a wide receiver. It puts some stress on the defense." 

8. The first injury of training camp happened when undrafted rookie cornerback Randall Goforth went down clutching his knee. He was trying to defend Paul Turner on the play. It looked like he tackled Turner and got his knee hurt in the process.

9. Rasul Douglas couldn't haul it in, but he nearly picked off Nick Foles. It was an impressive play that really showed Douglas' length. The 6-2 corner used every inch to nearly leap up and grab a pick. He would have had room to run the other way. 

10. For the first time at camp on Friday, select fans were watching practice. The crowd noise and buzz after a big play just makes it feel more like training camp is supposed to. 

On Saturday morning, the Eagles have an open practice at Lincoln Financial Field. All fans are welcome to watch. No tickets are necessary. And it's first-come, first-serve seating. I'll see you there. 

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