The Eagles played their first preseason game on Thursday, but we're still officially in training camp through Tuesday.
Today's practice was one in full pads and it lasted over two hours on a beautiful Saturday morning.
Let's get to the obs:
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1. Carson Wentz took a ton of reps today and it wasn't his sharpest practice. I thought he eventually settled in a little bit as the day went on, but still wasn't great. He was able to connect with Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson several times each and hit Zach Ertz with a few balls in stride, but overall, he missed too many throws.
This workload makes sense if Wentz isn't going to play. Even Wentz noted as much in the locker room. If Wentz isn't going to play a lot or at all this preseason, he's going to get most of the reps in practice. That happened today.
"It was the plan today just because they rested," Pederson said. "They have had some rest the last couple of days. Really wanted to put an emphasis on those guys getting more work as we begin to make a push towards the regular season."
2. Because Wentz got so many practice reps, rookie Clayton Thorson's were cut dramatically after a dreadful performance Thursday night. And even when he got reps today, most of them were handoffs. During team drills, he attempted one pass and completed it to Braxton Miller. So, really, a perfect day for the rookie.
3. Working with the second team for the first time, Cody Kessler had a solid day. His best completions were to JJ Arcega-Whiteside. The two connected on a few moderately deep passes near the sideline. Those two seemed to have a connection.
4. One of the first plays in 11-on-11s was a pick-6 from Nate Gerry on a screen. Wentz rifled it into Gerry's arms and the linebacker showed good hands by intercepting the short pass and then went the other way.
5. The Eagles worked on a couple little trick things Saturday. One was an end around to Jackson, who was working in the slot. Remember that. The other was a flea flicker; handoff to Jordan Howard, pitch back to Wentz, who found Jeffery for a gain of about 10-15 yards.
6. While Lane Johnson (knee) and Dallas Goedert (calf) both have injuries that will keep them out for the rest of the preseason - they're expected to be ready for Week 1 - there were some good injury notes:
• Derek Barnett (shoulder) participated in 11-on-11 team drills and OL-DL drills for the first time all summer.
• Mack Hollins (hip) participated in team drills for the first time since his latest injury.
• Ronald Darby was in on 7-on-7s for the first time during training camp.
7. One practice period today was devoted to goal line work with the ball on the 1-yard line. The first-team offense scored on two of three plays. The first was a designed QB keeper, where Wentz rolled right into the end zone as the OL pushed left. After the second play ended in an incompletion after great coverage from the defense, the offense scored again. This time, Wentz hit Jackson on the ground short of the end zone but Jackson was able to stretch the ball across the goal line before getting touched.
The second-team defense stopped the offense on two attempts. On the first, rookie Shareef Miller batted the ball down at the line of scrimmage. Nice play from the rookie in what has been an otherwise quiet training camp. The second play saw Josh Adams get stuffed. Despite his size, he struggled in short-yardage situations last season.
8. Instead of watching 7-on-7s today, I watched OL vs. DL drills. A few notes:
• The highlight of the drill was a spin move from relative newcomer Kasim Edebali around Matt Pryor. It was a quick move and he posterized Pryor, who barely got a hand on him.
• Brandon Graham put a nice power move on Andre Dillard. It wasn't a straight bull rush, but a two-handed slap got around the rookie tackle.
• Jason Kelce is amazing to watch because of his unique leverage. He stopped rookie Kevin Wilkins easily.
9. Corey Clement has looked really good to me. It seems like he has full explosion back in his knee. It's a positive sign.
10. Stefen Wisniewksi struggled snapping the ball again today. Not sure what's going on here. They weren't all low today; some were wide right or left. Maybe he's like Chuck Knoblauch - just can't make the throw.
Stupid Observation of the Day: A lot of coaches and some players wear long sleeves at practice. They say it keeps the sun off their skin. Today was cool, so I tried it. I'll be back in short sleeves tomorrow.
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