After an off day to begin the work week, the Eagles were back on the practice fields at the NovaCare Complex this morning for the most physical practice through five days of training camp.
For the first time of this camp, the Eagles were in full pads and had live (tackling to the ground) periods. There's increased intensity and chance for injury, but Doug Pederson thinks they're good for the team.
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If nothing else, they're usually pretty exciting for spectators.
That's where we'll start:
1. The very first rep in the live period ended with Corey Clement getting tackled out of bounds by rookie Josh Sweat, who I guess was pretty excited to finally get to tackle someone. The Eagles used their first-team offense vs. second-team defense and their second-team offense vs. their first-team defense. They then let the third teams battle it out last. The Eagles had two cycles of live periods.
2. Today was the best I have ever seen Donnel Pumphrey look. Now, maybe you have to take it with a grain of salt because he was mostly going against the third-team defense, but he did some really nice things. The Eagles kept feeding him the rock and he kept picking up chunks of yards running between the tackles. He also still looks smooth as a receiver out of the backfield. After one carry, where he actually drove the tackler forward for another yard, Pump got up and puffed out his little chest. It seems his confidence is up. If I had to guess right now, he's very much in the mix for a roster spot and might even be a frontrunner.
3. Carson Wentz did some 7-on-7 work but was held out of 11-on-11s, even when the Eagles weren't going live. Holding him out of the live periods makes sense; why put him around that if you don't need to? It's worth wondering why he didn't do the other 11-on-11s, but perhaps they just decided to pull back a little today. Doug Pederson explained that the plan is done on a weekly basis, so perhaps today was just lighter. We'll learn more as the week goes on.
Here's your almost-daily video of Wentz:
4. In the last practice period of the day, the Eagles had a live tackling period. First, the first-team offensive drove down the field on the twos and nearly got a touchdown, except Nick Foles and Zach Ertz weren't on the same page. Foles tossed a pass into the corner of the end zone and Ertz stopped well short on his route. The pass was picked off by De'Vante Bausby in the end zone.
After the first-team D shut down the second offense pretty quickly, the threes had a spirited battle. Eventually, the offense led by Joe Callahan got down near the goal line. On a play that took a long time for someone to get open, Callahan was able to buy some extra time to find newcomer DeAndre Carter in the back of the end zone. Carter beat out Ryan Neal to catch the touchdown pass.
5. Rookie offensive tackle and former rugby player Jordan Mailata had a really rough time during a 1-on-1 against Sweat, a fellow rookie. Sweat beat Mailata on a quick inside move right after Mailata kicked out. The rookie offensive tackle didn't even get a finger on Sweat.
6. I thought Mack Hollins, who has had a relatively quiet camp, had a nice day. He made one really impressive one-hand grab with his left hand in the middle of the field. He has good hands.
7. Sidney Jones was back as the Eagles' nickel cornerback today. He and De'Vante Bausby have been alternating days so far; today was Day 5 and Jones now has three turns and Bausby has two. Nate Gerry got first-team reps at WILL and Kamu Grugier-Hill got some too. The Eagles rotated their defensive line during those longer practice periods, which mean Michael Bennett and Haloti Ngata came in for Chris Long and Fletcher Cox when they got a break.
8. We saw Dallas Goedert get some reps with the first team today when the Eagles used their two-tight end set. I think we're going to see quite a bit of that this season. Ertz and Goedert on the field together could be a staple.
9. While the Eagles held Jason Peters out of the live tackling sessions today, it was a good sign to see Jordan Hicks out there and looking good. He made a big tackle in the live period and showed off his coverage skills in another period. I think Hicks is looking bigger this training camp but has kept his speed. We don't talk enough about what having him back could mean for this team.
10. Another thing about Hicks: The Eagles have been using him as an outside backer at times, although Jim Schwartz said that's just cross-training in camp. But when they do that, the Eagles bring Joe Walker on the field. Walker is pretty forgotten, but it's possible he makes the team. He made a great open field tackle on Goedert today and might be next on the MIKE depth chart. He's someone to watch in the preseason games; definitely on the bubble.
Stupid Observation of the Day: I saw a fan wearing an autographed Kiko Alonso Eagles jersey. Oops.