August 06, 2017
On Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles conducted their second of two open practices at Lincoln Financial Field. As always, we have notes.
• The star of the day today, very clearly, was Carson Wentz. His ball placement was outstanding on a wide variety of throws, especially on deep balls. He threw with good timing, good anticipation, and excellent accuracy. To be determined if he can carry his strong play over into the regular season, but there's no question whatsoever that he is significantly improved from last year to this year, speaking purely in terms of training camp performance.
• Notable moments in WR-DB one-on-ones:
• The deep ball completions are beginning to pile up for Torrey Smith, who toasted Patrick Robinson on a deep post, on a ball that could have brought rain from Wentz.
• Bryce Treggs caught a ball with a little bit of space, then accelerated through two defenders who collided while trying to converge on him. There may not be room for Treggs on the roster, but he has had a very good camp.
• Trey Burton made a nice catch catch in between three defenders on, guess what, another great throw by Wentz.
• One player that Jim Schwartz praised a week ago was Alex McCalister.
"I think the biggest thing in not working out, as far as this year, is the other acquisitions that we made, you know, and where we were," said Schwartz, when answering why the team cut Marcus Smith. "And it really sort of put us up against, ‘How are we going to get reps for all these guys?’ We do like a good, young player in the pipeline in Alex McCalister. [We] had drafted, obviously drafted Derek [Barnett], and brought in Chris [Long]. You know, so that made it difficult."
Schwartz mentioned McCalister first as a reason for cutting Smith. I don't get it. I just don't see anything there. At all. His pursuit on back side runs sucks, he can't drop in coverage on zone blitzes, and most alarmingly, he gets no pressure at all on his pass rushes. Schwartz isn't one to blow smoke up players' butts, but maybe he made an exception for some reason? I just don't get it.
• We've noted this before, but LeGarrette Blount has some really quick feet for a man of his size. You can only evaluate running backs so much when there's no tackling to the ground, but Blount made some impressive little jump cuts in the hole today.
• If the Eagles traded Mychal Kendricks today (I'm not saying that's happening, to be clear), for what they ask their linebackers to do, I don't think there'd be much of a dropoff (if at all) to rookie Nate Gerry, who is already better in coverage (Kendricks sets a low bar there) and competent in run defense.
• There were only four absences from practice today:
The Eagles are a very healthy football team, as usual.
• Monday will be the third and final practice in which the Eagles tackle to the ground. There should be action-a-plenty then.
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