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July 26, 2017

Eagles 2017 training camp practice notes, Day 3

Eagles NFL

Three days of camp are in the books, and the next time we have a report it will include notes from the team in full. For now, it's still only quarterbacks, rookies and select vets participating. Still, here's what I saw from the guys in attendance on Day 3 of camp.

Carson Wentz and Nick Foles did not participate today, making today's practice even duller than the last two.

• One under-the-radar semi-standout over the first three days of camp has been rookie undrafted free agent tight end Billy Brown. Today Brown had a nice catch in the back of the end zone in which he was able to keep his feet in bounds. He's been very active throughout the first three days of camp, perhaps making more catches than any other player on the team other than Donnel Pumphrey. I cannot recall seeing any drops from Brown.

We've noted Brown's background several times, but will do so again. In 2016 at Shepherd University, Brown had 99 catches (led D2) for 1580 yards (second in D2) and 22 TDs (tied for second in D2) as a wide receiver. He has since bulked up a bit in preparation of playing tight end in the pros, and is now listed at 6'4, 255. 

As Frank Reich noted after practice, a big test for Brown will be how well he blocks after transitioning from wide receiver to tight end.

"I think Billy has some playmaking ability," said Reich. "He's got a little speed. He's has good hands. I think he's learning the offense. We'll see when the pads go on. He still has to be an effective blocker at some level, and I think he has some toughness to him. I think he's shown me a little more toughness  at the line of scrimmage than I was expecting, so that's encouraging."

Marcus Johnson had another nice day after a bad day on Monday, and a good day on Tuesday. He had a sliding catch in traffic in the end zone in a red zone drill. When asked what players have stood out so far, Reich named Pumphrey, Mack Hollins, and Johnson.

• No rookie portion of training camp would be complete without a Hollins report. Today, Hollins beat Rasul Douglas deep on a post route, but Matt McGloin misfired.

Hollins was also working on long snapping once again today. Unlike yesterday, Hollins didn't look so good today, as he sailed two snaps over the head of UDFA punter Cameron Johnston. He also dribbled at least one grounder back to him.

• We noted that Douglas got beaten deep by Hollins on one play. During OTAs and minicamp, Douglas got his hands on a lot of footballs. He has not done much of that so far in training camp.

• On Tuesday, Jomal Wiltz made a nice play on an in route in the red zone, in which he got his body in between the quarterback and Hollins, causing a deflected pass that was intercepted by Joe Walker. Today, he picked off a pass in the end zone. Wiltz is a smaller guy at 5'10, 180, but he doesn't play like it. I like what I've seen from him so far.

 • Rookie linebacker Nate Gerry showed off his coverage skills in the middle of the field during a red zone drill. There were several occasions in which receivers ran through his zone, but he was able to pick them up and make the quarterback look elsewhere.

• Another strong day from Greg Ward, who continues to impress. After practice, Reich had effusive praise for Ward. Our Rich Hofmann will have more on Ward later.

• This was the the last day of rookies and select vets, thank God. There is a "10/10/10" practice scheduled for tomorrow with the full team (those are light practices), and then the real fun will begin on Friday.


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