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July 29, 2017

Eagles 2017 training camp practice notes, Day 6

Eagles NFL

After inclement weather pushed the start time of practice from the morning to late afternoon, as well as moving it from Lincoln Financial Field to the NovaCare Complex, action picked up today. We have notes.

• Carson Wentz was on fire today. He has now strung together two straight impressive practices. Yesterday, we noted that Wentz was very accurate and efficient, not necessarily making any "wow" throws, but simply hitting receivers in the hands and making good decisions. It was more of the same today, but with far more reps. Wentz put together several streaks in which he hit completed pass after completed pass. For example:

• One of Wentz's more common targets was Marcus Johnson, who made a boatload of catches at every level of the defense. The hype is legit, as he has done a good job not only catching the ball, but consistently gaining good separation.

• Halapoulivaati Vaitai got owned on consecutive plays during 11-on-11's. Playing LT, Vaitai got blown up by Vinny Curry on a run play, leading to a 3-4 yard loss. On the next play, after moving over to RT, he got beaten around the edge by Brandon Graham for what would have been a sack.

• I watched some offensive line / defensive line one-on-one drills today. Here's what I took away from that session:

  1. Derek Barnett did not have a good session. He was easily handled on consecutive rushes by Matt Tobin and Dillon Gordon, though I wouldn't make too much of that.
  2. Jason Kelce had a bad snap that the QB (an Eagles quality control coach) could not handle. 
  3. Rookie DT Elijah Qualls had a really rough moment. He went down in pain on one rep, and then proceeded to get reamed out by defensive line coach Chris Wilson. "You get beat every f****** time, and now you're hurt!" Wilson screamed. Qualls remained on the ground sort of in the field on play about 5-10 yards from where the rest of the linemen were conducting the drill, and trainers came over to look at him while the drill continued. Qualls was eventually helped off and into the locker room. Yikes.
  4. While Vaitai didn't light it up in 11-on-11's, he did a better job in 1-on-1's against Graham stoning him in his tracks on one rep.

• Rasul Douglas had a very good spring, but has not been as good in training camp so far. Today he had at least two egregious holds against Torrey Smith and Nelson Agholor. On the play where he held Smith, Smith was able to shake free and make a reception anyway. 

• One guy who looks faster than he did previously is undrafted rookie Corey Clement. After practice, I asked Frank Reich about Clement, and he attributed Clement's good start to camp to weight loss.

"Corey's looked good," said Reich. "I think he has come back a little bit lighter. He lost some weight from when he was here this spring, and I think that has served him well. I think he looks elusive. I think he's looked even more elusive since he's come back and lost a little bit of weight. I think he's smart. He knows what he's doing. He runs hard. He's into it. He just seems like he's a football player, and I think he has that aggressive mindset that you need at running back."

• One of the things running back coach Duce Staley mentioned about LeGarrette Blount earlier this offseason was that the team feels that Blount can be a bigger contributor in the passing game in Philly than he's been over his career with other teams. On one play today, Wentz ran play action to Blount, looked elsewhere, then came back to Blount in the flat in stride. Blount looked natural catching the ball on the play, and I can't recall seeing him drop anything so far.

• One undrafted rookie who has looked good catching the football so far has been tight end Billy Brown. However, if Brown is going to make the team, he is also going to have to show that he can play special teams. Coming from a tiny school in West Virginia, Brown was the guy in his offense, so he didn't play special teams at all. I watched him for a while in special teams drills today, and he was getting beaten regularly. While Brown has some skills to be excited about, his special teams play is going to have to improve drastically to be anything more than a practice squad guy.

• Sidney Jones may or may not play this season, but he's able to dance a little.


• And here's our daily practice Periscope:


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