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July 27, 2022

Eagles 2022 training camp practice notes, Day 1: Football is back!

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AJ-Brown-Eagles-Training-Camp-07272022 Nick Tricome/PhillyVoice

A.J. Brown at his first Eagles training camp.

Philadelphia Eagles 2022 training camp is underway, and the Birds held a short, but spirited practice, with all the action occurring in the red zone. Let's get right to the notes.

• First, there are some roster moves and injuries to get to.

  1. The Eagles announced that they signed TE Jaeden Graham, C Cameron Tom, and WR Lance Lenoir
  2. They released OT Jarrid Williams.
  3. They placed TE Richard Rodgers, TE Tyree Jackson, and OL Brett Toth on the PUP list. We already knew Jackson and Toth would be on it, but Dickrod was a surprise addition.
As for the initial injuries, there is very little to report. Jason Kelce, Fletcher Cox, Anthony Harris, and WR Keric Wheatfall are all ramping back up from having COVID. Kelce and Wheatfall did not practice, while Cox and Harris were limited. Zach Pascal was out with an illness.

• All eyes are going to be on Jalen Hurts throughout camp. Day 1 was a little shaky, which is to be expected. I thought he had three lowlights:

  1. Dallas Goedert had a step on Marcus Epps in the end zone for what should have been a TD, but the ball came out a little late, and Epps was able to make a really nice play on the ball for an INT.
  2. Hurts had Quez Watkins wide open for a TD on what looked like some confusion by the defense pre-snap. Hurts didn't see it.
  3. And then there was a weird play in which the ball looked from my vantage point like it simply slipped out of Hurts' hand as he was throwing, and it fluttered right to Brandon Graham, who was unable to make the INT because Lane Johnson swatted it out of his hands. Hurts was asked by Jeff McLane of the Inquirer if the ball simply slipped out, but he said that it hit Miles Sanders when he cocked it to throw.

Again, to be expected. The offense tends to be sloppy the first few practices before they get their sea legs. 

Certainly, it wasn't all bad. The highlights:

  1. Hurts connected on a TD throw on a slot fade to Quez Watkins, who won over Avonte Maddox on the contested catch. 
  2. Later he hit Watkins in the back of the end zone on ball with good zip and placement. More on that play in a minute. 
  3. He also hit A.J. Brown in stride for a TD on the left side of the end zone, where he didn't seem to like to throw in 2021.

If we're grading Hurts each day in terms of stock up, stock down, and neutral, I'd call it a neutral day. 😐

• The offensive line depth looked like so: 

 Jordan MailataLandon Dickerson Cam Jurgens Isaac Seumalo Lane Johnson 
 Andre DillardSua Opeta Jack Anderson Kayode Awosika Jack Driscoll 
 Andre Dillard Josh Sills Cameron Tom Bill Dunkle Le"Raven Clark

Again, Kelce was out today.

Miles Sanders has been on a multi-year quest to regain his receiving prowess that he had for one season as a rookie in 2019. He triple-caught his first target of camp. 😬

• When the Eagles were in man-to-man, Darius Slay mostly covered DeVonta Smith, while James Bradberry covered A.J. Brown. That makes sense. Bradberry will likely be tasked with checking the bigger receivers, while Slay will likely handle the speedier guys or savvy route runners.

• We mentioned that Brown had a TD catch from Hurts above. He also had a fumble after a short reception. T.J. Edwards punched it out.

Jalen Reagor had a nice start to camp. He had a pair of TD catches working with the second team offense. Obviously, he's been demoted, and maybe he can get back on track with less attention on him. I should note that there's a perception that Reagor got positive pub for having a strong camp last year. Not so. He had a couple of highlight reel catches, but I did not think he had a very good camp overall. If he can consistently stack days, that's a good sign that he can maybe be useful in some capacity in 2022.

Gardner Minshew had the best throw of the day, when he threaded the needle to rookie TE Grant Calcaterra in the back of the end zone. I should note that Calcaterra was active in his first Eagles training camp practice, and he ran a good route on his TD catch.

K'Von Wallace had a rough day. On one play, Epps was barking at Wallace because Wallace was in the wrong spot. While Wallace was trying to figure out where he should be, Boston Scott took a handoff and scored in Wallace's area. On the next play, on the Watkins TD in the back of the end zone referenced above, the ball whizzed over Wallace's head. Wallace was late to see it, and could not get his hands up in time to deflect the pass. 

• One of the concerns about Nakobe Dean's game in the pros is how well he's be able to shed blocks, particularly when he's disadvantaged with his small stature. On one run play, Jack Driscoll did a nice job of getting to the second level, locking onto Dean and not allowing him to get free. 

Jordan Davis is huge. I mean, duh. He's 6'6 and 340-plus pounds. But he's not sloppy. He looks fit for a player his size.

• In his post-practice press conference, Brandon Graham says that he is a "full go."

• There were five returners fielding punts today. They were Jalen Reagor, Greg Ward, Quez Watkins, Britain Covey, and Lance Lenoir. Reagor was up first on those reps, if that means anything.

• Throughout training camp, I'll have some occasional one-on-one interviews with other Eagles beat writers while the players are stretching and doing other boring stuff. They'll mostly be around 10-15 minutes long. Batting leadoff was Eliot Shorr-Parks of WIP. Fun convo, IMO. Listen below. And here's the iTunes link. Review, subscribe, etc.

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