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July 30, 2022

Eagles 2022 training camp practice notes, Day 3: Another win for the defense

Eagles NFL
TJ-Edwards-Eagles-training-camp_072722_120.jpg Colleen Claggett/PhillyVoice

Eagles linebacker T.J. Edwards

Day 3 of Philadelphia Eagles 2022 training camp is in the books. The pads haven't come on yet, as expected, but today was a great day for practice notes as there was plenty of action.

• The defense won the day, in case you missed the headline, and while Jalen Hurts improved from Friday, he still had his share of questionable throws.

His most obvious bad throw was a on a play in which he was well protected. He vacated the pocket to his left (I didn't think this was necessary), which gave Haason Reddick the opportunity to pressure him on the perimeter. Hurts then forced a ball into heavy traffic, and it was picked off by Andre Chachere. The other ugly throw was toward the left sideline to DeVonta Smith that fell well short. It's noteworthy that both of those throws were to the left side, where Hurts did not like throwing last season.

Hurts did make some some nice plays. His best throw of the day was a bomb to Quez Watkins, who should have make the play, but did not. He was reminded that he has to continue to run hard even when tired, and that it should have been a touchdown. But from Hurts' perspective, it was a really nice throw.

Hurts verdict: Stock neutral 😐. He doesn't like throwing to his left, but at least he's working on it. Also, with Hurts, I don't mind him trying to force some throws in during training camp. He has proven so far in real games that he doesn't often make dumb decisions, so if he wants to let it rip in practice, meh, go right ahead.

A.J. Brown had a strong day. He was active, and made some really nice hands catches near the sideline. On one play, he caught a ball while falling to the ground while also keeping his feet in bounds. He also muscled a catch away from Darius Slay.

• We're only three days deep so far, but the best linebacker in camp right now is T.J. Edwards. Run or pass, he is constantly around the football. Today, he had a nice leaping pass breakup. And the impressive thing is that there haven't even been any padded practices yet. In theory, as a tough, sure-tackling linebacker who doesn't possess great athleticism, the padded practices should be more conducive to Edwards' game, not practices in shells and shorts. 

• One player I hadn't yet noticed is Andre Dillard, which is maybe a good thing. It dawned on me during practice that I hadn't noticed him, so I specifically watched him for a few plays. Almost immediately he got smoked by Josh Sweat, lol. He recovered thereafter, standing up Derek Barnett on a bull rush. Dillard is in #TheBestShapeOfHisLife, and he is having a far better start to 2022 camp than he did in 2021.

• We mentioned above that Andre Chachere had an INT today. He also had a sack on a blitz, and an INT on Friday. Chachere got some love from Nick Sirianni prior to Saturday's practice. "Andre's pick on the seam ball, I thought that was outstanding," Sirianni said of Chachere's Friday INT.

• Sirianni was asked about Jalen Reagor's role on the team going forward, and he responded that Reagor “is battling for a spot.” Let's be clear. The Eagles are not going to cut Reagor and take on a dead money cap hit of $8 million. That felt a lot to me like a purposeful motivating quote from Sirianni. And perhaps it was also a message to the other receivers that they shouldn't be looking at the players ahead of them on the depth chart and assuming there's no spot for them. 

Reagor did catch a deep ball down the sideline today during 1-on-1s past Zech McPhearson.

• I like what I have seen from James Bradberry so far. He had a nice pass breakup down the sideline on a ball intended for Brown. After practice, defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson raved about Bradberry's intelligence.

• Undrafted rookie free agent quarterback Carson Strong finally got some practice reps in team drills today, and... 😬. In six dropbacks (three in 11-on-11s, three in 7-on-7s), he threw an INT, two near-INTs, a ball well out of bounds to a receiver running down the sideline, and an inaccurate slant route. 

Strong completed more than 70 percent of his passes at Nevada in each of the last two seasons, so it's not as if he can't throw a football. Additionally, his head is no doubt swimming trying to learn a new offense. But there's no sugarcoating it — he was a mess today. To his credit, Strong had media availability after practice, and before anyone even asked him about his play today he volunteered on his own that he played poorly.

• Guys who got kick returner reps:

  1. Jason Huntley 
  2. Devon Allen 
  3. Britain Covey 
  4. Boston Scott 
  5. John Hightower

Zach Pascal didn't practice today (illness), but he hung out with the kick returner group during practice, too. He returned kicks for the Colts his first two seasons in the NFL.

Jake Elliott got his first kicks of camp in today. He was 6 for 6.

27, good     
39, good     
26, good     
45, good     
36, good     
40, good     

• One new injury: Milton Williams did not practice today. He hurt his elbow.

• 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 15 minutes long. Batting leadoff on Wednesday was Eliot Shorr-Parks of WIP. On Friday, I chopped it up with Jeff McLane of the Inquirer. On Saturday, it was Bo Wulf's turn. Another fun convo, IMO. If that doesn't appear in the podcast list below, it will soon.

 Listen below. And here's the iTunes link. Review, subscribe, etc.

Within those beat writer interviews, I'm asking each writer four different questions:

  1. What will the Eagles' record be in 2022?
  2. Will they make the playoffs?
  3. Will they win any playoff games, if so?
  4. Will Jalen Hurts be the starting quarterback in 2023?

The predictions so far:

Writer Record Playoffs Playoff wins? Hurts in 2023? 
7/27: Eliot Shorr-Parks, WIP 10-7 Yes None Yes 
7/29: Jeff McLane, Inquirer 10-7 Yes None No 
7/30: Bo Wulf, The Athletic 11-6 Yes One win, over the Vikings Yes 

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