August 15, 2023
Day 11 of Philadelphia Eagles training camp is in the books, and it was the first of two joint practices with the Cleveland Browns. Let's just get right to the notes.
• Browns DE Myles Garrett is an absolute beast. I mean, we already know this. The guy has had double-digit sacks in each of the last five seasons and 16 sacks in each of the last two seasons. Why are we starting off talking about a Browns player? Well, he wrecked parts of the practice yesterday because Jordan Mailata couldn't block him. Garrett ran around him and one occasion, through him, which just does not happen very often to Mailata. This isn't so much a "Mailata stinks" observation, to be clear. It's much more a "Myles Garrett is freaking awesome" observation.
Mailata and Garrett talked shop before and after practice:
Eagles LT Jordan Mailata is now talking to Myles Garrett pic.twitter.com/bEVTO1JWoE— Chris Franklin (@cfranklinnews) August 14, 2023
It should be noted that Mailata really struggled against Garrett in joint practices a year ago as well. And hey, that's kind of what these practices and for. Iron sharpens iron, and whatnot. Mailata has the benefit of going against guys like Garrett and Josh Sweat to prepare for the season.
• The Eagles offense was sluggish against a talented Browns defense. I did think that Jalen Hurts had one really impressive throw. While running to his left he torqued his body and unleashed a ball about 25 yards down the field to DeVonta Smith, who was coming across the field toward the left sideline.
• A fun battle to watch all day was Smith vs. Browns star CB Denzel Ward. Ward had one of the plays of the day when he ran stride for stride down the right sideline with Smith and had better inside position to make a play on a ball that was slightly underthrown by Hurts. Smith tried to jump over Ward to make a play on the ball, but Ward was able to win the contested catch and haul in the INT.
Smith got his though, too. He beat Ward on on a deep ball in 11-on-11's, and had some good reps against him in 1-on-1's.
• A.J. Brown had a nice rep in 1-on-1's against Martin Emerson. Brown showed his hands late so that Emerson had little time to react the incoming pass. Brown is so good at that.
• Dallas Goedert continues to make a lot of catches. He made a few difficult sideline catches that just looked easy. Goedert is entering his sixth season and he is obviously already a good receiver, but in my opinion he has taken his game as a receiver to the next level this summer.
• Reed Blankenship picked off Deshaun Watson in 7-on-7's after a pass breakup by Zach Cunningham. Blankenship was around the ball all day, and just always seems to be in the right spot.
• Interesting development: Sydney Brown got a bunch of first-team reps at safety. If this were an ordinary Eagles-only practice it wouldn't necessarily mean a whole lot, but in joint practices it probably does. He appears to be ascending on the depth chart. There was one play in which Brown was blitzing around the left edge, and he got to the quarterback quickly.
• The Eagles showed a look in which Fletcher Cox was out on the edge and Josh Sweat was lined up on the interior. Sweat dusted the RG (I didn't catch the number of the Browns player) for a sack.
• Jalen Carter was active and disruptive. He made some plays in the run game, and recovered a fumble on what looked like a bad exchange between Watson and a Browns RB.
• It looked at times like James Bradberry was playing something of a quasi-linebacker role. That approach actually makes a lot of sense when the Eagles are playing a team with a great tight end. Bradberry has the size and physicality to match up against tight ends, and we haven't seen any of the Eagles' linebackers able to cover Dallas Goedert all summer. If Jonathan Gannon had his full attention on the Super Bowl and not where he'd be coaching the next season, he might have thought of covering Travis Kelce with Bradberry at times in the Super Bowl.
• Boston Scott, D'Andre Swift, and Rashaad Penny all had nice runs. In my opinion, Swift is the most talented of the Eagles' backs.
• Landon Dickerson left practice early with an injury. It didn't look serious. Sua Opeta filled in for him with the first-team offense initially, and Josh Sills got some first-team looks as well.
Quez Watkins and Britain Covey both missed practice with hamstring injuries.
• There were punts! It was an "open field" blast off session for hangtime and distance. I couldn't see distances very well from my vantage points, but, uh, it was clear that Arryn Siposs and Ty Zentner weren't hitting bombs.
Not good enough by either punter.
• Who won the practice? I'd award the day to the Browns.
• Brandon Gowton and I will have post-practice podcasts throughout training camp. They'll populate below a few hours after we publish our notes. And here's the iTunes link. Review, subscribe, etc.
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