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August 07, 2023

Eagles 2023 training camp practice notes, Day 7: Sloppy night in front of the fans

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Jalen-Hurts-Eagles-2023-Open-Practice-1 Colleen Claggett/for PhillyVoice

Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts warms up at the team's 2023 open practice at Lincoln Financial Field.

Day 7 of Philadelphia Eagles training camp is in the books, and it was open to the public at Lincoln Financial Field. It was not crisp. Let's just get right to the notes.

• The offense was sloppy all night. There were pre-snap penalties, drops, missed throws, and bad snaps. The defense made its share of plays, but the offense just had far too many unforced errors. This was the team's worst practice of training camp so far, in my opinion.

• Let's start with the good. Dallas Goedert made a lot of catches, and was consistently getting open, as he has done all throughout camp. Jalen Hurts was fine, but not great. He mostly made good decisions, but the ball was often slow to come out. The highlight of practice was a 50-50 ball from Hurts to A.J. Brown in the end zone. Brown was able to out-jump Josh Jobe for the TD.

• The player who probably received the most cheers from the crowd was Marcus Mariota, whenever he scrambled. There was one particular scramble that was fun to watch. He got out of the pocket and ran to the right side of the field with Boston Scott running alongside him with only one defender in between him and a lot of wide open space. Mariota faked a little flip to Scott and got the defender to move that way just enough to run by him to the open field. Nice awareness.

He also made a nice play in the red zone during which he was able to move around in the pocket, elude a couple of pass rushers, keep his eyes down the field and eventually find Olamide Zaccheaus for a score.

But man, the throwing accuracy... 😬. There was a stretch of three consecutive plays in which Mariota badly missed his intended target:

  1. He misfired high on a sideline throw over the head of Zaccheaus out of bounds.
  2. He then threw another pass over the head of tight end Jack Stoll, again, out of bounds.
  3. And finally, he sailed a third pass over the head of Joseph Ngata in the middle of the field. If there had been a safety trailing that play it would have been an easy INT.
That sequence actually drew a few grumbles from the crowd, which is hard to do in an "all love" type of open practice setting.

If Mariota has to play this season, I think you can expect to see a quarterback who will make his share of plays — particularly with his legs — as long as the Eagles are able to keep him on schedule. But if you're looking for him to mount a comeback with throws to the intermediate and deeper areas of the field, it's probably not going to happen.

• The safeties were an active bunch.

  1. K'Von Wallace continues to get a lot of first-team reps. I don't have an official count or anything, but at this point I would estimate that he has gotten more first-team reps at safety than Terrell Edmunds. On Sunday night, Wallace was around the ball a lot on running plays, and he had a nice little pop (without going too far) on Grant Calcaterra after a short completion.
  2. Edmunds had a nice pass breakup while covering DeVonta Smith. It's worth noting that while I would guess that Wallace has gotten more first-team reps at safety, Edmunds has also gotten some reps at linebacker.
  3. Reed Blankenship had close coverage on A.J. Brown that helped lead to an incompletion. I had Brown down for two drops, by the way.
  4. It's fun to watch Sydney Brown fly around the field. When he triggers toward a ball carrier, he gets there fast.
I should note here that free agent signing Justin Evans has not often stood out through the team's first seven practices.

• We've mentioned Brett Toth's struggles with snapping in shotgun on the second-team offense. On the third-team offense, Julian Good-Jones has been the center recently. He too has struggled snapping. He had a snap that hit Ian Book in the lower leg, after which Book lost his balance and fell down. The visual of it made it look like the snap knocked him over, lol.

• On the QB3 front, Tanner McKee has done a few nice things, but I can't recall him airing one yet in team drills yet. He has the arm strength. Let's see it.

• On a day that the Eagles signed a pair of veteran linebackers, I thought that both Christian Elliss and Nicholas Morrow were active, as they were both able to get into the backfield for tackles for loss. Nakobe Dean sat out his second straight practice.

• The rest of the injuries (all non-participants):

  1. CB James Bradberry (groin)
  2. LB Nakobe Dean (ankle)
  3. Edge Patrick Johnson (ankle)
  4. WR Deon Cain (ankle)

Johnson was carted off on Friday. At the time it looked like he might be out for a while, but that injury is not believed to be serious, per a team spokesperson.

• Some OL-DL 1-on-1 highlights:

  1. The rep of the day went to Marlon Tuipulotu, who put Julian Good-Jones on his backside. I thought Good-Jones was having a decent camp, but his night on Sunday probably ended any realistic hope of him making the initial 53.
  2. Jordan Davis overpowered Toth.
  3. Cam Jurgens has done a really nice job so far on Fletcher Cox in 1-on-1's throughout camp. He won his rep against Cox Sunday night.
  4. Jalen Carter hasn't really stood out in 1-on-1's aside from a great power rush against Toth a practice or two ago. On Sunday, he lost his rep to Sua Opeta

• Oh baby, we got punting notes!

Arryn Siposs and undrafted rookie Ty Zentner had an "open field" (AKA going for distance and hangtime) punting session and they each had a directional punt. First, the open field session:

Punt Siposs (hang time, distance) Zentner (hang time, distance)
4.31, 45 yards 4.31, 53 yards 
4.71, 47 yards 4.00, 40 yards 
4.45, 43 yards 4.00, 46 yards 

The only punt above that could even be considered average was Siposs' 47-yard punt with 4.71 hangtime. Otherwise, all of those punts above were (a) short punts in the context of open field punting and (b) returnable due to inadequate hangtime. As a reminder, a good hangtime is something closer to five seconds.

Each punter also had a punt with the line of scrimmage at the Eagles 40 in which they were trying to hit directional low liners toward the sideline. Siposs' directional punt found the ground and rolled out of bounds at the 16. Meh. Zentner's was fielded at the 25 and returned. Yuck.

If we're awarding this practice to one punter or another, I guess it's Siposs, but only because Zentner hasn't been able to capitalize on an opportunity to win the job.

• 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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