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August 08, 2023

Eagles 2023 training camp practice notes, Day 8: Another camp battle piece is solved

What went on in Eagles' training camp on Tuesday?

Eagles NFL
080823ReedBlankship Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

Eagles safety Reed Blankenship has been a ball hawk in camp.

Day 8 of Philadelphia Eagles training camp was not originally on the practice schedule, but the team added it late last week. It was a short, unpadded practice.

• We should probably update the injuries first:

  1. WR Devon Allen was activated from the NFI list. He was a limited participant in practice, as was CB James Bradberry.
  2. LB Nakobe Dean remains out, along with LB Patrick Johnson and WR Deon Cain. It appears that Christian Elliss has the green dot helmet in Dean's absence.
  3. Edge Haason Reddick, CB Avonte Maddox, and Edge Derek Barnett are all full participants now.
  4. These aren't injury updates, but it's also worth mentioning that new LBs Myles Jack and Zach Cunningham are both practicing, as are Josh Andrews and Josh Sills.
The Eagles are in pretty good shape, injury-wise.

• The play of the day came via Reed Blankenship, who made a diving interception of Jalen Hurts near the sideline on a pass intended for Quez Watkins. He was able to get his arms under the ball to keep it from hitting the ground while fully extended. If you've been following our practice notes all along throughout camp, you know that Blankenship has played almost exclusively with the first-team defense, while others have kind of cycled in and out.

I was going to wait until at least one preseason game was in the books to make a more definitive call on Blankenship's status as a certain Week 1 starter (barring injury), but I've seen enough to make a call.


• It feels likely that Sean Desai will implement some occasional three-safety sets this season. Today, he had four out there at one point. They were Blankenship, Justin Evans, K'Von Wallace, and Terrell Edmunds

It was during a situational period in 11-on-11's. It looked like an "end of game" scenario in which the offense had the ball around the 25-yard line, down by 4-8 points, and they had one shot into the end zone to try to score. Blankenship was in the middle of the field, Evans on the left side, and Wallace on the right. They were lined up about 2-6 yards deep in the end zone, while a gaggle of corners, linebackers and Edmunds played five across near the goal line.

Hurts threw up a prayer that was picked by Evans. (I wouldn't make too much of that pick from Hurts' perspective.)

• It wasn't Hurts' best day, but he did have a few nice throws. He found Watkins near the sideline on a throw about 25-30 yards down the field. He also hit DeVonta Smith on a sideline throw that was away from the defender and in a spot where only Smith could catch it, which he did.

Marcus Mariota had a decent day. Oh and hey he has a new center! That would be the aforementioned Josh Andrews, who has taken over for Brett Toth as the new second-team center. Toth was demoted to third-team LG. 📉

For the first time all camp Mariota got clean snaps all day and I think it made a difference.

• In previous practice notes, we've mentioned that the Eagles have practiced fielding squib kicks, since there will likely be more of those with the new kickoff fair catch rules. They spent a fair amount of time on that again today.

• 1-on-1 OL-DL highlights:

The first-team offensive line dominated. Lane Johnson might be the only person on the planet who can consistently block Haason Reddick. Otherwise the starters won all their matchups:

  1. Cam Jurgens > Fletcher Cox
  2. Jason Kelce > Jordan Davis
  3. Landon Dickerson > Milton Williams
  4. Jordan Mailata > Derek Barnett

The highlight rush was probably by Jalen Carter, who put a spin move on Josh Sills. Sills was able to stay in front of Carter initially, but Carter then bull rushed Sills and put him on his back.

Milton Williams had some good rushes against Tyler Steen, both in 1-on-1's and 11-on-11's. Williams is a prime breakout candidate. 

And finally, I missed this, but apparently Jordan Davis had a wow moment in which he flashed impressive quickness, dusting Cameron Tom. Bad job by me.

• 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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