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June 12, 2019

Eagles mini-camp observations: Avonte Maddox is good

Eagles NFL

The Philadelphia Eagles conducted their second of three mandatory veteran mini-camp practices on Wednesday, and likely their last full-length practice before they break for the summer. As always, we have notes.

• If you follow Eagles beat writer Twitter accounts while practices are ongoing, you already know that Carson Wentz connected with DeSean Jackson on a post route deeeeep down the field. The ball was dead on the money, and Jackson looked fast running under it as he blazed past Rasul Douglas. It's not that often you get the whole team to go "Oooooooooh!" but Wentz and Jackson did today. 

Jackson did have a drop later in the day -- the first that I've seen from him -- and he did push-ups to atone for the mistake, Willie Mays Hayes-style.

• The defensive highlight of the day was an interception by Avonte Maddox, who was playing what looked like trail coverage on Marken Michel, who was running some sort of seam route. When the ball was released by Wentz, Maddox accelerated -- and then elevated -- for the ball, making an impressive leaping catch, before running the other way with it. Maddox has picked up right where he left off a season ago, and looks really good.

• As we noted yesterday, Michel is the first "previously unknown" guy to stand out this spring, and he had his moments again today. I didn't see the route (it was likely a corner route), but he must've run a good one, because he got WIDE open, and Wentz found him deep down the field. However, it was what he did after the catch that really stood out. He juked the crap out of Andrew Sendejo, and got free for a TD.

• After retrieving his jock strap from the field on the Michel play, Sendejo bounced back and made a few nice plays of his own. He didn't bite on a double move to Jackson, and was able to break up a deep throw from Wentz. He also made an interception on what was a bad read or throw, or combination of the two by Wentz.

• Wentz was up and down today. We noted both of his picks already, as well as his dime to Jackson, but he also made a great throw in a red zone scenario to the back of the end zone to Wendell Smallwood, who was able to make a rare toe-touch TD grab over Tre Sullivan. On the next play, Wentz fired a laser to the back of the end zone, again for a TD, to Zach Ertz. Sullivan was once again roasted party.

• One guy who has gotten quite a bit of hype early on has been RB Boston Scott. Personally, I hadn't seen it just yet, but he flashed today. He was active in the passing game, and he made an explosive cut in the hole on a running play.

To note, OTAs and mini-camp are where smaller speed guys like Scott should be standing out, but ultimately none of this matters until they put the pads on.

• Have I mentioned that the No. 3 and No. 4 quarterbacks haven't impressed? Well, that hasn't changed.

Nelson Agholor* is being held out of mini-camp with a "lower body injury," but he was out there learnin' up the youngins today in between reps. 

Agholor has come a long way from his first two seasons in the NFL, when frankly, he was dreadful on the field. It is interesting to see him go from a guy who was completely lost to one who is becoming a positive influence on the rookies.


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