June 03, 2016
Due to the rain, the Eagles were in their 60-yard practice bubble today, which isn't conducive to ample note-taking for us media types. Still, there was some action to report on, so here's what we saw.
• After watching the first four full team Eagles practices this offseason, I've been impressed so far with backup quarterback Chase Daniel.
To begin, Daniel has a better arm than I thought he did, he has decent wheels, and he's easily the most vocal of the three Eagles quarterbacks. He had a particularly good day on Friday.
Daniel's highlight of the day was a throw on a double move to Chris Givens. Daniel let the ball rip while Givens making his initial cut, but was throwing the ball up the field instead of to the spot where Givens was faking. If you're a defensive back and you can see the quarterback throwing while the receiver is making his initial cut, you're almost always going to believe the ball is going to that spot. Instead, Givens cut it up the field and caught the perfectly lofted ball in stride. Very well done, especially for a quarterback-receiver combo that hasn't had much time to work together.
After that throw, Daniel went and almost seemed to demand a high five from offensive coordinator Frank Reich, who obliged.
• Sammy Sleeves had a pretty pass today too. He hit Zach Ertz on a deep sideline throw in the turkey hole between the corner and safety. The throw had to have enough touch to get it over the corner's arms but had to have enough mustard on it for it to get there before the safety could get over in time. Well done by Sleeves.
• Najee Goode has an impressive interception of Sleeves. He was in a full sprint running away from the line of scrimmage. Bradford tried to sling a pass over his head, but Goode reached up and snared it like a polished receiver. He showed very good hands on the play.
• Seventh-round rookie CB Jalen Mills has impressed so far. He had a pass breakup on a deep ball down the sideline and another pass breakup on a sharp sideline throw. He's been a pleasant surprise early on this offseason.
• Remember when the Eagles ran a lot of unbalanced line looks under Chip Kelly, in which the Eagles would move Lane Johnson from his RT spot over to the left side next to Jason Peters (or conversely, Peters over to Johnson's side)? It always seemed like the Eagles had a lot of success running out of those formations, but for some reason, the Eagles did less of it in 2015. It appears that will be back in Doug Pederson's offense.
• Josh Huff has had a number of drops in media-attended practices. He had another one today on a wobbly deep ball by Sam Bradford.
• The Eagles simulated the Browns' offense and defense today. The Browns are of course the Eagles' Week 1 opponent. On Tuesday it was the Cowboys, Wednesday it was the Giants, and on Thursday the Redskins. We poked a little fun at a Cowboys blog for thinking the Cowboys were some kind of dominant force because the Eagles were simulating their offense earlier this week, in case you missed it.
• FULLBACK WATCH! The Eagles used a fullback in a goal-line situation today. It was TE Chris Pantale, for the record, although the Eagles may use all their tight ends in that role at some point.
• I like Leodis McKelvin's competitiveness. On a play in which he (A) committed pass interference, and then (B) let up the catch anyway, he let a loud F bomb rip. I've noticed in practices so far that he plays with emotion.
• DE Steven Means was active today. He scooped and scored on a screwed up lateral throw attempt, and later batted a pass in the air that was picked off by linebacker Joe Walker and returned for a score.
• In recent years, Brent Celek has been the emergency long snapper. Trey Burton got some reps as a long snapper today.