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June 10, 2015

Eagles OTA practice notes, June 9, 2015: Mark Sanchez playing well, but needs to do more

Eagles NFL
061015MarkSanchezSamBradford Matt Rourke/AP

Watch your back, Sam.

The Eagles practiced in front of the media Tuesday, which was the last OTA practice open to the media of the offseason. Media will have access to a three day minicamp next week, and then there will be a long gap until August 2nd, when training camp begins. My notes:

• Here's a defensive line drill in which you see the Eagles' 2-gap scheme being practiced. In a one gap scheme, you want your linemen to penetrate through a gap in the OL. In a two gap scheme, defensive linemen engage with the offensive lineman, and are responsible for the gap on either side of him. Here, you see Cedric Thornton engaging with the sled, continuing to move his feet, looking around each side of the sled, shedding the block, and then making the tackle (or in this case grabbing the big green ball).

• Marcus Smith got some first team reps. He was in for Connor Barwin, who seemed to just be getting a little bit of extra rest. Fletcher Cox returned to practice after missing the previous day. Darren Sproles was absent for personal reasons.

• First injury scare: Jordan Matthews collided with Mychal Kendricks while Matthews was trying to bring in a juggling catch. Both guys remained on the ground momentarily before being helped off. Matthews and Kendricks resumed practicing shortly thereafter.

• Brandon Graham screams a lot during drills, and he'll give tackling dummies a little extra of a hit than required. He had previously talked about the low point in his career being when he played for Jim Washburn. Graham is visibly having fun practicing these days.

• The wide receiver who has impressed newcomer Walter Thurmond so far has been Nelson Agholor. Agholor had a nice contested toe-tap catch along the sidelines with Jaylen Watkins draped all over him.

• Mark Sanchez has looked good at OTAs. He had a really nice throw on a deep post to Riley Cooper, who beat Byron Maxwell. Still, Sanchez is going to have to do more than play well in training camp and the preseason to earn a starting job:

• One under-the-radar player who has stood out so far has been free agent WR Seyi Ajirotutu, who was a special teams maven with the Chargers. In each of the last two seasons, Ajirotutu had 16 special teams tackles. That was good for fourth in the NFL in 2013, fifth in 2014. In OTA practices, Ajirotutu has been very involved catching passes in the regular offense. I'd be surprised if he didn't make the team.

• Remember the opening kickoff of the second Dallas game when the Cowboys squib kicked it, the ball landed in no-man's land, and no Eagles could pick it up before the Cowboys ran down the field and pounced on it? Ugh. Well, the Eagles learned a lesson on that one -- they practiced fielding squib kicks from the JUGS machine.

• Cody Parkey was money on 14 consecutive kicks that I watched: 40 G, 40 G, 40 G, 30 G, 40 G, 43 G, 46 G, PAT G, PAT G, 45 G, PAT G, 42 G, PAT G, 52 G. Years ago, David Akers would often rattle off 10+ kicks in practice and make them all. It's been a while.

• Random ball:

Random ball

• The Eagles ended practice with a "U.S.A." chant.

In case you missed it:

• Eagles safety stock watch: Walter Thurmond up, Earl Wolff way down

• Jason Peters won't miss Evan Mathis if he's not on the team

Follow Jimmy on Twitter: @JimmyKempski