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August 18, 2020

Eagles practice notes, Day 2: Jalen Reagor's rare athleticism

Day 2 of Philadelphia Eagles training camp is in the books. Let's just get right to the notes.

• (Clears throat)... Injuries:

  1. The two players the Eagles listed as day-to-day on Monday -- Jason Peters and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside -- were in pads, but neither guy participated much. We'll continue to monitor.
  2. These aren't injuries, but Jason Kelce, DeSean Jackson, and Malik Jackson all had "old guy" days off on Tuesday, AKA, "planned maintenance" days.

• With Peters and Kelce out, the offensive line looked like so:

Andre Dillard Matt Pryor Isaac Seumalo Nate Herbig Lane Johnson 

There are some takeaways from the offensive line alignment today:

  1. Andre Dillard has been dealing with a "lower body" injury, I'm told, but is still practicing. That would explain his appearances in and out of the lineup yesterday. Good for him for playing through some pain during a training camp practice. 
  2. Matt Pryor's appearance at LG is noteworthy because in previous seasons he has only cross-trained at RG and RT, at least during training camp, when we can watch. They are now adding LG onto his plate, which makes sense.
  3. Nate Herbig got a little taste of the first-team offense.

As long as we're already on the offensive line, the highlights of the OL-DL 1-on-1 sessions:

  1. Jack Driscoll had a nice rep against 350-pound DT Anthony Rush. While it's fair to note that a 350-pound DT isn't going to be trying speed rushes around the corner (so there's no mystery about what he's going to do), Driscoll anchored nicely against him. Like Dillard a year ago, there are no concerns about Driscoll's athleticism. He has that. The concern is functional strength against the big boys.
  2. Prince Tega Wanogho had several nice reps. He stonewalled Genard Avery a couple times, and steered Josh Sweat far enough around the bend where he wouldn't be a threat to Connor Barwin, who was serving as the quarterback.
  3. Casey Toohill obliterated Jordan Mailata (playing on the right side, his uncomfortable side) on two straight reps. The first was an inside spin in which Toohill made Mailata look like he had cinderblock feet. On the next rep, Toohill got underneath Mailata on an outside rush, and then pushed him back into Barwin. Last year in camp, Joe Ostman got the best of Mailata repeatedly with inside spin moves.

• And in WR-DB 1-on-1's:

  1. Darius Slay had a nice pass breakup on a go route from Quez Watkins. Watkins actually had a step on Slay, so Slay did not turn to look for the ball, and instead stayed facing Watkins and punched the ball out when it arrived. Well done.
  2. Sidney Jones had a diving interception while covering Adrian Killins, who as we noted yesterday is working out with the wide receivers, not the running backs. There are two ways to view Killins at wide receiver. If you're glass is half full type, maybe you'd say that the team sees enough in Killins, speed-wise, that they're seeing what he can do at receiver. If you're a glass half empty type, perhaps the thought process is that he has no chance at running back because of his Donnell Pumphrey-like size. Killins has not looked comfortable at receiver so far. He was unable to locate a pass on a slot fade yesterday, and the pass on the Jones pick was nowhere near Killins, so I wonder if he wasn't where he was supposed to be.
  3. On a go route, Jalen Reagor had a couple steps on UDFA CB Michael Jacquet, and you could see Reagor's final burst as the ball was coming down. It was a slightly overthrown ball by Jalen Hurts, but Reagor was still able to get two hands on it, but was unable to bring it in.

• Reagor's impressive athleticism is obvious, even when he isn't making catches. In addition to the incomplete go route noted above, Reagor went way up on a ball over the middle that was too high. Most receivers wouldn't have even bothered jumping for it, but Reagor did, and his hops are something to behold. Reagor recorded a 42" vertical jump at the Combine, and he showed it on the field.

After practice, in an interview session with reporters, Reagor said the feedback from Carson Wentz is that he can do things on the field athletically that other receivers simply can't do.

"We always watch a lot of clips with our routes and stuff like that. And he's like, you're explosive like Julio [Jones]," Reagor said. "You can run fast. You can jump high. So he compares me to a lot of receivers. And he's just saying, there are certain routes that certain people can't run, and he's like, 'You can run those routes.' He's putting me up there. He's putting it all on me, so I'm willing every day to work at it."

• Wentz had something of a frustrating day:

  1. He threw two pick-sixes. One wasn't his fault, as it bounced off of Corey Clement into the hands of Nate Gerry, who raced for a TD. The other was to Jalen Mills, who seemed to read Wentz's eyes, stepping in front of a short throw over the middle and taking it the other way. Jim Schwartz undoubtedly loved seeing that from the guy taking over for Malcolm Jenkins this year.
  2. During a red zone session, Wentz threw a ball away out of the back of the end zone, and even putting something extra on it in doing so. I would say he chucked it a good 30 feet in the air. He then turned and threw his helmet to the ground. I actually think that's a positive. Not that Wentz's competitiveness is in question or ever has been, but it's good to see a little fire early in camp, I think.
  3. He did end on a positive note, lofting a pretty touch pass over the top to John Hightower for a TD. All the young receivers have made plays already, by the way. If somehow two of them panned out, that would be huge for the long-term outlook of this offense.

Jalen Hurts got some action in the red zone today, and he ran a lot. On one play, he juked Marcus Epps, and scored. On his final red zone rep, he ran play action to the left, and booted to the right, finding Josh Perkins in the back of the end zone. In my rookie comparison series, we comped Hurts to Dak Prescott. As a runner, Hurts can either run by you, or through you, kind of like Prescott, except that Hurts is faster. We'll see what Hurts can become as a passer in time.

Hurts did get picked today. He threw a pass with some zip over the middle that looked like it might have been accurate, except that the intended receiver (Hightower) fell down. K'Von Wallace was in the right pace to make the pick.

• My official "first guy to get in a fight" prediction is Shaun Bradley. He decked Deontay Burnett near the sideline today. Yesterday, he gave Dallas Goedert a little extra after Goedert caught a ball over the middle. I appreciate the enthusiasm. He's going to piss off a vet soon enough.

• Bradley aside, there was some popping today. The biggest pop was by an unknown defender in the middle of the line on a goal line situation who stopped Boston Scott in his tracks and threw him violently to the ground. (It was 110 yards from where the media was standing, so I couldn't see who. Sorry.)

There was also a play in which a receiver (it was either Burnett or Greg Ward -- it happened so fast I couldn't get a definite ID on him) layed out Brandon Graham. You don't see Graham get knocked to the ground by a wide receiver very often, and in this case, it was probably an illegal crackback block, but whatever. The point is, it's been frisky at times the first couple of days.

• To hear some audio recaps of each practice, Brandon Gowton and I are recording daily podcasts. You can find those here:

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