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August 05, 2016

Eagles training camp notes, Day 11: Eagles dropping like flies

Eagles NFL
080516ZachErtz Matt Rourke/AP

Zach Ertz has been hit low multiple times in training camp.

The Eagles went "live" once again (meaning they tackled) for the second time in three days, and they sustained a number of injuries, although they were mostly of the "scare variety," as PhillyVoice's Matt Mullin reported. We'll run down the injuries at the end, but first, the football action:

• The best action of the day occurred near the goal line, in something of a "reverse goal line" drill in which the offense has the ball at their own two yard line and are trying to get out. The highlights of that session:

  1. Leodis McKelvin had a pick six off of Chase Daniel. He read Nelson Agholor's route, and jumped in front of him for the theft and score. Agholor did next to nothing today, FYI.
  2. While Kenjon Barner has looked good in pass protection drills, he got steamrolled by Najee Goode during this drill, forcing Sam Bradford to have to get rid of a pass earlier than he would have liked. On the other end of that play, Trey Burton made the reception in the flat, and was then jacked up by Eric Rowe for no gain.
  3. Steven Means showed well during this drill. He blew up a running play to his side five yards in the backfield, but could not make the tackle in the end zone, as he was still being blocked. He stuck with the play and was able to bring down Byron Marshall, who did a good job at least wiggling his way to about the half yard line before Means could bring him down. After the play, one of the players on the sideline yelled out, "I see you, Means!" Throughout camp, Means has been playing RDE with the third team D. Today he got reps with the twos after Marcus Smith sustained a concussion. Means has clearly been better than Smith, in my opinion.
  4. Nigel Bradham got home for a sack and safety on a blitz. Rookie DE Alex McCalister had one as well.
  5. Down tight with your back against the wall in this situation, there are a lot of bodies in a small area. Carson Wentz has a nice advantage of being able to see over that mess of bodies with his 6'5 frame. Bradford has an advantage there as well. Daniel, not so much.
  6. Jordan Matthews had at least three catches during that session, and is a reliable target from the slot in that high-stress area of the field.

• The two standouts during 1-on-1 pass protection drills were undrafted rookie LB Myke Tavarres and TE Chris Pantale, but for different reasons. Tavarres beat his man soundly on multiple occasions, while Pantale couldn't block anyone. Pantale was then owned worse in running drills by Means and Goode. Coming out of OTAs and minicamp, Pantale looked good and seemed like a lock to make the team based on Doug Pederson's complimentary words during press conferences. In camp, he's been bad. In addition to the poor blocks today, for the second day in a row he had a drop that nearly resulted in an interception. I don't see the appeal, like, at all. He's not one of the 53 best players on the team, and in my view, he's not really even all that close.

• Kicker battle to the Death:


We have some kicker action to report:

 DistanceCaleb Sturgis Cody Parkey 
 33 yardsGOOD GOOD 
 38 yardsGOOD GOOD 
43 yardsGOOD NO GOOD (Wide right) 
48 yardsNO GOOD (Hit upright, missed left) GOOD
 53 yardsNO GOOD (Hit upright, missed right) GOOD 
 58 yardsGOOD NO GOOD (Short, and off right) 
 TOTAL TODAY4/6 4/6 

• We haven't mentioned Fletcher Cox much, and there's a reason. Two years ago, Cox had a very "meh" camp, in which he didn't really make many plays at all. Turns out he was probably just kind of going half-speed, because that was the year he really broke out and became a stud interior defender. I won't be making that mistake again. This year, it appears that Cox kind of picks and chooses when he's going to go 100%, and when he does, he's dominant. In a live session today, Cox penetrated through the line, blowing up a run play four yards deep in the backfield.

• I've been impressed by CB Ron Brooks as a tackler. He'll stick his nose in there.

Denzel Rice had a good day. On one of the plays the QB was sacked during the goal line drill, they still played out the rep, and Rice picked it off. He also had a nice pass breakup covering Paul Turner down the sideline.

• The Eagles have run a lot of three-TE sets this camp, which makes sense, seeing as they have three talented tight ends. We'll have more on that soon.

• The total injury tally:

  1. Marcus Smith: Sustained a concussion today.
  2. Jason Peters: Quad. Did not practice today.
  3. Ryan Mathews: Practiced today, but left early. He's coming back from an ankle injury.
  4. Brandon Brooks: Today was his first day back from a hamstring injury. He was a partial participant.
  5. Nolan Carroll: Did not practice; foot soreness. He previously missed a practice for the same reason, came back, and looked fine.
  6. Jordan Matthews: Left practice with a knee injury that looked initially like it might be serious, but it appears he'll be back soon.
  7. Zach Ertz: Left practice with a head injury, but does not have a concussion.

• Tomorrow's practice will be a 10/10/10 session. I'll save you the boring explanation on that and just say that there will be less action.

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