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August 17, 2021

Eagles training camp notes: Day 14: Eagles receivers making plays

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Jalen_Reagor_Eagles_Rams_Kate_Frese_092020 Kate Frese/for PhillyVoice

Jalen Reagor

Day 14 of Philadelphia Eagles training camp — the second of two joint practices with the New England Patriots — is in the books, and it was a short day (roughly 1:15), but a fun day, with a ton of red zone action. As always, we have notes. 

Yesterday, I tried to watch like three fields at once. Today, I decided to hone in the Eagles' offense vs. the Patriots' defense, and more specifically the wide receivers and tight ends vs. defensive backs and linebackers. I'm glad I did, because it was basically an Eagles highlight reel.

Jalen Reagor had the catch of camp a week or so ago, when he reached up and backhanded a pass with his right hand in the back of the end zone with Darius Slay in close coverage. 

Today, he topped that. It was similar in that it was another one-handed backhand catch with his right hand, except this time he also put his 42" vertical to use, leaping over a Pats defender (Jordan logo style) and high-pointing it. At some point I imagine that the Eagles are going to post that to all their social media outlets and you'll get to see it, and it will be worth the wait. We'll add it in here whenever they post it.

UPDATE: They posted it...

Otherwise today, Reagor had a drop against air in warmups and another drop in 7-on-7's, ha. I think he's just going to be that kind of player, who makes plays that most guys cannot, but also leaves some easy ones on the field.

• Another highlight today was in 1-on-1's, when Quez Watkins broke JC Jackson's ankles on an in-breaking route that left him wiiiiide open in the end zone for an easy score. Then later in 1-on-1's Watkins cleanly beat Jalen Mills on a corner route. Mills has been competing in these practices like he's in the Super Bowl, by the way.

Tyree Jackson had a really nice bounce-back day after a shaky practice yesterday. He ran a nice seam route, and the ball was on him as soon as he turned to look for it. He had to quickly locate the ball, and get his hands up to make the catch on a nice anticipation throw from Nick Mullens. Jackson was rather proud of his effort on the play, and he emphatically spiked the ball, Gronk-style. Good height and distance on the spike! (He is a former QB, after all.)

Later, Joe Flacco threw a ball in my direction (I was standing in the back of the end zone) that I thought was going to sail over my head, but Jackson skied for it and was able to make the catch. He landed hard on the end line his back, so it was incomplete, but it was a really nice, athletic play. Jackson stayed down for a few moments after the play. It looked like at a minimum he got the wind knocked out of him. We'll see how much he plays in the preseason game on Thursday.

• Even J.J. Arcega-Whiteside got in on the highlight play brigade. He hung onto a high throw in the back of the end zone and was able to keep both feet in bounds. And then later, he made a contested sideline TD catch over D'Angelo Ross, a 5'9 corner, from the slot.

If Arcega-Whiteside makes the roster, we've made the argument that it might make sense to allow him to focus in on the slot, where he can maybe use his size advantage over shrimpy slot corners.

• Speaking of the slot, we haven't often mentioned Greg Ward, because you already know what his game is, but he made a nice back of the end zone, toe-tap TD catch today. Many of you have wondered whether Ward will make the roster. I believe he will. He's the most experienced of the Eagles' receivers, and adds some special teams value as a backup returner, even if he isn't much of a big play threat. 

DeVonta Smith participated a bit in team drills, but I don't think he got any targets. If he did, I missed them. He did have one impressive route in which he smoked Jackson on a slant and got wide open, but Zach Ertz also soundly beat his guy and got wide open on an out-breaking out. The ball went Ertz's way, but there were multiple options open for a TD.

• The one receiver who struggled today was Travis Fulgham. He saw a lot of 6'3, 212-pound CB Joejuan Williams, who was often able to slow Fulgham at the line of scrimmage, and was able to stick with him through his routes. I'd be surprised if the Eagles didn't try to get Fulgham jump-started in the game on Thursday, because he has not had a good camp.

• We mentioned Ertz above, but he and Dallas Goedert made a bunch of catches the last two days. They weren't necessarily highlight plays, but Hurts has looked to both tight ends quite a bit.

• I did catch a few Eagles' defensive series against the Pats' offense. Alex Singleton had a great diving pick of Brian Hoyer, and Patrick Johnson had a nice PBU against Cam Newton. Johnson has gotten some first-team reps the last couple of days, and he did some nice things in the preseason game against the Steelers. I've been meaning to take a closer look at him from that game.

• Over the last two days of practice, I have not been impressed at all by the Patriots' play. Their roster is pretty weak, with some major question marks at quarterback, in my opinion, and they might struggle this season. (That's bad for the Eagles, since the Pats play the Dolphins twice, as well as the Colts.)

• Stay tuned for a practice wrap-up podcast soon, which will appear here whenever it is recorded and published. Or catch up on some previous recaps:

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