More Sports:

August 25, 2021

Eagles training camp notes, Day 17: Undefeated in joint practices

Day 17 of Philadelphia Eagles training camp — the last practice that the media will be able to watch in full for the rest of the 2021 season — is in the books, and once again, the Birds had a good day against the New York Jets. As always, we have notes.

• It was an intense, physical practice, with a lot of red zone, goal line, and hurry-up scenarios, which leads me to believe that the Eagles will be taking it easy in the game on Friday. To be determined if the starters play at all, and if so, for how long, but I would have backup Friday night plans, because you might see Joe Flacco and Nick Mullens early and often.  

• This was one of Jalen Hurts' strongest practices of training camp, in my opinion, as he made plays all day with his arm and his legs. In a hurry-up session near the end of the day, he finished off practice emphatically, as he made the right reads, and distributed the ball all over the field to Quez Watkins, Zach Ertz, Greg Ward, and DeVonta Smith, scoring a TD in a game situation drill, followed by a two-point conversion.

At other times during the day, the quibbles remain the same — mainly that he holds onto the ball for a long time.

Another one of Hurts' quirks is that he doesn't often climb the pocket when pressure begins to close in. He almost always attempts to escape laterally, which makes sense for him, because one of the best things he does is throw on the run. One of the things that he'll have to develop over time is the ability to step up into the pocket and throw while moving forward. 

But again, on the day, there was more good than bad, which is something we've been saying more often about his play lately.

• Watkins continues to ball out. He had an impressive toe tap TD catch along the back of the end zone during goal line drills. When he caught it, it looked like he wasn't going to be able to keep both feet in, but he did. Jets coaches were screaming that he was out, but the official called him in, which I can confirm was the correct call. Later, Watkins ran along the back of the end zone, staying alive for a scrambling Hurts, who threw a bullet on the run that Watkins was able to bring in despite a defender contesting the catch.

• In the hurry-up drill mentioned above, Ward caught a ball in the middle of the field, quickly turned, and headed straight down the field. He was 1-on-1 with Jets safety Sharrod Neasman, who he juked and ran for the score. Ward YAC!

• The tight ends have been very active all throughout camp, and today was no different.

  1. Ertz made catches all over the field, including a TD catch on a high throw in the back of the end zone.
  2. Dallas Goedert had a TD on (Andy Reid alert!) a goal line shovel pass. Nick Sirianni has run quite a few of those, by the way.
  3. DickRod ran over CB Lamar Jackson (not that Lamar Jackson) on his way to a TD. The Eagles' offense was very fired up after that play.
  4. Jack Stoll had a great catch in between two defenders down the seam for a TD on a pinpoint pass from Flacco. That capped a hurry-up session, and Eagles players flooded the end zone from the sidelines to celebrate with Stoll after the play. 

Miles Sanders had a good day. His highlight of the day came when he took on two Jets defenders at the goal line full speed, and barreled in for the score. That play fired up Jason Kelce, who let out a big, "F*** YEAH!!!" 

And Miles caught the ball well today, too!

Kenny Gainwell also did some nice things, and showed some fire. After one play, he got into it a little with CB Isaiah Dunn. I wouldn't call it a fight, necessarily, but it was close. Later, on a play on which he scored, Jackson was a little overenthusiastic trying to strip Gainwell of the ball after he had already scored. Gainwell took exception and fought back. A mass of around 20 or so Jets and Eagles bodies congregated for a minute or so, before it was broken up.

Later during that same session, Gainwell caught a TD pass over Jackson.

• I think this is where I'll also make the point that I saw a lot more enthusiasm from the Eagles during joint practices than I did from the Patriots or Jets. Sirianni's biggest theme since he was hired has been competition, and he has to be happy with the way his players are into each practice.

• It feels like Jordan Howard is going to make the roster, based on the number of first-team reps he was gotten, plus the fact that he started against the Steelers in the first preseason game. I don't get it. I haven't seen anything from him that suggests he should make this roster. Even in short yardage situations, he hasn't been effective.

• The other fight today was between Jack Driscoll and Jets iDL John Franklin-Myers, during OL-DL 1-on-1's. Nothing crazy there.

• Prior to practice, Sirianni continued to not declare a winner of the starting LT competition 🙄, but Jordan Mailata started at LT for the second consecutive day, while Andre Dillard was with the second teamers. Mailata and Isaac Seumalo seemed to have a miscommunication on a Jets stunt that led to immediate pressure today. The Eagles can still call it a competition all they want (it really doesn't matter), as long as Mailata and Seumalo get as much time working with each other as possible. 

• For the second straight day, Dillard get wrecked by some guy named Jeremiah Valoaga in 1-on-1's. Valoaga ran Dillard over, and Dillard wound up on his backside. In fairness, Dillard might still be recovering from his knee injury, but it was ugly nevertheless. Who is Valoaga, you might ask? Well, the Jets don't even have a picture of him on his bio page.

• Like yesterday, I mostly focused on the Eagles' offense, but here are a few quick defensive observations:

  1. Javon Hargrave was consistently disruptive.
  2. JaCoby Stevens had a nice pass breakup. 
  3. Andrew Adams was getting first-team reps, and he capitalized with an INT and a nice hit on WR D.J. Montgomery, causing in incompletion.

Jake Elliott had a shaky start to camp, but he made each of his last 18 field goal attempts in practice, as well as three long kicks in the first preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. After missing some time with an ankle injury, Elliott kicked for the first time in a while and was 6/6 on his kicks. I couldn't see from my vantage point the distances on each of them (it seemed to closely mirror the first three kicking sessions this summer), but I could see that he made them all.

7/31 8/3 8/8 8/12 (game) 8/26 
33 - No good, wide right 33 - Good 32 - Good 47 - Good ?? - Good 
38 - Good 36 - Good 40 - Good PAT - Good ?? - Good 
43 - Good 39 - Good 44 - Good 47 - Good ?? - Good 
40 - Good 41 - Good 28 - Good 50 - Good ?? - Good 
44 - Good 44 - Good 46 - Good  ?? - Good 
49 - No good, wide left 47 - Good 53 - Good  ?? - Good 

It has been an encouraging summer for Elliott.

• 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:

Follow Jimmy & PhillyVoice on Twitter: @JimmyKempski | thePhillyVoice

Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice Sports

Add Jimmy's RSS feed to your feed reader