August 05, 2021
Day 8 of Philadelphia Eagles training camp is in the books. Like on Wednesday, Thursday was a lighter day, as it was a short practice. The team also downgraded from pads to shorts. Still, as always, we have notes.
• We have a Jalen Reagor sighting! He had the best catch of training camp so far when he reached up for a ball lofted to the back right corner of the end zone, and made a one-handed, backhand catch with his right hand over Darius Slay.
During that same period, which was a 1-on-1 red zone session, Reagor smoked Slay on a great route in the back of the end zone, getting wide open for an easy score, but... he dropped it. Ugh. The crowd saw the great route and were audibly pleased, followed by a collective "Awwwww..." after the drop.
Later in practice, Reagor had a nice contested catch along the sideline in which he outfought Steve Nelson for the ball. Later, also against Nelson, Reagor committed OPI on a deep route, and Nelson was still able to bat the ball the away.
It was an up and down day for Reagor, but the ups were impressive, and especially encouraging after he hadn't really done anything over the course of the first seven practices.
• The aforementioned red zone 1-on-1 session was fun today. Some other highlights/lowlights:
• Miles Sanders fumbled today in an unpadded, low-contact practice. He had four fumbles on 192 touches last season. I have applauded Sanders for working hard this offseason on his 2020 deficiencies, but so far the results aren't there yet. Still a ways to go before the start of the season, but...
• Joe Flacco had his best day of camp today. He was on the money on several sideline throws, and he found Greg Ward deep down the field after rolling to his right to extend a play. Flacco has outplayed Nick Mullens of late. The No. 2 quarterback job probably isn't really a competition, if it ever was.
• Milton Williams had a nice batted pass today. He was neutralized by Lane Johnson, but had a quick twitch reaction to get his hands up into the passing lane and cause an incompletion.
• One player that I've been asked about quite a bit because he hasn't often shown up in these practice notes has been rookie RB Kenny Gainwell. He has had a quiet camp. I do wonder how much he has been affected by the year away from football in 2020 when he opted out because several of his family members died from COVID. It'll be interesting to compare rookies that opted out in 2020 and ones who did not.
• During his pre-practice press conference, Nick Sirianni was asked about his short practices, that have also included two days off already for older vets.
"All that goes down to player health and I'm not the expert in that," he said. "So myself and our strength staff and our training staff and our doctors and Howie Roseman, we all get together and we talk about how do we keep those guys available. If they are not available, that ability is worth nothing. That's just a part of the design as far as the length of practices, but when we are out here working, the standard is set very clear of how we want practice to be. We feel like we're out here and enough of what we want to be out here as far as to keep the guys healthy, but when we're out here, we're going and practicing hard."
The old school "football guys" won't like that explanation. After watching this team get wrecked by injuries every year for the last four years, I think it's fine.
• That's about all I got today. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. The Eagles have a day off tomorrow, so no practice notes. You're free to enjoy the beach instead of waiting around all day for these practice recaps.