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August 07, 2021

Eagles training camp notes, Day 9: The offense stunk

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Jalen_Hurts_5_Eagles_Camp_Frese.jpg Kate Frese/PhillyVoice

QB1 Jalen Hurts.

Day 9 of Philadelphia Eagles training camp is in the books, and it was gross. As always, we have notes.

• Let's start this on a positive note, crediting the defense for playing well in practice today. The pass rush buzzed around the quarterbacks all day, the linebackers made plays on the football, and the defensive backs had sticky coverage. Golf claps all around for that side of the ball.

But it's not like they're the '85 Bears. 

The offense was dreadful. Pass protection was poor, receivers couldn't get separation, the timing on routes was off, there were drops, inaccurate passes, unforced penalties (like false starts), and almost nothing in the way of big plays. It was one of the worst offensive practices I've ever seen. 

Jalen Hurts wasn't good, but it certainly wasn't all on him. From top to bottom, the offense simply stunk.

Josh Sweat set the tone for the day, collecting two sacks within the first four snaps in 11-on-11's. He beat Andre Dillard cleanly to the outside for a sack, and then looped inside on a stunt for another. Sweat has had a fantastic camp. 

• There was a little bit of a shakeup on the offensive line today. The first-team unit looked like this:

Andre Dillard Sua Opeta Jason Kelce Jack Driscoll Lane Johnson 

Sua Opeta filled in for Nate Herbig, who got a look at center with the second team. Jack Driscoll played guard for the first time in 11-on-11's after mainly being the second-team RT. It was Dillard's turn to start at LT in his sham LT "competition" against Jordan Mailata.

Again, the first-team OL had a bad day. Even the good players struggled, like Lane Johnson, for example, who had a false start.

• We mentioned in the first bullet point that the timing was off in the passing game. To expand on that, there were two plays in which Hurts and Jalen Reagor weren't on the same page. The first was a back shoulder throw along the sideline to Reagor. It's hard to tell if the throw was even on target (it didn't appear to be), because Reagor was late to look for it. Darius Slay was able to break that up. And then later, Reagor wasn't looking for another Hurts pass that fell incomplete.

That's the kind of stuff that you expect to happen on the first few practices of camp, not on Day 9.

• I don't think I've ever seen as many defenders get hands on the football in one practice as I did today. 

Eric Wilson had an impressive one-handed INT near the sideline on a play in which Hurts was sacked, but the rep went on anyway. Hurts rolled right and threw on the run, right to Wilson, who was able to get his hand up quickly to make the play.

Lavert Hill also had an INT in 7-on-7's. He had Jhamon Ausbon blanketed near the sideline, but Nick Mullens threw a wounded duck in that direction anyway, right to Hill, who just had to wait for the ball to come to him and run it back.

And then there were a buttload of pass breakups. This isn't all of them, but a few that stood out:

  1. We mentioned Slay's PBU vs. Reagor on the back shoulder throw above.
  2. T.J. Edwards was able to get in front of Tyree Jackson over the middle for a PBU.
  3. Alex Singleton also knocked down a pass over the middle. This was Singleton's first full practice after returning from the COVID list, just FYI.
  4. Anthony Harris had a pair of nice breakups. He batted down a pass intended for Jordan Howard, and dove in front of another pass to Dallas Goedert.
  5. Michael Jacquet made a nice play in front of Travis Fulgham.

Defensive backs owned the receivers today.

• If we were to reach for some positives from the offense today:

  1. Adrian Killins had a couple nice plays. He toasted Avonte Maddox down the sideline in 1-on-1's. I don't think we've mentioned Killins at all yet, but he's been playing WR, and he showed off his speed on that play. He also had a sliding catch over the middle.
  2. We've noted that Tyree Jackson is having a good camp. One thing that has perhaps been surprising so far is how well he has caught the ball, especially since he's a converted quarterback. I can't recall any obvious drops.
  3. There was something on the line for the final play of practice, when Jason Huntley caught a pass near the sideline for a first down. The offense broke into a big celebration after that play, almost as if they hadn't looked awful all day, lol.

That's it. That's all I got.

• The next practice is Sunday night at Lincoln Financial Field. The offense needs to show some pride and have a comeback performance in front of the fans.

• 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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