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August 05, 2019

Eagles training camp practice notes, Day 10: More work in the red zone

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080519IsaacSeumalo Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

Isaac Seumalo is an under-the-radar performer this offseason, I'm told.

Philadelphia Eagles training camp practice No. 10 is now in the books, and it was a boring one today, as the team had a "10-10-10" day. Still, as always, we have notes.

• Personally, I spent the better part of practice seeking out my colleagues to ask them to name a player whose stock is up, and one whose stock is down, in case you missed that. Of the players receiving multiple votes in either column, there were no real surprises. The leading vote-getter on the "stock up" side was CB Sidney Jones, the third-year corner whose first two seasons in the NFL have been marred by injury.

Jones has stayed healthy all throughout camp, so right off the bat that's new territory for him, but he has also indeed been very good. When the Eagles drafted Jones, they did so knowing that he would not be a factor Year 1. Year 2 was rocky, as he was hampered by a hamstring injury, and was attacked, Cobra Kai-style, by the Saints and Cowboys. 

In Year 3, Jones is facing something close to a do or die season, and he is off to a great start.

• The Eagles worked on red zone today, and have done a lot of red zone work over the last week. In 2017, the Eagles scored touchdowns on 64.1 percent of their trips into the red zone. That was good for second in the NFL, in what was something of a down red zone year, league-wide. In 2018, they scored touchdowns on 59 percent of their red zone trips, which was 17th in the league.

The difference of about 5 percent might not sound like a lot, but it equates to roughly one extra touchdown vs. a field goal every five games. When you consider that the Eagles lost two games in overtime last year, and five other games by a touchdown or less, that seemingly small difference on paper in red zone efficiency can indeed be a big deal.

In red zone drills today, Carson Wentz threw one up high to DeSean Jackson, who went up, made the catch and toe-tapped in the back of the end zone for a score. Nate Sudfeld also had a good red zone session, hitting Dallas Goedert along the back line, as well as Carlton Agudosi in the front left corner of the end zone. The Eagles' offense has attacked the back line of the end zone all camp long.

• Sudfeld is really beginning to put together a nice camp after a slow start. In the past, we've noted that he throws with good touch, but he isn't a guy who's going to make a power throw from the hash to the opposite sideline. His arm strength isn't bad, but he's certainly not on Wentz's level. That said, I do think he gets the ball to his target quickly in the red zone. To begin, he has a quick release, and he throws with good speed to targets 10-20 yards away. He's not going to throw too hot, like Donovan McNabb used to do at times back in the day, and yet, it gets there. It's just a catchable ball with appropriate speed.

• As a receiver, Miles Sanders has shown some glimpses that he can be a factor in the passing game, but he's not there yet. He had a bad drop today in the red zone. The ability is there, but he needs more consistency.

• Today was a day in which a number of vets got the day off. Jason Kelce for example, was one. With him out, Isaac Seumalo got reps on the first team at center. Seumulo hasn't been mentioned much, because well, it's hard to evaluate guard play from the sideline at field level during practices. However, I'm told that there are people in the building who think he has had a very good camp, and could be another guy who makes a jump this season.

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