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August 06, 2019

Eagles training camp practice notes, Day 11: Clayton Thorson is basically Dan Marino

Eagles NFL
080619ClaytonThorson Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

Thor, son.

On the Philadelphia Eagles' 11th day of training camp, their last before their first preseason game, the Birds took it easy, wearing shells and shorts, and conducting a relatively short practice. As always, we have notes.

• On the day after he received the most "stock down" votes in the "stock up / stock down" Philly media poll, rookie quarterback Clayton Thorson had by far his best day of camp. He connected with Greg Ward on a pretty deep ball, and threw accurately otherwise. At the end of practice he led a drive to the 10 yard line, when Doug Pederson decided, "OK, that's it for the day." Come on, Doug. Let him finish it out!

Thorson has had a rough camp, so he must feel great about finally having a productive day before the preseason games begin. Maybe he can carry that momentum into Thursday night against the Titans.

• On the flip side, after a string of about a half dozen or so good practices, Nate Sudfeld didn't have his best day. He was nearly picked by Orlando Scandrick and Josh Hawkins on a couple of bad throws. Sudfeld was good in the preseason games last year. This year, he'll get more opportunities against first-team defenses, as the Eagles aren't likely to allow Carson Wentz to play much in meaningless games.

• Another bomb from Wentz to DeSean Jackson today, by the way. Yawn.

• As for Ward, he's in the conversation to make the team, as he has had a strong camp. With Shelton Gibson sidelined with an ankle injury and not having produced before he got hurt, Ward would be my pick for the sixth receiver, should the Eagles keep six. I believe Ward has passed Marken Michel, who was the spring practice off-the-radar standout.

• We don't mention him much because you already know what he can do, but Alshon Jeffery has made plenty of difficult catches this camp.

Miles Sanders looks fine catching the football. The Eagles aren't going to line him up all over the formation like he's Brian Westbrook, and his hands need improvement, but from what I've seen so far, he's a competent receiver. By comparison, I would say he's already notably better in that area than Wendell Smallwood, for example, though obviously he's not clearing a high bar there. If I were to give an over-under on his receptions this season, I'd go with 24.

• As you know already, DE Joe Ostman is done for the year with a torn ACL. The Eagles placed him on IR and signed DE Kasim Edebali. On his first day of camp with the Eagles, Edebali had his way with UDFA rookie Ryan Bates. I didn't realize this initially, but Edebali has been in the league since 2014 (8 career sacks) and will turn 30 later this month. He has fresh legs and was rushing like a bull in a china shop.

• The Eagles also released OT Casey Tucker. He's the guy who started a fight with DE Shareef Miller. Tucker has been out with a concussion that he maybe sustained during that fight?

Donnie Jones pitching wedge

Mack Hollins is back from his hip injury. He had a few catches today. To be determined if he'll play on Thursday. 

Cameron Johnston hit a 70-yard bomb while backed up on his own 1. That went over the returner's head. Donnel Pumphrey, I think? Later, Johnson it a 65-yarder, again while backed up at the 1. There's little doubt he can crush it when he lets it rip, but can he be effective in those finesse "pin them deep" situations? Today, he did a nice job of getting balls to check up, like my beloved Donnie Jones used to do.


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