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August 11, 2019

Eagles training camp practice notes, Day 13: A lot of Jason Peters vs. Josh Sweat

We are now deep into the dog days of Philadelphia Eagles training camp, and as Doug Pederson mentioned on Saturday, the Birds are basically setting up a game-like atmosphere in their padded practices. As always, we have notes.

• This was arguably Carson Wentz's shakiest day of camp, as he was inaccurate on a number of his throws. He was picked off by Malcolm Jenkins and Avonte Maddox, and should have also been picked by Rasul Douglas. Part of the credit absolutely has to go to the Eagles' secondary, which has really played well throughout camp.

• On Jenkins' pick, Jenkins was hunted down by Jason Kelce, who stripped him on the return. Jenkins wasn't running full speed as he was looking to set up his return, but Kelce's athleticism was still on full display. Athletic beast.

• I watched a lot of Josh Sweat vs. Jason Peters today. Sweat beat Peters for a sack on an inside move early in practice, which seemed to wake Peters up. From there on out, Peters was motivated and he looked a lot like his old dominant self. The next eight reps between the two went as follows:

  1. Sweat gets nothing on another inside move.
  2. Sweat tries to dip around the edge, Derek Barnett style, but Peters simply pushes him to the ground.
  3. Peters stones Sweat in his tracks on a bull rush.
  4. Sweat rushes inside, and Malik Jackson loops around the edge, but Peters is able to successfully pass off Sweat to Isaac Seumalo, and picks up Jackson.
  5. Peters is a brick wall against another Sweat bull rush.
  6. Peters is able to aggressively move Sweat down the line on a quick-hitter.
  7. Sweat tries to get the edge on Peters, and is able to avoid Peters' hands, getting in the vicinity of Wentz.
  8. Sweat sets the edge on a run play.

I'll also note that Peters looked agile pulling to the right on a run play. A season ago, Peters was still recovering from his ACL tear. The bet here is that he's (a) more durable this season, and (b) better than he was in 2018.

Timmy Jernigan had several nice plays in the run game, and has had a good camp. On one running play, he stuffed Miles Sanders for a loss, and then spanked him twice.

If Jernigan can be anything close to what he was in the first half of the season in 2017, the Eagles are going to have one hell of DT rotation this season. Signing him back to the team on the morning of the draft is looking like a smart move.

• It's been under-discussed how good of camp Nelson Agholor has had. He's probably caught more passes than anyone on the team, and has had his share of flashy moments. Today he made a catch on a corner route, slammed on the breaks before going out of bounds, and then spun back to the inside to avoid Maddox before picking up some nice yards after the catch.

Oh by the way, the Eagles also ran that play to him that they ran in the playoffs against Atlanta.

Today that play went nowhere.

• A few running back notes:

  1. On an inside run, Miles Sanders hit the hole quickly, bounced it outside, and he was off to the races. He's a talented kid who is going to make plays this year. Book it.
  2. Corey Clement began getting team reps yesterday. Today, I was surprised by how he looked, in a good way. He didn't look to be hampered in any way, and while he wasn't exactly Usain Bolt in the first place, I thought his speed looked like it was back to normal.
  3. Boston Scott was back to practice. He's been out with an ankle injury.

• We had a return of Jim Schwartz's picket fence defense today! The offense ran a play similar to ones that opposing offenses ran against that defense a year ago, in which they'd get a few blockers out in front and dump it down to a RB or a WR with some YAC ability, to try to plow through the picket fence for a first down. Today the picket fence D won, with DeSean Jackson serving as the dump-down guy.

Jordan Mailata had a pair of false starts while working with the first-team offense. That's still somewhat to be expected, but he'll have to clean that up.

• We had some more OL vs. DL 1-on-1's today, which are always fun. The highlights: 

  1. Derek Barnett beat Andre Dillard with an inside move. Later, working from the other side, he beat Halapoulivaati Vaitai around the edge. He did a good job on both rushes knocking down the hands of his opponent. It's encouraging to see Barnett winning while rushing from both sides.
  2. The new guy, Eli Harold, got a few reps. He lost his first two reps to Dillard and Matt Pryor, but on his third rep, a powerful bull rush got Pryor to go down to one knee. That drew some buzz from his new DL teammates. 
  3. During 1-on-1's, Stefen Wisniewski was with the skill players serving as "snap boy" in 7-on-7's. The "snap boy" literally just snaps the ball, and that's it. It's a job typically reserved for whatever crappy UDFA camp body the team doesn't care about seeing in 1-on-1's. With Wis snapping poorly throughout training camp, they gave him some extra work snapping in shotgun today.

• Near the end of practice, there was a little bit of a scare. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside accidentally rolled into Rodney McLeod's knees at a high speed, which caused McLeod to stay down for a moment. McLeod was able to get up and limp off on his own. After practice, he said he's fine.

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