August 12, 2019
After a pair of practices in pads on Saturday and Sunday, the plan was for the Philadelphia Eagles to dial it back a bit on Monday with a shortened 10-10-10 practice, but tempers flared unexpectedly. As always, we have notes.
• Near the end of practice in a red zone session, Andre Dillard and Derek Barnett had some physical battles beyond what is typical in a 10-10-10 practice in shells and shorts. Dillard also at one point blocked safety Johnathan Cyprien to the ground, and Cyprien had to be held back from going after Dillard.
A fight eventually broke out between Dillard and Barnett, but it was difficult to see what exactly happened, as the two players were surrounded by an extreme number of bodies. Like, a couple dozen, I'd say.
After practice, Dillard was visibly emotional (he appeared to be in tears) as he had a long chat with Howie Roseman and Doug Pederson, with Pederson seemingly offering encouragement, patting Dillard on the back several times. Barnett eventually made his way over, and bro-hugged it out with Dillard.
Both Barnett and Dillard declined to speak with the media after practice, but Dillard's offensive linemen teammates were happy to see Dillard get emotional.
If there's any analysis to be made here, one of the negatives about Dillard coming out of college was that he didn't have a "mean streak." Well, we saw that today. Of course, when he did display the mean streak, he remained emotional after practice.
The phrase "emotional intelligence" is mocked sometimes, but it's a real part of coaching in modern sports, and it's a strength of Pederson's. A team like the Texans, for example, let Brandon Brooks get away. After signing with the Eagles, Brooks missed multiple games in 2016 as a result of his anxiety. Rather than view that as a negative, the Eagles created a workplace for Brooks where he could thrive. Brooks, of course, is now one of the best right guards in the game, who was named to each of the last two Pro Bowls.
• The fight aside, there wasn't much that was noteworthy today, given that it was a noncompetitive 10-10-10 practice. The one thing that was different was that the Eagles ran a couple of tackle-eligible plays with their third-team offense in which Clayton Thorson threw twice to UDFA C Keegan Render. They connected on the first attempt for a TD, but on the second tackle-eligible play, Render was comically streaking along the back line of the end zone, and Thorson was picked by linebacker Alex Singleton.
• Jake Elliott kicked field goals today, and he was 3/5. Elliott has not had a very good camp. Let's go ahead and update his chart:
Last year, Elliott successfully connected on his first 29 field goal attempts. This year, he's 22 of 29, with a doinker off the upright in the game against the Titans.
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