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August 01, 2018

Eagles training camp practice observations, Day 6

Eagles NFL
080118DallasGoedert Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Goedert is good.

The Philadelphia Eagles finished Day 6 of training camp on Wednesday morning, getting in a full practice in pads before the rain came. As always, we have notes.

• For the third straight practice, Carson Wentz did not take reps in 11-on-11's. Doug Pederson was asked after practice why that was.

"I'm very encouraged obviously where he's at," Pederson said. "What I saw last week is enough to ease my mind. I don't need to see him in 11-on-11's, he's progressing extremely well. I don't want to subject him to any kind of setback or anything like that. I want to keep him progressing and moving forward, and those days that we had with him were really exciting."

When a follow-up question came about whether or not that meant if Wentz was done taking reps in 11-on-11's for the remainder of camp, Pederson responded, "I didn't say that."

Broken record alert: This is where I'll reiterate that barring a setback, I would be stunned if Wentz didn't start Week 1.

• The Eagles spent much of the day working on their red zone offense. A year ago, they finished second in red zone offense, in terms of percentage of red zone opportunities resulting in a touchdown, with 64.1 percent. That was a big improvement from 2016, when they were 49.1 percent.

• By my count, Dallas Goedert had four touchdowns in red zone drills, often working with the first team offense:

  1. On a corner route working against Sidney Jones, Nick Foles placed a high throw where only Goedert could get it, and Goedert make a one-handed grab that almost looked easy.
  2. On the next play, Goedert beat Jones once again on a quick slant that Foles threw high where Goedert had the advantage. Jones was simply over-matched on those two plays, but in fairness, there really wasn't much he could do, given the size disadvantage. 
  3. Later in the day, once again in the red zone, Goedert sort of posted up on a safety just over the goal line and made a TD catch.
  4. Soon after, Foles found Goedert again, this time in the back of the end zone,

Goedert is 6-foot-5, 260 pounds. Zach Ertz is 6-foot-5, 249 pounds. Alshon Jeffery is 6-foot-3, 216 pounds. They can all use their bodies to give the quarterback a target to throw to, unlike, say, Dorial Green-Beckham, who was big, but played small. It's going to be difficult for opposing defenses to match up against that trio when the Eagles are in close.

• The Goedert matchups aside, Jones had his good moments today, as he has over the last few days. On a slant route, Jones was all over Kamar Aiken like a glove. He broke up the pass, leading to one of the Eagles defenders (Malcolm Jenkins?) on the sideline yelling, "I SEE YOU, SID!"

• I haven't mentioned them often, but it's overdue that I note that both Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby are having fantastic camps. This is best I've ever seen Mills look, and Darby has given up almost nothing.

Michael Bennett made a nice play in the red zone portion of the day, when he bottled up a run, that resulted in a "tackle" for loss. That play prompted Chris Long to run out onto the field to give Bennett a high-five before returning back to the sidelines.

• If you find a jock strap anywhere near Broad Street, It's probably Joe Walker's, because he got juked out of his by Donnel Pumphrey today.

• At the start of camp, I quizzed my media brethren on who they thought some sleepers were to make the team, both on offense and defense. The leading vote-getter was undrafted rookie safety Jeremy Reaves.

Unfortunately, Reaves has really struggled in coverage:

  1. Billy Brown toasted Reaves deep down the sideline.
  2. On the next rep, Reaves blatantly held Markus Wheaton.
  3. Later, Reaves was beaten pretty easily by Richard Rodgers on a slant.

The first two safeties, of course, are Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod. After them, Tre Sullivan is very clearly the No. safety, and then there's a big gap to the next guy, whoever that may be.

• It's clear that Richard Rodgers is going to make the roster. Today, he made a really nice catch on a deep ball in which he tipped the ball to himself with one hand and then hauled it in. The other tight ends have have some moments here and there, but they have been too few and far between, while Rodgers has been consistently capable.

• In my view, Markus Wheaton is the fourth-most skilled wide receiver on the roster behind Alshon Jeffery, Mike Wallace, and Nelson Agholor. Yes, I'd have him over Mack Hollins at this point, though Hollins' roster spot is guaranteed, whereas Wheaton's is not.

Hollins and Shelton Gibson both play special teams, whereas Wheaton has just one career tackle, indicating that his special teams experience is very limited, aside from some kick return duties with the Steelers earlier in his career. He is going to be a difficult roster projection.

• For all you biased Notre Dame fans, we had a Josh Adams sighting today! In 11-on-11's Adams plowed through the line and absolutely bulldozed DT Winston Craig. It looks like Craig was already being blocked, and may have been off balance, but Adams still just ran right through him as if he were cardboard, as Sheldon Brown would say. Craig hit the ground hard, and Adams exploded into the second level. That was an attention-grabbing run.

Later in practice, in a red zone session, Adams plowed through the line in a goal line situation, scoring on the play.

• I'll also note that Wendell Smallwood finished a run with some authority, when he ran over LaRoy Reynolds. Smallwood had a bad day yesterday, but he rebounded today.

• The OL-DL 1-on-1's today were right in front of us, so we had a great view. Some highlights:

  1. Another day, another dominant performance from Matt Pryor, who owned anyone he faced off against (mostly non-starters).
  2. Bruce Hector has some obvious quickness. He smoked Isaac Seumalo today on a quick move.
  3. Destiny Vaeao destroyed Chance Warmack, pancaking him on a vicious bull rush. That was an embarrassing moment for Warmack.
  4. Jordan Mailata showed some improvement today, winning some battles against Josh Sweat and Danny Ezechukwu today. In previous practices, Sweat has been eating Mailata's lunch.

Jake Elliott kicking update!

July 27 Aug 1     
 22 - Good 33 - Good    
 33 - Good 38 - Good    
 36 - Good 30 - Good    
 38 - Good 45 - Good    
 40 - Good 34 - Good    
 44 - Good     
 44 - Good     
 7/75/5     


Jake is perfect so far this summer.


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