July 27, 2018
The opening day of Philadelphia Eagles training camp was a busy one, with the story of the day being Carson Wentz's surprise appearance in 11-on-11 drills. But with more media members than players at the NovaCare Complex on Thursday, there were plenty of other storylines being followed.
Here's a look at what the local and national media has to say after the first day of training camp for the reigning Super Bowl champions.
Nigel Bradham's career in Philly didn't get off to the best start, but that was largely due to boneheaded mistakes, some of which were made prior to his arrival. Bradham appears to have matured in the two years since joining the Bird and has become a key cog in their defense. That being said, those past mistakes nearly came back to bite the Birds in a big way this season.
Luckily, the damage won't be nearly what it could've been.
Bradham, the Eagles’ starting outside linebacker, will miss the 2018 opener against the Falcons for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
Initially, his suspension was six games.
“When I heard six back after OTAs (in June), I was devastated,” Bradham said after practice Thursday. “I was devastated, for sure. That was way too harsh for something that wasn’t that big. That’s almost half the season.
“That came out of nowhere. So I feel like I’m fortunate. It sucks that I’ll miss that one game, but I’m happy it’s not more than one game.” [nbcsports.com]
According to Darren Rovell of ESPN.com, Eagles offensive lineman Chance Warmack just earned a few million dollars by becoming the first NFL player to collect on a loss-of-value insurance policy for, well, being a draft bust. (Shh, don't tell Danny Watkins.)
Warmack took out an insurance policy that would have him collect if his second contract in the NFL was less than $20 million, sources told ESPN.
Warmack, the 10th pick of the Tennessee Titans in the 2013 draft, got a one-year deal from the Eagles worth $1.5 million last year, which triggered the policy.
Sources said Warmack filed to collect and was informed by Lloyd's of London this week that he would receive the maximum payout of about $3 million. [espn.com]
Patrick Robinson was a pleasant surprise for the Birds in 2017, one that came up huge in the postseason. Now that he's gone, who will fill that role — not at cornerback, but as the surprise of the season?
Next ... Patrick Robinson?
Role: A veteran, once highly touted, who has struggled in recent years and signed a one-year, cheap deal with the Eagles to prove that he still belongs in the NFL. This player goes from that to becoming an important contributor and key factor in his unit's success.
Player: WR Markus Wheaton. In 2015, Wheaton was one of the most dangerous deep threats in the NFL with the Steelers and, at 24, managed 749 yards and five tocuhdowns that season. He has seven catches for 102 yards and one touchdown since. If he's healthy — and makes the team — he could fight his way up the depth chart and at that point, anything is possible.
Other candidates: WR Kamar Aiken, RB Matt Jones, CB De'Vante Bausby, LB Corey Nelson [nj.com]
It's going to be interesting to see how the Eagles use these three young cornerbacks this year — Sidney Jones, Rasul Douglas and De'Vante Bausby.
• [Sidney] Jones took first team reps at nickel cornerback, just like he did during the first OTA practice this year. I didn’t notice much from him but it’s a good sign for him that he continues to get looks there.
• With Jones working as the first team slot corner, De’Vante Bausby was relegated to second team outside corner. He picked up where he left off from the spring with a nice pass breakup.
• Rasul Douglas notched a pick on Foles at one point. The second-year corner jumped a short route and took the ball the other way for a pick six. [bleedinggreennation.com]
Speaking of the secondary...
Jeremy Reaves v. Tre Sullivan v. Chris Maragos for significant safety reps is one of the most interesting training camp battles to keep an eye on. Sullivan got more significant reps than Reaves today, but it was the South Alabama product who made the noteworthy play: an interception of Nate Sudfeld which would have gone for 6 in live game action...
It’s good situational awareness by Reaves, who essentially was baiting the quarterback into the flat throw, and took advantage when it came—that’s smart stuff. Reaves has two season of cornerbacks, in both the slot and the boundary, but he finished his career as a box safety. The Eagles rotated him from high to box safety, giving Reaves an opportunity to prove his versatility across the defensive back end. I like him for a roster spot, but he has a steep hill to climb as a rookie UDFA. Today was a good start. [bleedinggreennation.com]
According to the roster the Eagles handed out at practice on Thursday, there are 88 players on the roster.
According to the practice observations the Eagles posted on their website, there were 92 (!!) members of the media in attendance.
Number of the Day: 92 - Courtesy of John Gonoude and the Eagles' media relations department, 92 members of the media attended Thursday's Training Camp practice.
Fran Duffy: Carson Wentz’s first completion of 2018 came courtesy of rookie tight end Dallas Goedert, who was used in a number of different ways on Thursday. The second-round pick lined up in the slot, out wide, and on the line of scrimmage, showing his versatility. He ran a quick route to the right flat on this play, and Wentz hit him in stride.
Ben Fennell: It was clear multiple tight end sets will still be a focal point in the offense. The Eagles practiced several two TE sets - with a variety of tight end combinations and formations. [philadelphiaeagles.com]
Jay Ajayi is in entering a contract year. So what do the Birds do?
The Londoner projects as the type of back who can be whatever the Eagles need this year, just two seasons removed from a 2016 Pro Bowl selection and career highs in carries (260), yards (1,272) and touchdowns (8) with the Dolphins.
But what do you pay a 25-year-old with an injury history entering the last year of his rookie deal? Some would say nothing and let him walk. The Birds rode Blount's bruising style all the way to the 'ship on a one-year contract.
For Ajayi's part, he's made it clear that he's ready to cash in.
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