Here’s what we learned tonight.
Today marked the ninth 2019 Philadelphia Eagles training camp practice. It was the team’s one and only practice at Lincoln Financial Field. Read on to see what I observed! Also, look out for a new BGN Radio podcast following Monday’s practice.
• CARSON WENTZ UPDATE: Wentz turned in a pretty sharp performance in front of Eagles fans.
Wentz notably connected with DeSean Jackson during multiple drills. Their first connection was when Jackson ran a crisp comeback route to create separation along the sideline for a 20-yard gain. Jackson should be able to get that play a lot since the defender has to respect his deep speed. Wentz connected with Jackson again in 1-on-1 when the veteran wide receiver absolutely smoked Rasul Douglas. Wentz ran out to his right and chucked a deep pass to Jackson, who made a leaping effort to come down with the ball. As you can imagine, Eagles fans at the Linc loved that. I think it’s safe to say we’re going to see a lot of Wentz to DeSean this year. Good luck to the defenses trying to stop that.
During a red zone series, Wentz threw a bullet between three defenders for a Dallas Goedert touchdown. He then hit Nelson Agholor on a fade route for another touchdown. And then Zach Ertz in the front left corner of the end zone for yet another. And as if that wasn’t enough, Wentz threw a touchdown to himself by catching a ball that got tipped by Malik Jackson.
• EAGLES INJURY UPDATE: Prior to practice, the Eagles confirmed Kamu Grugier-Hill will be out “multiple weeks” with a knee injury. Jim Schwartz did say the team “will get him back eventually” this season. Nate Gerry and Zach Brown lined up as the first team linebackers with both Grugier-Hill and Nigel Bradham not doing team drills.
Kamu Grugier-Hill: “A little banged up, but it’ll be a quick one; I’ll be back. ...It’s hard to put a time frame on it right now, but it’ll be definitely be early."— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) August 5, 2019
• Miles Sanders had three good runs that really stood out. The first one was a LeSean McCoy-esque jump cut to bounce to the outside and get in the end zone. Video below:
That Miles Sanders jump cut tho pic.twitter.com/6fI09Jmoag— Gayle Saunders (@EagleSessions) August 5, 2019
Sanders followed that up with a run to the outside where he showed patience to let his blocks develop before exploding forward to the end zone. Sanders broke off a long run that caused many reporters to tweet about how he’s clearly the most talented running back on the team.
I don’t disagree with that assessment. Sanders has juice that the Eagles’ other backs just don’t have; he moves so well. It’s just a matter of the rookie proving himself reliable to the coaching staff when it comes to things like pass protection and ball security. Going to be real interesting to see how Sanders fares in the preseason games. It feels like it’s a matter of “when” and not “if” he’ll supplant Jordan Howard.
• Nate Sudfeld continues to look like Nate STUDfeld. The Eagles’ backup quarterback threw a perfect pass to DeAndre Thompkins on a post for 25 yards. He had another good ball to Greg Ward — who made a nice catch — in the end zone for a touchdown. Sudfeld floated a ball to Joshua Perkins in the end zone for another touchdown.
• Alshon Jeffery dropped two passes he should’ve had but he redeemed himself with a leaping touchdown catch on a quick slant in the end zone. Rasul beat on the play.
• Sidney Jones logged two pass breakups on Wentz throws while covering tight ends during the final 11-on-11 series.
• For the second day in a row, Avonte Maddox broke up a red zone throw to DeSean.
• Perkins made a sweet one-handed catch as he was falling on his touchdown reception from Sudfeld. Perkins also made a good leaping contested catch in 1-on-1 about 35 yards down the field. I currently have the Eagles keeping Perkins as a fourth tight end on their 53-man roster.
• Boston Scott had a huge hole to run up the middle of the field and it ended with him getting popped by Johnathan Cyprien. New guy isn’t afraid to be physical. Case in point: Cyprien forced a fumble on Josh Adams after the running back caught a short pass from Sudfeld.
• L.J. Fort did a nice job of snuffing out a screen pass. Good to see him showing up given the Kamu injury.
• Clayton Thorson continues to struggle. He missed a wide open Perkins in 11-on-11.
• Attendance figures:
Eagles open training camp practice attendance totals announced by team:— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) August 5, 2019
2016 — 36,000 (two practices combined)
2017 — 59,000 (two practices combined)
2018 — 75,000 (two practices combined)
2019 — “More than 40,000” (only one practice)
• We can be sure that at least one Eagles fan was having a fun time at practice:
• Here’s to the troops:
Eagles military night tradition: players giving their practice jerseys to service members. pic.twitter.com/PDqZT5tXHo— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) August 5, 2019
Malcolm Jenkins once again disrespecting the military by being one of the last players to stay and sign stuff for/take pictures with/talk to the servicemen and servicewomen. pic.twitter.com/mbUJnMWMjD— Bo Wulf (@Bo_Wulf) August 5, 2019
• Important reminder:
Eli Manning is 4-18 in his last 22 games against the Eagles.https://t.co/bge1NzhPNl— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) August 4, 2019
The Eagles will be back at the NovaCare Complex tomorrow for a light 10-10-10 practice starting at 12:00 noon. Stay tuned to BGN for more coverage, as always.