Sunday Practice Notes

Posted: July 29th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 22 Comments »

I’m not at Lehigh, but watched Eagles Live on and was able to finally see the guys in action for myself.  Here are some of my obersvations:

* DT Antonio Dixon isn’t looking good to me.  He’s still too big.  He upright in his stance and looks stiff.  I didn’t think he came off the ball well or played up to his strength.  He did have to leave Saturday’s practice early so he might still be less than 100 percent, but I was not impressed.

* DT Derek Landri was good.  Quick off the ball.  Tough vs the run.  Disruptive.  Was part of the fight today.  Couldn’t tell who he was mixing it up with.  Not a big deal.  Just boys being boys.

* Cullen Jenkins got reps at DT and LDE.  Some may not remember but CuJo was the RDE for the Packers in 2007 when they ran a 4-3 defense.  Playing outside isn’t new to him.  He plays with good leverage and is an above average athlete.

One reason CuJo went outside is that Jason Babin is out with a calf strain.  He’s reportedly out a week, but Adam Caplan noted on Twitter yesterday that those can be tricky.  Babin can miss TC time and it won’t hurt him.  Be patient and get him right.

* Jamar Chaney had a good day.  He tackled well, especially against the run.  He got lost in coverage a time or two and that continues to be a weakness.  He doesn’t lack ability, but something just goes wrong.  He either reacts slowly or guesses wrong.  This isn’t about athleticism but rather instincts and football skills.  If he improves in coverage, could seriously challenge for the WLB job.

* I thought Jaiquawn Jarrett had a nice day.  He had several tackles and a couple of good hits.  There was a pass play where he got into the correct position and forced Mike Vick to pull the ball down and look elsewhere.  Jai-Jar has a long way to go, but this was good.  Young players can’t expect things to become great instantly.  They need to go one practice at a time.  String together several good practices and the coaches take notice.  Consistency is crucial.

* Fletcher Cox was up and down.  He played both UT and NT.  I think his pad level was too high early on.  Jim Washburn was reportedly getting on him quite a bit.  Fletch got better as the day wore on.  I think his head is swimming a bit right now.  He’s trying to learn from Wash and the veteran players and get these new ideas/techniques to work at full speed against good blockers.  Can take a few days to get into a comfort zone.  When things do click, you can definitely see his talent.

* Marvin McNutt is now 2 for 2.  He’s played well in both practices in full pads and with contact.  Riley Cooper is out 6 weeks with a broken collar bone.  McNutt is taking advantage of the extra reps.  He did drop one deep ball down the left sideline, but it was a tough pass where he had to jump up and go over the CB.  Other than that, seemed to catch everything and looked good.  Has come a long way since the mini-camps.

* Damaris Johnson impressed me.  He’s quick and shifty, but also seemed faster than I expected.  I haven’t seen him take any big hits so far, but he’s been fearless as far as I can tell.  That’s important.  Small guys who live over the middle must be comfortable playing in there.

* Casey Matthews is the backup MLB.  He’s still erratic.  On an early rep he overran the play and left the RB cutback room.  A few reps later DeMeco Ryans had a similar play, but moved at the right pace and the RB had nowhere to go.  Casey just needs to calm down and execute.  I think he’s amped up to prove last year is behind him.  That’s the right attitude, but he must play under control.  He got better as the day moved along, but failed to stand out in the reps I saw.

* Mychal Kendricks looks like the real deal.  He floored Dion Lewis in a 1-on-1 blocking drill.  Popped Dion and sent him down in a hurry.  Kendricks plays fast and covers a lot of ground.  Did miss one tackle that I saw.  Flew outside and was right there to get the RB down.  Dove for the ankles and made contact, but didn’t go through the target and the RB was able to stay up and get more yards.

* Dion Lewis was impressive as a runner/receiver.  He’s quick and elusive.  Has good burst when he does get into open space.  Didn’t get to see many blocking reps.

* Bryce Brown has separated from Chris Polk.  Brown is easily a more gifted runner.  Had a few good runs today.  Wasn’t on the outside, but actually in traffic.  Good vision.  Strong.  Nice burst.  Just looks good.  Blocking needs work.  Too passive.  “Catching” the blitzer instead of stepping into him.  Did show potential.

Polk didn’t have a good day.  Struggled as a blocker.  Too passive.  Ran okay, but I wouldn’t say he stood out.  Also, his one arm just doesn’t look comfortable.  I noticed this as he lined up for a standard play.  Seemed to be favoring it as  he got into his stance.  If that was real…not good.  I give the kid credit for playing through it at UW, but that won’t cut it in the NFL.

* Vinny Curry is learning, but I like what I saw.  Quick off the ball.  Good motor.  Goes full speed.  Coaches tell young players that making mistakes is okay if they do it at full speed.  Guys that hesitate and think too much are the ones that struggle (Danny Watkins last summer).

* Cedric Thornton looks like he wants to make the team.  He’s in very good shape.  Thin build.  Had some good plays.  Playing with confidence and looks like he knows what the heck is going on.  Last year he was lost.  I didn’t pay him a ton of attention today, but he kept catching my eye.  I’ll focus on him more in the coming days.

* Brandon Graham reportedly looked really good yesterday.  He was solid today, but didn’t stand out to me.  Got some snaps at starting LDE.  Wasn’t at his best vs Todd Herremans.  Give Todd some of the credit for that.

* I started off as not impressed by Clay Harbor and Brett Brackett, but they got better as the day went along.  Both made good catches and had a good day.  Brackett made a really nice downfield catch.  Harbor had a good grab down the middle and withstood a hit to hold onto the ball and keep trucking down the field.  Both guys look athletic with the ball in their hands.

I did not get a feel for Brackett as a blocker.

Chase Ford had a couple of drops and was up and down as a blocker.

* Emil Igwenagu isn’t going to let Stanley Havili have the FB job without a challenge.  Iggy ran over CB Cliff Harris after catching a short pass in the flat.  He also had a nice catch and run on the other side of the field.  I didn’t get a feel for him as a lead blocker.

* DRC was the star of the show on Saturday and was again terrific on Sunday.  He looked good at jamming receivers off the line.  He was able to run with them on short routes and we all know he’s got the speed to stick with anyone down the field.  He’s playing with a lot of confidence.  He had a couple of picks today, although one was an awful decision/pass by Nick Foles.  I’ll write up some longer thoughts on DRC.  So far, so good.

* A few people asked about Nnamdi.  Looks fine to me.  I didn’t get to see a ton of him today, but he was on DeSean a few times and was all over him.  This was on both crossing routes and downfield passes.  Nnamdi looks cool, calm, and under control.  Expect a much better year from him in 2012.

* Jeremy Maclin probably made the catch of the day.  Went deep and Brandon Boykin was the CB.  Mac got his hands on the ball and Boykin was right there, trying to pull the ball away.  Mac held on for the big gain.  Both guys looked fast and both played the ball well.  That’s one of those reps where the OFF and DEF coaches are happy.

* I thought the starting OL looked good.  No one blew me away.  Demetress Bell more than held his own, which is good.  I’m getting used to the backups so I can’t say too much.

* WR Jamel Hamler didn’t make any standout plays, but had a good day.  Tiger Jones was solid.

* Keenan Clayton had some good moments.  He needs to really stand out to push for a roster spot.  Right now he’s caught in a numbers game.

* Phillip Hunt looked good.  Nice burst off the ball.


22 Comments on “Sunday Practice Notes”

  1. 1 Randy Jobst said at 6:21 PM on July 29th, 2012:

    I believe it was Les who tweeted that Landri and Bell were in each other’s faces after one play. Landri is having the best summer he could possibly have so far. Patt is out for an undetermined amount of time and Dixon looks slow. The NT job is starting to fall in his lap. Great for a guy who was solid all summer long last season only to get cut, not get picked up until Dixon went down.

  2. 2 TommyLawlor said at 6:40 PM on July 29th, 2012:

    Very happy for Derek. He deserves some good luck.

  3. 3 Dave_King said at 12:03 PM on July 30th, 2012:

    Our hearts were instantly captured the moment he performed his first worm sack dance.

  4. 4 austinfan said at 6:30 PM on July 29th, 2012:

    No mention of your son or the mighty mite?

    Chad Hall looked good to me in the clips I saw, seems to be more natural catching the ball, not surprising since he was a RB in an option offense in college, transitioning to a slot WR role in the NFL was going to take time – but I think it’s his “natural” position. Looks like he’s in a good battle with D Johnson, with R Johnson running third and the rest just there to give the QBs some targets.

  5. 5 TommyLawlor said at 6:41 PM on July 29th, 2012:

    When the starting D was out there I focused on Kendricks, Ryans at LB.

  6. 6 makarov123 said at 6:34 PM on July 29th, 2012:

    Did the #1 OL go against #1 DL or just the #2s in full pads and contact?

  7. 7 TommyLawlor said at 6:39 PM on July 29th, 2012:

    In full live drills the #1 unit goes vs #2. In some limited contact drills, the 1s will go against the 1s. And 1s do face 1s in individual periods.

  8. 8 SebastianAubrey said at 6:43 PM on July 29th, 2012:

    Not that its easy any year when it comes to shaping the 53 man roster, but this year is going to be really tough. Some good players are going to get cut because of the excellent depth.

  9. 9 ACViking said at 6:49 PM on July 29th, 2012:

    Re: How they look on camera

  10. 10 TommyLawlor said at 7:05 PM on July 29th, 2012:

    Watching practice on isn’t as good as being there live. That’s 100% true. You have to rely on the camera to find the right players at the right time. Luckily, the Eagles do a very good job of covering the practices so we can see a lot of what goes on.

  11. 11 ICDogg said at 12:58 AM on July 30th, 2012:

    Here’s Dixon 8/1/2011.

  12. 12 ICDogg said at 12:59 AM on July 30th, 2012:

    Here’s Dixon earlier this week.

    Does he look any lighter than last year? Not to me.

  13. 13 TommyLawlor said at 1:15 AM on July 30th, 2012:

    I’m at a loss. I was really discouraged with what I saw from him today. I don’t want to jump too far, but he didn’t look 330 to me.

  14. 14 austinfan said at 8:59 AM on July 30th, 2012:

    I’d withhold judgement on Chad Hall.

    Played the Air Force option as a RB, two years off, then the last two years converting to WR as well as being a jack of all trades, and no OTAs last year. So far he looks quicker and more sure of himself as a receiver, physically he’d match up well with Welker and Bess.

    D Johnson is tough competition, and R Johnson ain’t no slouch, but I think Hall looks like he raised his game a notch with a full offseason.

  15. 15 ICDogg said at 8:32 PM on July 29th, 2012:

    I liked what I saw from King Dunlap in the last couple of days.

  16. 16 TommyLawlor said at 12:34 AM on July 30th, 2012:

    Good call. King has played well as the #2 LT.

  17. 17 a_fenst1 said at 9:45 PM on July 29th, 2012:

    How has Kafka looked thus far? I feel that his play in my be the difference between putting the eagles in position for a super bowl run and another 8-8 season.

  18. 18 TommyLawlor said at 12:35 AM on July 30th, 2012:

    I didn’t get a good feel for him today. Was focused on the “new toys”, so to speak. Will watch Mike more closely in the coming days.

  19. 19 austinfan said at 9:00 AM on July 30th, 2012:

    Watching him throw down the field, he does look a tad stronger, while he’ll never have a gun, he’s a notch above the Orton line.

  20. 20 Podcast: Talking Jaiquawn Jarrett, Marvin McNutt, Bryce Brown, Cullen Jenkins, Antonio Dixon and more… – Blogging the bEast said at 11:36 PM on July 29th, 2012:

    […] of note: Tommy watched training camp live on his computer today, and he had a lot of the same observations as me, which we discuss on the show.  I watched from the sidelines.  We’ll touch on some more of […]

  21. 21 rage114 said at 12:18 PM on July 30th, 2012:

    Thanks for the updates. Between you and Jimmy, I feel more informed than I have in years.
    I understand that they worked on a number of 3rd and short plays with Bryce Brown (BB) picking up the 1st 4/5 times? But also that only was #3’s vs #3’s?

    I would like to see him run the same drills against the #1’s or #2’s to see how he does.

    Also, very disappointed in Dixon. Sounds like he is just completely out of shape. Hope that is all it is.

  22. 22 Iggles Blitz » Blog Archive » Eagles Notebook said at 1:36 PM on July 30th, 2012:

    […] In case anyone missed it, here are my observations on Sunday’s practice. […]