The Eagles were in full pads and practiced at The Linc. The highlight of the day was the alumni part, where ex-Eagles were introduced to the crowd. Aside from that, this was a nondescript practice. Of course, that’s not always a bad thing.
Let’s start by checking in with the practice gurus.
Here are Jimmy Bama’s practice notes. He’s got good things to say about some young guys.
• It’s time to start paying attention to OLB Chris McCoy. He had a PBU today and looks a lot more comfortable in coverage than Trent Cole and Brandon Graham. McCoy looks like a legitimate threat to grab a roster spot. Another under-the-radar guy making plays is WR Greg Salas. Salas was a former 4th round pick of the Rams in 2011.
• Brandon Boykin has stood out to me so far. A lot of PBUs (pass break-ups), I can’t recall looking at a player to see who got beat on a play and seeing #22.
• Chris Polk had a nice day. To say that he had several long runs is somewhat pointless, seeing as there’s no tackling, but he looks more elusive than I’ve ever seen him.
A lot of people praised Polk. It is a good sign that he’s come in hungry and focused. Polk didn’t play much last year and that can be tough on some young guys. He’s got a big chance with Chip Kelly taking over since RBs will be used more.
Really interesting to hear about McCoy. Someone else praised him yesterday. We need depth at OLB. Phillip Hunt is far from a lock to make the team. McCoy is stepping up and making the coaches pay attention to him. He has good size. He was a good pass rusher in college. If he can show cover skills, he could be a good backup OLB.
Make sure to read Jimmy’s piece to see his explanation of the Amoeba Defense.
* * * * *
Now to Mr. Kapadia. Before we get into his practice notes, we must discuss a moral dilemma that he posed…do you use mustard on soft pretzels or not? Sheil says no. His partner Tim McManus says Sheil is un-American for such a heinous act. What do you say about this?
2:00 – Wide receiver/defensive back one-on-ones. Russell Shepard streaks down the left sideline on a go-route and makes a leaping grab over Brandon Hughes. The crowd loves it. Still not sure if he’ll make the team, but Shepard continues to make plays.
Glad to hear that Russell Shepard is playing well. I still think we need to be careful about getting our hopes up. Would be nice if he could really challenge for a roster spot. Talented young kid.
2:25 – The offense does not look sharp today. Foles targets Jackson, but the pass is broken up by Fletcher. Trent Cole comes up with what wold have been a sack on Foles had he been allowed to hit the quarterback.
Vick hands off to Bryce Brown, who goes east-west out of bounds for a loss.
The defense shows a look with what appears to be one down lineman. Brandon Graham stands up in the A-Gap. Curry is standing up too. Vick is pressured before taking off and fleeing the pocket.
Jackson makes a nice catch on a low throw from Foles on a screen. Foles then targets Jackson on a go-route down the right sideline, but the ball hits Lindley in the helmet.
Vick runs play-action, rolls to his left, can’t get away from Phillip Hunt and throws across his body into the ground in Momah’s direction.
I already mentioned the offense doesn’t look good today, right? OK, just checking.
Foles runs the read-option and keeps it. Remember when Kelly said he should be fired if he runs the read-option 20 times a game with Foles? I think by 20, he might have meant 1.
Avant motions and catches a screen, but Brandon Boykin would have Sheldon Brown’d him if hitting were allowed.
Rough day for the offense. As Jimmy mentioned in his notes, this was their first time dealing with full pads and more aggressive contact. You actually expect them to get slowed down a bit. Still, that sounds like a really rough day. Sheil did a good job there of making you see this wasn’t just one player or one unit.
The good news is that the defense had a solid day.
And back to the pretzel debate…I’m a southerner so my vote doesn’t really count. I’ll eat ’em either way.
* * * * *
Couple of injury notes.
Cary Williams did not practice. Curtis Marsh has played in his place. No one has really written about Marsh, good or bad.
Todd Herremans tweaked his knee and watched from the sidelines. Danny Watkins took his place.
BJ Cunningham was in street clothes and a walking boot. That’s not promising.
* * * * *
The Eagles are really doing a lot of shuffling on defense. They are mixing and matching different combinations. Damion Square has been the backup NT some times. Casey Matthews and Jason Phillips have each run with the starters at some point. We talked yesterday about the different secondary combinations.
Don’t read into this as a sign that the Eagles want Matthews to start or that Square is likely to make the team. Just a lot of experimentation right now. If we start to see backup players getting used in odd ways over and over, that could be a signal. If David Sims is on the field with the starters several days in a row, that’s more than just experimentation. Same for Casey Matthews. And Square. For now, it is just interesting to see the different combinations.
* * * * *
One point several people have brought up is that Brent Celek and Zach Ertz have dropped passes in the past few days. This needs to stop. Both guys are talented receivers. Each guy had an issue with drops last year. This is something the coaches need to focus on.
* * * * *
Howie Roseman met the media. Jimmy Bama has the details of his conversation.