Camp Opens

Posted: July 24th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 20 Comments »

Training Camp opened for the 2017 season, with 34 Eagles players knocking off a month of rust and trying to impress the coaches. The first couple of days are for young players and you know those guys are trying to catch the eye of the coaching staff before the stars and veterans arrive mid-week. Let’s check in on who got off to a good start.

Jimmy Bama has good notes.

• Rookie running back Donnel Pumphrey caught a ton of balls today, lined up all over the formation. Pumphrey had the most catches of any player on the team today, by a mile. Pumphrey was very active during spring practices, and that carried over into the first day of camp.

To be determined if the Eagles are just working him a ton to see what he can do, or if they intend on using him quite a bit in games that matter.

• Undrafted rookie free agent Greg Ward had a great first day of camp. He made an acrobatic one-handed grab in the end zone, and then later improvised with Matt McGloin on a broken pay to find space in the corner of the end zone for a full-speed toe-tap TD catch. Ward played wide receiver when he first got to the University of Houston, then played quarterback, and is now playing receiver in the pros. Even with his history as a receiver early in his college career, his transition from quarterback to receiver has been impressive.

I think Pumphrey is a player they want to use this season. The key is to find out what he does best and then design a role for those skills. Pumphrey would be a situational player, but could still make impact plays if used correctly.

It won’t shock me if Ward makes a run at the roster. I’m not saying he will make the roster, but I could see him playing well enough that the coaches struggle with what to do with him. The goal of all UDFAs and late round picks is to play so well the coaches don’t want to cut you. Force them to look for an excuse to keep you. Ward could be a terrific slot receiver. I could also see him playing on STs. Yes, he’s a former QB, but he’s tough and a high character guy.

Go read Jimmy’s notes for some good thoughts on Mack Hollins and how he played.


Speaking of Pumphrey, here is an update from Les Bowen.

If he can just stay in the 180 area, he should be fine. Pumphrey isn’t going to be a workhorse RB so he doesn’t need conventional size. He does want to be in the 180 range to handle the wear and tear of the NFL.


Next up is Jeff McLane. Apparently CB Ron Brooks was at practice today. He’s older, but coming off injury so the extra work does make some sense.

Brooks didn’t seem the least bit annoyed at having to report early. Obviously, he wants to get the quad back to 100 percent, but he might have been one of the more active participants on this day. He’s one of the few veterans at cornerback, and if healthy, he should have a roster spot. Pederson, when asked about Brooks, focused on his role in the slot. Brooks was the Eagles’ primary nickel corner until his injury last season. During the spring, Jalen Mills moved into the slot with the first-team nickel defense. On Monday, Brooks took some reps on the outside, and he once broke up a pass in the back of the end zone intended for rookie receiver Greg Ward. With the competition open opposite Mills – and realistically at both corner spots – I wouldn’t rule out Brooks as a starter. He’s a favorite of defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz and has more experience in this defense than any other corner on the team.

Brooks isn’t a guy you want starting outside, but the Eagles aren’t exactly loaded at CB so we’ll have to see how things shake out. He did a solid job in the slot last year and I would expect him and Aaron Grymes to battle for that position this summer.

Shelton Gibson is proving to be consistent, but not in a good way.

The same can’t be said for Shelton Gibson. The rookie receiver continues to be plagued by unnecessary drops. He had two during individual drills when he wasn’t facing a defender. A Foles pass hit him squarely in the hands and he couldn’t hang on, and another Foles attempt was slightly behind Gibson, but it still hit him in the hands and he dropped it. Pederson said after practice that Gibson wasn’t where the team wants him to be. But it’s early. The players have yet to wear full pads. Gibson, who changed his jersey number from 80 to 18 during the break, has plenty of time to work out the kinks.

Gibson struggled in the spring. The hope was that he would be more comfortable now and play better. One day is just one day, but he needs to start having some good practices, to impress the coaches and boost his self-confidence.

And some leftovers: Undrafted rookie corner Jomal Wiltz knocked down a jump-ball pass to Ward. … McGloin threaded a zinger to Hollins with linebacker Nate Gerry draped all over him. … It was difficult to see DL-OL one-on-ones – and it’s not often worth much attention with the players in only shorts and shells – but rookie defensive end Derek Barnett had a few impressive rushes vs. tackles. Dillon Gordon got the best of him, though, when Barnett tried an inside move.



Is there a better human being than Beau Allen?


There was only so much to write about with so few players on hand today. If you want to be thorough, here are a couple of more sets of practice notes.

Brandon Lee Gowton’s notes.

Dave Zangaro’s notes.



20 Comments on “Camp Opens”

  1. 1 Tumtum said at 11:33 PM on July 24th, 2017:

    Mark my words Donnel is an impact player from day 1.

  2. 2 Insomniac said at 12:39 AM on July 25th, 2017:

    “rookie defensive end Derek Barnett had a few impressive rushes vs. tackles. Dillon Gordon got the best of him, though, when Barnett tried an inside move.”

    It’s pretty hard to beat a future HoF LT in Dillon Gordon who is probably getting pointers/lessons from a soon-to-be HoF LT in Jason Peters.

  3. 3 SteveH said at 12:54 AM on July 25th, 2017:

    Considering all the messed up shit recent Cowboys have either done or been accused of doing, getting cut for failing to appear in court on a petty larceny charge is comical.

    How can the locker room get any other message than if you’re a star do whatever you want and nothing will happen to you, but if you’re a role player step out of line even a little and you’re shit is cut.

  4. 4 A_T_G said at 8:51 AM on July 25th, 2017:

    Maybe…that is the message they want to send.

    Maybe…that is the world we live in now.

  5. 5 BobSmith77 said at 9:08 AM on July 25th, 2017:

    It is always the world we have lived in and always will.

    The important guys get a rebuke and maybe some token punishment while the no-name guy a harsh punishment.

  6. 6 HawaiianEagle said at 9:56 AM on July 25th, 2017:

    Exactly. Starts at the top. Hillary shud be in jail for all her “alleged” email stupidity but nothing. Some Private makes an error and they are sentenced to the fullest extent.

  7. 7 Bert's Bells said at 10:30 AM on July 25th, 2017:


  8. 8 laeagle said at 11:43 AM on July 25th, 2017:

    please stop

  9. 9 BobSmith77 said at 9:07 AM on July 25th, 2017:

    Jeff McLane said this morning the Eagles are really looking hard for CB help including 2 more CBs including a starter.

    Good luck with that.

  10. 10 or____ said at 10:00 AM on July 25th, 2017:

    First of all, taking McLane verbatim is a fools errand.

    But I do (half wishfully) buy into the Kyle Fuller prospect.

  11. 11 Ark87 said at 9:58 AM on July 25th, 2017:

    I miss the good old days of camp at Lehigh, open to the public and great live coverage from spuds and crew. I didn’t get much work done during camp back in those days, though. Anyway Chip got rid of all that, surprised that didn’t come back at all.

  12. 12 or____ said at 10:01 AM on July 25th, 2017:

    It really didn’t make any sense. I understand that tons of fans enjoyed it and that’s great. But it seemed counter productive. If you have a great facility, why in the world would you not use it?

  13. 13 Ark87 said at 10:04 AM on July 25th, 2017:

    They could still bring back the coverage, the OL vs DL drills were always facinating. Also the WR vs DB was always fun and not exactly giving away state secrets.

  14. 14 or____ said at 10:12 AM on July 25th, 2017:

    Fair enough. But I’m guessing they want to keep the privacy/secrecy. The fan base is solid regardless.

  15. 15 D3FB said at 10:17 AM on July 25th, 2017:

    What secrecy? There are 80 media people there.

    If they run a gadget play it gets tweeted about.

    If they suddenly start using Fletcher Cox as a WR, that’s gonna get covered.

    It’s not like Jay Gruden is gonna watch a grainy video from a weird angle and be like “oh holy shit, they run cover 2, and man free, and cover 3 and the wide 9 who would have thought”

  16. 16 or____ said at 10:23 AM on July 25th, 2017:

    I guess I was just taking a random guess. But it’s probably just spuds’ laziness then.

  17. 17 A_T_G said at 1:08 PM on July 25th, 2017:

    I heard they had Cox at WR with Agholor covering him, but the former Trojan was disappointing even keeping Cox under wraps.

  18. 18 HawaiianEagle said at 10:04 AM on July 25th, 2017:

    Thats what Elin said to Tiger…

  19. 19 or____ said at 10:11 AM on July 25th, 2017:

    Golf clap. (wow, I swear, pun wasn’t originally intended)

  20. 20 MattE said at 10:50 AM on July 25th, 2017:

    Kendricks for Fuller?