Avonte on the Rise

Posted: August 13th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Avonte on the Rise

Training Camp is winding down, but it is still good to check in and see what happened.

Let’s start with the hackiest of hacks, Jimmy Bama.

An interesting development is that Avonte Maddox has been getting first team reps in the slot over Sidney Jones. Today, Maddox had a good day. He had a nice pass breakup in the back of the end zone while covering Shelton Gibson. He also timed out a blitz nicely that forced a quick throw.

Is this a big deal? Maybe.

I knew when I started watching Maddox before the draft that Jim Schwartz would love him. He’s Schwartz’s kind of guy, in terms of skills and attitude. At the same time, the trio ahead of him is pretty darned good. Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills have been outstanding this summer. Sidney Jones has looked really good.

Some people see this as a sign that the Eagles might be about to trade one of their CBs, probably Darby. There is some logic to that scenario, but I don’t think it will happen. This is a championship level football team. If you trade a starting CB, you better get good compensation.

More than likely this is the Eagles cross-training the CBs they like the most. Maddox is natural for the slot. The Eagles may want him and Jones to split time inside based on matchups. Do you want Jones covering the Cole Beasley type of slot receivers? Maddox might be a better fit for some smaller guys like him.

The other thing is that you have to be prepared for injuries. Schwartz isn’t giving anyone a completely defined role because he wants them to be able to do different things. You have to be prepared for the unexpected.

I don’t think Maddox is suddenly ahead of Jones. That’s possible, but it sure doesn’t seem likely. It is possible that part of this is simply rewarding Maddox for playing well in the game and in recent practices.

Go read the whole piece to see everything Jimmy had to say about Maddox.


Now for Brandon Lee Gowton.

Undrafted rookie free agent Bruce Hector received second team defensive tackle reps for the second day in a row. Don’t forget that he received the most guaranteed money of any Eagles UDFA signing. Hector might be able to sneak on to the 53-man roster with the Eagles being thin at DT.

Hector played with Azziz Shittu, ahead of Elijah Qualls. The coaches like what they’e seen. Jim Schwartz mentioned Hector in his PC the other day and talked about needing to get him more game reps. That’s a great sign if you’re Hector, not so much if you’re Qualls.

The Eagles need one of the young DTs to stand out. Shittu has done that at times. Hector is on the rise now. The job is there for someone to win. 

Nate Gerry does this thing where he barks at people during plays. For example, when Graham made his interception, he started barking at Sudfeld as the quarterback tried to make a “tackle” on the return. Later on, Gerry started barking at Sudfeld as the quarterback took off towards the sideline on a scramble. Steven Means ran up to Gerry after that play, high-fived Gerry, and said: “Get his ass, Nate!” That’s Nate-on-Nate crime right there.

No real point to this, but I liked it.


Sheil Kapadia had some praise for WR Shelton Gibson.

Gibson continues to make the most of his opportunities with the starters out. He ran a great comeback route against Jones and caught a pass from Sudfeld early in practice. Later, Gibson made Bausby look silly with his route and delivered a leaping grab in the end zone. His route-running has really improved, and it looks like his confidence has as well. It would be a surprise at this point if Gibson didn’t make the team.

It is important that Gibson keep playing well and build off his good showing against the Steelers. The Eagles are banged up at WR right now. They need the young guys to step up.

Gibson’s confidence has to be at an all-time high for his NFL career. It would be great to see him have another big game on Thursday.


Jeff McLane has the details on a rough day from Jake Elliott.

  1. Jake Elliott finally missed a kick. Actually, he missed four – all of them from 48 yards. The Eagles practiced indoors because of the rain, so conditions weren’t an issue. Elliott was 29 for 29 coming in, made his first two (38 and 43 yards) Monday and then sailed one wide right. He made the next 48-yarder, and then a 38-yarder, but was wide left, wide right and wide left on three straight 48-yard attempts. Doug Pederson had Elliott kick again, to end practice on a positive note, and he connected.

Honestly, it is probably a good thing he finally missed. Have a bad day now and get it out of your system. Elliott was great last year so no one is worried.


Fran and Ben from PE.com will wrap things up.

Sullivan comes flying downhill and smacks Adams on an inside run. Sullivan played with a chip on his shoulder today. Not only was he ultracompetitive in coverage but he had a couple of impressive “thumps” downhill in the flat. – Fran

Good to hear. Sullivan was sloppy in the preseason opener. He needs to step his game up to secure a spot and also push for playing time. It is especially good to hear he was strong in coverage.

Now for some Josh Adams talk.

While Fran watched that drill, I was studying the running backs and tight ends facing off against linebackers in pass protection drills. Rodgers performed well throughout the session, but there were two plays that really stood out to me. First, Josh Adams delivered a strong block on Nigel Bradham that got coach Duce Staley excited enough to almost run into the drill mid-rep.

And later on…

Adams was banged up on a play late in the period. As he tried to release to the flat, he got tangled up with defensive end Joe Ostman getting upfield in his pass rush. Adams got up off the ground, caught the pass, and finished the rep, but looked to be slightly shaken up after the play. – Ben

Let’s hope he’s okay. Right now it looks like the only thing that will keep him from being the #4 RB is an injury.


Before you get too worried, consider the source. Rapoport is a good info man, except when it comes to the Eagles. His reports don’t have a high percentage of panning out. Maybe he’s right on this, but don’t count on it.

We’ll just have to wait and see how things play out with Jeffery.


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