Practice Notes Roundup

Posted: July 31st, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Practice Notes Roundup

Tuesday was another busy day at Eagles Training Camp.

We’re going with a different format today. I’ll start by posting the links.

Jimmy Kempski

Jeff McLane

Mike Kaye

Brandon Lee Gowton

Bo Wulf

All of them had some good stuff today. Let’s focus on players.

DE Joe Ostman got a lot of attention. He made several plays in practice and Jim Schwartz was asked about him afterward. Schwartz made sure to say we need to pump the brakes on the hype train a bit. This is just practice and rushers aren’t even sacking the QB. They’re just tagging him. Finishing is a huge part of rushing the passer.

Still, Schwartz did talk about the fact that Ostman is being used in a Joker type of role, as a stand-up rusher/DE/LB. Schwartz said they were trying to create a role for Ostman. Coaches don’t create specific roles for backup players very often. Almost never. This tells you that Ostman has their attention.

Schwartz also pointed out that Ostman works really hard on STs. That’s huge for a fringe player like him. He’s embraced STs. Some fringe players don’t think of themselves as STers and that hurts their value to the team. Ostman seems to be doing everything he can to impress all of his coaches. That’s how you win a roster spot and even get active on game days.

The beat writers are certainly paying attention.

Dating back to the 2018 season, the team has praised Joe Ostman any chance they have gotten. Defensive coaches, offensive coaches, Howie Roseman, etc. That has felt a lot like the team going out of its way to give props to a guy who works hard, and I’ll admit having skepticism when listening to their comments.

But you know what? I’m starting to see it. Yesterday, we mentioned that he smoked Jordan Mailata twice in team drills. Today he left Mailata in the dust once again on an inside spin move that also worked yesterday, and he had a nice TFL on a run play. However, what was more eye-opening than the plays that he is making is that the Eagles are standing him up over the center at times in something of a Joker role. On one occasion, he knifed through the line for a sack while standing up over the center.

Ostman, a rookie UDFA last year, was a highly productive pass rusher in his final season at Central Michigan, where he had 60 tackles (19.5 TFL), 14 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles. – JK


Joe Ostman had made a solid showing in the first four practices, but he was all over the field Tuesday. The defensive end spent most of last season on the practice squad, and the Eagles seemingly have five at his position ahead of him on the 53-man roster, but if cut-downs were today, I’d have him on.

Schwartz is clearly intrigued. He had Ostman line up as a “joker, a roving stand-up rusher, on the first-team rep for the first units. As the second-team left end, he has abused tackle Jordan Mailata. He got him with a spin move and “sacked” Sudfeld during team drills and was able to burn Mailata with an outside speed rush during one-on-one drills. Ostman, it should be noted, didn’t have as much success when he switched to the other side vs. rookie left tackle Andre Dillard. But he fended off a kick-out block by another lineman and dropped running back Wendell Smallwood for a loss, and finished practice with another sack as the “joker.” – JM

There is more than just hype here. I don’t know if Ostman will pan out, but he’s continually producing and that’s impressive.


RB Miles Sanders continues to impress.

The second-round rookie has looked the part when given the chance. The Eagles are slowly integrating Sanders into the offense after he missed all of the offseason program workouts with a hamstring injury.

On Tuesday, Sanders displayed versatility in team drills. With tackling permitted in practice, Sanders made a few impressive runs through contact. During 11-on-11 drills, the running back scored a short-yardage touchdown through a wall of bodies.

As a receiver, Sanders looked natural catching the ball. At one point, Sanders was matched up on the outside against defensive end Vinny Curry. Sanders ran a wheel route and got wide open with Curry trailing in coverage. Quarterback Carson Wentz launched a pass right in the bucket to Sanders, who took off running for a big gain. – MK

Sanders has the potential to be a good receiver. He never maxed out that skill at Penn State, but the potential is there. It is great to hear that he’s making plays in the passing game. Young RBs must do that if they want to get on the field.

Pass-protection drills gave us our first glimpse of Sanders as a blocker. He did fine vs. linebacker Zach Brown on the one rep I watched. Brown drove him back off one foot, but Sanders recovered and anchored. Howard stood his ground vs. a Jenkins spin move. – JM

Young RBs also must be able to block. Sanders is a more physical player than some realize, both as a runner and blocker. 


WR Nelson Agholor is a tough player to evaluate. He’s productive and even makes some big plays, but he still feels very replaceable. Maybe 2019 will truly be a breakout year for him.

One guy who has not been quiet has been Agholor, who has made a boatload of catches this summer. On a series with the first-team offense facing the first-team defense, Jim Schwartz had the offense backed up in a 3rd and 20+ situation. Out came Schwartz’s hated sticks defense.

Sure enough, Wentz fired a laser in between two defenders near the line to gain to Agholor, who leaped for the reception and got another 20 or so yards after the catch. – JK

Agholor must make more plays. He averages 11.6 yards per catch for his career. Freddie Mitchell averaged 14 ypc. One area where Agholor can make a big improvement is running after the catch. There are times when he looks lost. He runs backward way more than any WR should. If he can start to make plays after the catch, that will increase his value, to the Eagles or the other 31 teams.

The Wentz-to-Agholor connection was especially tough for the defense to stop. Nelly showed great concentration/coordination to stay with a bouncing ball that was disrupted by a tightly contesting defensive back. Wentz then hit Agholor clean for some big chunk gains, including a 40-yarder. Another Agholor reception came on a flea flicker throw from Wentz. – BLG

This is the kind of stuff you want to hear.


Rasul Douglas continues to take advantage of the playing time he’s getting.

One-on-one sessions begin, and I watch the receivers take on the defensive backs, which always puts the defenders in a tough spot. There are often unconventional routes from receivers during this period, meaning awkward break points and double moves that you, as a defender, may not normally see in the main playbook. “Leveraging to your help” is a major aspect of playing in coverage, so not having anyone to force the receiver toward is challenging in its own right. The offense should win about 75-80 percent of these snaps, which is what makes Rasul Douglas’ play during this period so impressive. Douglas has made plays every day this summer, and he had the highlight pass breakup in this period on Tuesday. Douglas poked away a back-shoulder fade to Jeffery along the left sideline. Jeffery and Wentz were in perfect harmony on the pass, but Douglas used his long arms to attack the catch point. – Ben


 Rasul Douglas played well down the stretch in 2018 and he’s looked good all offseason long. Douglas allowed Jeffery to catch a fade pass from Wentz but then he immediately poked the ball out to force an incompletion. Douglas has made a strong case to be starting in 2019. – BLG

I’m curious to see Douglas in preseason games. I want to buy-in, but Douglas has been erratic in his young career. He’ll look really good and then get burned for a big play. The potential is there, though. Maybe this is the year he really breaks out.


Rookie OT Andre Dillard is winning most of his battles.

For much of this period, first-round pick Andre Dillard works against Josh Sweat. Sweat gets nowhere. Dillard looks good today. – BW


Another highlight came courtesy of Greg Ward, who took a screen pass for a big gain from the slot after following a lead block from first-round pick Andre Dillard, who appears to have strung together a couple of strong practices in a row. – Fran

Getting out in space? That’s needed for this offense. Dillard isn’t just a pass blocker. He’s a good athlete who is an excellent fit for the Eagles attack.

Dillard hasn’t seemed overwhelmed by the transition to the NFL. He’s lost a few battles with defensive end Josh Sweat in second-unit team drills. But when called up to give Jason Peters a spell, he’s mostly had his way with defensive end Vinny Curry. The same has applied to one-on-one drills. Pass protection won’t be a problem for Dillard. I want to see more of his run blocking, though. He’s obviously a big guy, but he doesn’t yet have an NFL body. He’ll need bulk to handle bigger defenders and the pounding over 16 games. – JM

Run blocking will be a mystery until we see him do it on a consistent basis. Jeff Stoutland certainly believes in Dillard so I’m more curious than concerned.



Most people have said pretty good things about Sendejo. Interesting perspective.


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