Wentz Strikes Back

Posted: July 29th, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Wentz Strikes Back

Carson Wentz struggled on Saturday. He bounced back in a big way on Monday, impressing everyone who watched practice.

Jimmy Bama took notice.

It was the Carson Wentz to DeSean Jackson show today, with those two connecting at will. The most impressive moment, in my opinion, was a two-play series in which Wentz found DeSean in the “turkey hole” in between the corner and safety. On the next play, Wentz aired it out deep, putting some air under it, and DeSean ran under it past Avonte Maddox for a score. There was apparently some debate on Twitter as to whether the ball traveled 40, 50, or 60 yards in the air. I’d say it was closer to 60.

His continued rapport development with DeSean aside, Wentz had a very good day, throwing accurately to all parts of the field.

No QB is perfect and Wentz is going to have some days where he’s off. Most of the time he’s going to practice at a high level and make quality throw after quality throw. It is great to hear that Wentz and Jackson are showing such good chemistry. They clicked in the spring, but those practices are designed for the offense. This is when you want to see them making plays. What they do in July should translate to the regular season.

Jimmy also liked what he saw from Miles Sanders.

Miles Sanders had a good day running with the football. His burst is easy to recognize, but he’s also a physical runner who looks to dish out punishment to would-be tacklers, or in the case of non-tackling “thud” drills, would-be thudders. At one point, Sanders got under the skin of CB Josh Hawkins, who looked like he wanted to throw down with Sanders after a play. Sanders was more interested in getting back to the huddle for the next play. It was the equivalent of one hockey player dropping the gloves, and the other skating away uninterested like, “Bro, I ain’t got time for you. Just play.”

Sanders is a really talented player. I didn’t expect him to last as far as he did in the draft. Daniel Jeremiah had heard he might be a Top 40 pick. The Eagles got him at 53 and that could turn out to be one heck of a pick.

As Jimmy points out, Sanders is fast/quick and elusive, but he’s also physical. That’s a terrific combination for a RB. He wants to make you miss, but if he can’t, he’ll lower his shoulder and try to run you over.

Make sure to read Jimmy’s piece to find out what inappropriate thoughts he had about a Clayton Thorson pass.


Jeff McLane had some praise for the guys in the trenches. First up, 1st round OT Andre Dillard.

Speaking of rookies, tackle Andre Dillard stood out during one-on-one drills. Matched up against defensive end Vinny Curry, he showed all the physical traits the Eagles have been promoting since he was drafted – quick feet, strong hands and balance. Curry was stoned on both rushes vs. Dillard, who has been playing exclusively at left tackle. He’s had his share of losses against defensive end Josh Sweat in teams drills, which shouldn’t cause much concern, but it’s a reminder that he’s far from a finished product.

Dillard hopefully won’t play much this year, but he still has to be ready. You never know when your number will be called. Jason Peters has missed time the last couple of years so there is a chance Dillard sees the field. It is great to hear that he’s off to a good start. He’s not a project, but rookie linemen all need work as they adjust to pro football. He didn’t see many guys like Demarcus Lawrence or Ryan Kerrigan in the Pac-12 last year.

Tim Jernigan also looked good.

Defensive tackle Tim Jernigan has been taking advantage of his time with the first team with Fletcher Cox (foot) still being held out of team drills. I don’t mean to suggest that he will supplant the all pro, or even the newly-acquired Malik Jackson, but Jernigan could turn into the Eagles’ comeback player. He made it clear in the spring that he viewed the signing of Jackson as a challenge. Good for him. He recorded a would-be tackle for loss when he sliced inside and cut down running back Jordan Howard.

Jernigan has moments when he looks like a Pro Bowl DT. He also has times when he looks like an average player. Jernigan is healthy and motivated this year and hopefully that will bring out the best in him. If he can ever consistently play to his potential, offenses are going to be in trouble.


Brandon Lee Gowton had praise for Joe Ostman.

Joe Ostman, who is essentially the Eagles’ new Steven Means, beat Jordan Mailata at right tackle during 11-on-11 to log a “sack” on Sudfeld. Ostman also came up with a tackle for no gain on one rep. Mailata held his ground against Ostman later on during 1-on-1s.

You could focus on Mailata getting beat, but I think BLG did the smart thing in talking about Ostman. There were regular reports in the spring about Ostman playing well. I have had my doubts about him being able to play in the NFL. I hope I’m wrong. Ostman could be a great practice player or he could be a young guy that is going to find his way onto the field this year. Eagles coaches have said good things about him. Ostman will get a legit chance to show what he can do if he continues to practice well and then has a good preseason.


Next up is Mike Kaye with a look at the newest Eagle.

Newly signed cornerback Orlando Scandrick played the nickel spot for the second-team defense on Monday. He was signed on Saturday following the team’s third practice session. The Eagles threw him right into the fire and he responded well.

During 11-on-11 drills, Scandrick made a nice play in coverage. Backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld targeted wide receiver Greg Ward Jr. (more on him later) on a crossing route and Scandrick got in front of the pass-catcher to bat down the ball. Scandrick’s leaping pass breakup was a good sign for the veteran, who remained on the market for quite some time. Following practice, he said part of the reason he signed with the Eagles was because of his relationship with lifelong friend and former rival, DeSean Jackson.

Scandrick is a smart, veteran player. Age has caught up with him a bit, but he can still be effective in the right role. The Eagles want him as depth for the slot, but also to help challenge the young receivers in practice. Scandrick will certainly be motivated. He is desperate to impress the Eagles, or any other team that may be watching. He wants one more paycheck.


Ben Fennell, Chris McPherson and Fran Duffy of PE.com shared their thoughts.

On Wentz’s last throw of the session, he tried to hit Jordan Howard on a route down the right sideline that went incomplete. It appeared the two were not on the same page, and the two talked it out. From body language, it appeared Wentz wanted the veteran back to throttle the route down in the soft spots of zone coverage. As we talked about on Saturday’s Eagle Eye in the Sky podcast recapping practice, Wentz is heavily invested in speaking with all of the skill players on offense between reps, talking things through immediately on the field. – Fran

Jim Schwartz always talks about Training Camp and what you’re trying to get out of it. This is exactly what he’s talking about. Would it be great if Wentz was hitting Howard time after time? Sure. But this is the time of year for the two of them to work on their connection so that it does lead to big plays in the fall. You want Carson trying to hit different players and then analyzing with them what went wrong. Get on the same page in the summer. Deliver big plays in the fall.

A couple of plays later, Wentz threw an absolute strike in the middle of the field to Greg Ward on a crossing route, hitting him right in the numbers for a big play. The most upset player on the field? Grugier-Hill. Traditional camp battles are usually between receivers and defensive backs or offensive and defensive linemen, but this cat-and-mouse battle between Wentz and Kamu has been entertaining so far in camp. Grugier-Hill had the highlight play against Wentz on Saturday, as he read the quarterback’s eyes and plucked a ball over the middle of the field in a 7-on-7 period for an interception, but today Wentz had the upper hand for most of the practice. Wentz made several eye-popping throws between the linebackers today, drawing some animated frustrations from the defense, and that rip to Ward was a great example of that. – Ben

Interesting nugget here from Ben. This says a lot about how Grugier-Hill has grown as a player. He’s now trying to jump routes or break up passes over the middle of the field and gets frustrated when that doesn’t happen. A couple of years ago he would have been happy to be anywhere close. Grugier-Hill is a player on the rise. I look forward to seeing what he does this year.


Bo Wulf had some good misc nuggets.

It’s also worth mentioning that Rodney McLeod took part in this drill, so he is inching closer to a full return.

This is terrific news. The Eagles need McLeod to be healthy by September. He is a good FS and makes the back end of the defense that much better. The team is deeper at safety this year, but having McLeod healthy would be a big help.

Second-team OL (left to right): Andre Dillard, Sua Opeta, Stefen Wisniewski, Matt Pryor, Jordan Mailata

Third-team OL: Ryan Bates, Anthony Fabiano, Keegan Render, Nate Herbig, Casey Tucker

Opeta is a UDFA and getting reps as the backup LG. Interesting. He played LT in college, but he’s meant for G or C. I think he has the potential to play OG in the NFL. No one is putting him on the roster, but it is interesting that of the UDFA blockers, he is the one playing with the 2’s.

Also interesting to see Bates at LT. I don’t know that’s his best position in the NFL.


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