Training Camp Roundup – Day 2

Posted: August 19th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Training Camp Roundup – Day 2

Eagles rookies are off to a promising start. Before you go crazy and yell at me to pump the brakes on the hype train, let me give you some context. No one is saying the young players are setting the world on fire. But they are making plays and catching the attention of those watching practice. That’s a good sign.

Last year the rookies were very up and down in Training Camp. Andre Dillard showed great feet, but struggled with the physicality of the NFL. Miles Sanders looked legit from Day One. JJAW was all over the place, but never got anyone overly excited. Shareef Miller struggled all summer. Clayton Thorson never impressed anyone.

We’re already seeing the rookie receivers make plays and open eyes. Jalen Hurts has had some very good moments. Shaun Bradley has impressed so far. The Auburn OL have looked good. Nothing is set in stone, but this is a promising start.

This team definitely is more athletic than last year’s edition.

LINKS

Jimmy Kempski

Brandon Lee Gowton

Bo Wulf / Zach Berman

Fran Duffy / Dave Spadaro

Dave Zangaro

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Let’s start with first round pick Jalen Reagor. He has been good, but also erratic. His athleticism has really jumped out and that is what is key here. The Eagles offense struggled to get chunk plays last year. Defenses were scared of DeSean Jackson, but no one else. That will change when they see Reagor. His speed is legit and his leaping ability is hard to miss when he elevates for the ball.

Reagor has had a few drops. The Eagles will work on that. Last year the team had guys who dropped the ball and couldn’t run. Reagor can run.

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Jason Kelce got the day off (along with fellow veterans DeSean and Malik Jackson). That meant we got another version of the O-line.

Dillard – Pryor – Seumalo – Herbig – Johnson

Pryor is clearly the #6 OL. He played RG yesterday. Now he’s on the left side, something Jimmy Bama said he didn’t do last year. Jeff Stoutland needs blockers who can play multiple spots. Pryor played mostly RT in college. He’s been mostly a RG in the NFL. Now he’s learning LG.

Herbig is a player the coaches like. I think he’s a better fit at OG than OC, but the Eagles work him in at both spots.

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The injury to Javon Hargrave opens the door for some other DTs to shine. Hassan Ridgeway did that today, winning battles and making plays. Ridgeway had more sacks, TFLs and QB hits than Tim Jernigan last year, despite playing less. Ridgeway is a talented player and good fit for the scheme. He is a capable starter, but is best suited to coming off the bench.

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As I mentioned earlier, 2019 was a lost year for Shareef Miller. He won some 1-on-1’s today. Fran mentioned Miller getting praise from a coach yesterday. This is a positive sign for a guy who is in a very deep position. Teams can’t afford to carry players just because they were draft picks this year. With the fear of Covid,  you need players who can contribute. This isn’t the year to be a project. Miller has a long way to go, but he is off to a good start.

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Jalen Mills had a highlight play when he turned a Carson Wentz pass into a pick-six. Yesterday he made a highlight play when he fired into the backfield. Mills has the potential to be a good safety. He doesn’t need to live up to the Malcolm Jenkins standard. Mills has to be himself and make his share of plays.

And he needs to keep talking. He did that after the pick-six. There is real value to a high-energy, loud player like Mills. He keeps the pot stirred and everyone awake. Football is an emotional sport. You need guys who can talk and bring energy to the field.

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Jalen Hurts stood out in the Red Zone, mainly as a runner. No shocker there. The dude ran for 1298 yards and 20 TDs last year. We know he can run. It is important that he embrace that. Some QBs get to the NFL and want to impress as a passer so much they get away running. Young QBs need to run. They don’t have the experience to know where to put the ball on every play. When in doubt, take off and make something happen with your legs.

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Shaun Bradley is off to a strong start. He’s made physical hits in both practices. The rookie LB is making people (especially receivers) notice him.

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Sidney Jones struggled some on Tuesday. This is actually a good thing.

Jones had really strong summers each of the past two years. He then was very up and down in the regular season. The Eagles don’t want to wait to see if Jones can handle adversity in September. They need him to show he can bounce back now. The only way you do that is to have a bad day and show the team how you handle that.

Wednesday will be very important for Jones.

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Carson Wentz didn’t have his best practice on Tuesday. After one bad play, he slammed his helmet on the ground. I’m sure that got the attention of the young players. Wentz is an established star. He could be laid back during the second day of TC. Instead, Wentz was pissed off.

The NFL is a tough league. You have to compete every play, every day. Some young players struggle with that. Seeing Wentz get mad should help them to understand the value of every rep.

Forget about your paycheck. Forget about your accolades. Live in the moment.

Always compete.

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