Monday Practice Wrap

Posted: August 5th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 34 Comments »

The Eagles were at The Linc on Monday, but weren’t in pads.

Here is Jimmy Bama’s take on things. He liked what he saw from the QBs.

• Let’s start with the QBs. Michael Vick and Nick Foles both had good days. Vick had a really good day, especially if you’re looking at results. In his first 7-on-7 session, Vick took the offense right down the field. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. 5 plays. TD. Oohs and ahhs around the Linc.

Buuuuut… It could probably be just as accurately stated that the defense didn’t cover anybody today. On one of Vick’s throws, Brent Celek was standing near the sidelines without a defender within 10 yards of him. Celek caught the pass, and ran 20 yards down the field before anyone got anywhere near him. On the TD on that drive, Vick hit a wide open Jason Avant over the middle, who walked in for the score. Credit Vick for identifying the player who didn’t have a defender in the same zip code as him. But that’s not really what impresses me.

Here’s what impressed me:

– Vick threw a pass with absolutely perfect touch down the sideline to DeSean Jackson for about 30 yards. DeSean had half a step and Vick layed it out in front of him on a platter. Gorgeous throw.

– Vick’s quick release. – Vick’s speed, which looks better than it did at times last year.

– Nick Foles threw in between two defenders to Arrelious Benn. Benn did a nice job splitting the defenders and coming back toward the ball. Nice job by both QB and WR. Foles saw Benn working back toward him, trusted that Benn would continue to come back for the ball, and he did. Really well done.

– Foles had nothing open on 3rd and G from around the 5, and instead of forcing something, he threw it out the back of the end zone. It’s pretty easy to force something in on 7-on-7’s on 3rd and G during practice. There are no REAL repercussions, and it’s tempting to not give up on a play like that in front of the fans, but he did the prudent thing and took 3 instead of possibly turning it over.

– Foles made an “anticipation throw” to DeSean in the back of the end zone for a TD. DeSean hadn’t yet come open, but Foles saw the play unfolding ahead of the action, and “threw him open.”

In other words, how each player looks is more important to me than results… for now. Both QBs had good days. If we’re picking the winner for the day, I’m going Vick. In fact, I’d probably give Vick the edge over the last 3 practices, but by small margins. Practices are important, but the preseason games will decide this competition.

Jimmy is exactly right to focus on style rather than results. That’s what the coaches and scouts will do. Results can lead to a false-positive. If a player makes a play because of a defensive mistake, that is very different than a player who makes a play because he used skill/talent/athleticism. You can’t count on the defense making mistakes in real games. You must focus on players and their specific skill sets.

And please don’t tell Jimmy I said he was right.

Make sure to go read his write-up to find out why Bill Bergey was yelling at him.

* * * * *

Next up is Sheil Kapadia. He made note of the Eagles using a 3-Safety look.

On my to-do list for tomorrow: Ask Patrick Chung about the Eagles’ three-safety look. This is the second time I’ve seen them show it with Chung up covering the slot receiver.

Davis did this in Arizona, with Matt Ware, Adrian Wilson and Antrel Rolle. Both Rolle and Ware were former CBs that lacked the athleticism to be great in man coverage. They did have good size. Having 3 Safeties on the field gave Davis flexibility. He could blitz more effectively. The extra Safety was going to be a better run defender than a CB, in case the offense tried a run from the spread set. If you played zone coverage, you’d rather have 3 Safeties on the field for tackling purposes than 3 CBs.

There is logic to this grouping. However, it somewhat goes against Chip Kelly’s belief in building around your personnel. It certainly appears that the Eagles are stronger at CB than Safety right now. We might feel different after the preseason games, but right now it doesn’t seem like there are 3 Safeties you’d really want on the field at once. I’m sure there are a couple of fans who might point out there might not be 2 Safeties you want on the field.

A good humorous note from the great Mr. Kapadia.

Good question by (Tim) McManus as he takes a look at two Eagles near the training table chatting it up: “I wonder what Shady and Ed Wang are talking about.”

Me too.

My guess…they were arguing whether Iron Maiden’s greatest song is Phantom of the Opera or Hallowed Be Thy Name. Put me down for Hallowed.

* * * * *

Good stuff in the notes as well.

Damaris Johnson also provided the best move of the day, when he caught a quick, 10-yard pass while running toward the middle of the field before stopping on a dime and reversing field, leaving safety Kurt Coleman in his wake. It was a preview of just the kind of explosive plays that Johnson should be able to make in the Chip Kelly offense.

Wide receiver Russell Shepard took first-team reps with the offense, while Kenny Phillips and David Sims saw first-team reps at safety.

Wide receiver Arrelious Benn flashed strong hands to snag a high throw from quarterback Matt Barkley out of the air during individual drills.

Tight end Zach Ertz made a tough, contested catch in traffic with a linebacker in his hip pocket on a bullet pass from Foles. Later, in the 7-on-7 drill, he dropped what looked like a sure touchdown from Foles inside the 5-yard line while running a slant.

I hate reading that Ertz dropped a pass in the Red Zone, but I’m excited to hear the Eagles are running slants with big guys down there. I’ve been calling for this for a while. Let the big receiver/TE get to the inside of the DB and use body to shield away the defender. If the OL perform their blocks, the QB should have a passing lane to get the ball to the big target.

We need Benn to practice well. He could be a big help at WR.

* * * * *


* Chris Polk had another long run and continues to impress, as a runner and receiver. Love hearing this.

* Eddie Whitley continues to get mixed in with the 1’s in some sets. He is in the slot in those sets. Whitley would be a good fit for a hybrid role, similar to how Davis used Rolle and Ware in Arizona.

* Allen Barbre got some reps at LT today with Jason Peters sitting out. The Eagles want to cross-train Lane Johnson to play both RT and LT. He’s played a lot of LT in recent days, but with a game coming up this week, it is wise to get him more time at RT.

* Jason Kelce missed time with an ankle injury and Julian Vandervelde got some reps with the 1’s. Last year Howard Mudd tried to turn him into a Center. Now Jeff Stoutland is doing it. Those are 2 very smart OL coaches. They must see something there. Vandy struggled at C last summer. I curious to see if he’s made any progress.

* * * * *

Vince Young signed with the Packers today. He’ll be competing for their backup QB spot.


* * * * *

The Eagles released their depth chart today. They did this because the NFL made them in preparation for Friday’s game. I’ll look it over and write a post on it, but it really is meaningless. Vick and Foles were listed as co-QBs. No hint there.


34 Comments on “Monday Practice Wrap”

  1. 1 Weapon Y said at 9:39 PM on August 5th, 2013:

    With the preseason game coming up, Chip has some important decisions to make. First is how much playing time should his starters get? If Vick and Foles both have a legitimate chance to be the Week 1 starter, and I believe they do, it is important for each of them to have a chance to play with the rest of the first team offense during the preseason. Chip could let one of them take all of the first-team snaps this week and have the other guy take all of the first-team snaps in the second game. He could also split the reps with the first-team offense this week against the Patriots, meaning that either Foles or Vick play the 1st quarter, and the other guy plays the 2nd quarter.

    Another critical decision will be regarding the guys who have been dinged up in camp like Jason Peters, Arrelious Benn, and Jason Kelce. If they’re not able to go all out against the Pats, I don’t think want to risk getting them injured. On the other hand, if they aren’t able to play, we risk not getting to see the offense’s potential with each QB at the helm.

    The one decision I’m most curious about is the kinds of looks will the defense show. Will the defense mostly be a 4-3 Under, some other kind of hybrid, or a two-gap 3-4? With everyone on the defense starting from scratch, I’d want to see guys who aren’t currently starters, but who have enough talent to be starters (I.e. Brandon Graham, Clifton Geathers, Brandon Boykin, Kenny Phillips) rotate in with the first team defense.

  2. 2 TommyLawlor said at 11:45 PM on August 5th, 2013:

    Lots of legit questions this preseason.

  3. 3 Flyin said at 11:31 PM on August 5th, 2013:


    When you do your depth chart review, can you give an idea of how many players the Eagles will keep in each group since they’re switching more to a 3-4?

    Heather Mitts your new fling?

  4. 4 TommyLawlor said at 11:46 PM on August 5th, 2013:

    I will strongly consider this.

  5. 5 Flyin said at 11:59 PM on August 5th, 2013:

    Thank you! Take your time… think it over.

  6. 6 the midatlantic said at 12:06 AM on August 6th, 2013:

    “What’s better than two questionable safeties? THREE.”
    -Bill Davis to his bathroom mirror, soaked in cold sweat at 4 AM

  7. 7 Flyin said at 12:10 AM on August 6th, 2013:

    Is it really that bad?

  8. 8 ICDogg said at 1:07 AM on August 6th, 2013:

    They’re so short on safeties they’re recruiting them from elementary school safety patrols.

  9. 9 A_T_G said at 9:16 AM on August 6th, 2013:

    Our safety situation is so bad… OSHA has threatened to shut down the Linc.

  10. 10 aub32 said at 9:37 AM on August 6th, 2013:

    this is definitely my favorite

  11. 11 A_T_G said at 9:19 AM on August 6th, 2013:

    The safety play is so offensive… if we put more than three of them on the field the games will get a TV-M rating.

  12. 12 A_T_G said at 9:22 AM on August 6th, 2013:

    Safeties are worth 2 points in football. When we go into the three safety look, we are spotting the opponent 6 points.

  13. 13 ICDogg said at 12:15 AM on August 6th, 2013:

    Well, I had a fun day watching practice today.

  14. 14 Flyin said at 12:22 AM on August 6th, 2013:

    How are the Eagles Cheerleaders looking?

  15. 15 ICDogg said at 12:52 AM on August 6th, 2013:

    With their eyes, just like everyone else.

  16. 16 deg0ey said at 3:47 AM on August 6th, 2013:

    I really don’t like to be ‘that guy’ reading too much into the first depth chart, but they’ve ranked Momah higher than I thought. Do we think he has a legit shot at making the team (rather than the PS) or is that likely to be more of a motivational thing/not wanting to slot Benn ahead of him because he’s been injured forever?

    Also, on the three safeties thing, if everyone was healthy I think Phillips, Chung, Allen, Fletcher and Boykin could be a really interesting group. Remains to be seen whether Kenny’s knees are up to it, but I’d probably choose Allen as the fifth DB at this point over Williams.

  17. 17 Media Mike said at 6:15 AM on August 6th, 2013:

    For the record, a 3 safety package is called “Big Nickel” by a lot of football types.

  18. 18 A_T_G said at 8:04 AM on August 6th, 2013:

    I’ve heard that term used, too. By comparison, last year’s secondary played a “Wooden Nickel” defense fairly regularly.

  19. 19 GEagle said at 6:45 AM on August 6th, 2013:

    I actually thought Foles had a much better day then Vick, it just gets skewed because many of Foles WRs were dropping ridiculously easy catchable balls. If Momah and Ertz did their jobs yesterday, the world would have been raving about Foles today….

  20. 20 Tom from Hungary said at 7:15 AM on August 6th, 2013:

    There is no such thing as Iron Maiden’s greatest song. They have managed to record quite a few that are absolute masterpieces and as a lifelong Maiden fan, I have come to the conclusion that it is practically impossible to pick one. Just as it is practically impossible for me to pick any of the safeties the Egles have now and say “I feel really good about putting that guy on the field”. Let’s hope at least one of them will make the 2013 season into their own masterpiece by actually playing well.

  21. 21 TommyLawlor said at 8:36 AM on August 6th, 2013:

    It truly is difficult to pick just one Maiden song. So many classics.

  22. 22 eagleyankfan said at 7:52 AM on August 6th, 2013:

    ANYONE leaving Coleman in the dust is not news. It happened all last season. Sounds like he’s learning…

  23. 23 austinfan said at 8:51 AM on August 6th, 2013:

    There’s a simple reason OC coaches try to convert Vandervelde to center, he’s a little small for OG, but very athletic, and at center he has enough size where his athleticism becomes a real asset. A lot of times these conversions take a year, because coaches don’t have time in TC to work with a player enough to smooth out the rough edges. So the player needs the year on the PS and time to perfect the basics like the shotgun snap and calling assignments.

    JJ spent three years converting from LT to C before winning a job.

  24. 24 barneygoogle said at 9:25 AM on August 6th, 2013:

    Gary Cobb has a good take on Vick. He thinks this competition is set up just to challenge Vick–too much practice time has been invested in the read-option to not use it–its his job to lose.
    My take has always been–the Eagles next key QB is not on the roster this year.

  25. 25 aub32 said at 9:27 AM on August 6th, 2013:

    I wouldn’t want him back here, but I’m glad Young landed a job. Truth be told there are much worse QBs with backup jobs in the NFL.

  26. 26 Ben Hert said at 9:56 AM on August 6th, 2013:

    I think with the release of the recent depth chart, and Vick and Foles as “co-QB”, we have to face that fact that we will more than likely be running a dual-QB system this year. Kelly will most likely be using the Vick/Dixon/Kinne wildcat option, with Foles coming in to stretch the field vertically with Jason Avant. Kelly has surely been hiding this from public eyes to unleash it on the Skins during MNF to legitimize his system in front of the entire country.

  27. 27 aub32 said at 11:19 AM on August 6th, 2013:

    I highly doubt that is the case. I think the much more simple and logical answer is that Kelly has not seen either of the two QBs play against actual opposition and wants to reserve naming the starter until he does. Putting one guy over the other would only be asking to create a media circus, and he probably has more important things to worry about than a depth chart written in August.

  28. 28 Andy124 said at 11:31 AM on August 6th, 2013:

    “stretch the field vertically with Jason Avant”
    ^^^This makes me think he’s kidding.

  29. 29 aub32 said at 11:41 AM on August 6th, 2013:

    I completely missed that. After seeing it, I am much more inclined to believe I a have fallen prey to sarcasm. Darned computers and their inability to deliver the tone of a comment.

  30. 30 P_P_K said at 10:57 AM on August 6th, 2013:

    J-Bama, getting yelled at by Bergey qualifies you for a gold man card.

  31. 31 Louis Vuitton Outlet said at 2:34 PM on August 7th, 2013:

    Louis Vuitton Outlet

    Is this still good news for the JT-Ozouf fiber optic investment in Jersey? My house in the UK was linked up to broadband 20 years ago.

  32. 32 Louis Vuitton Outlet said at 2:34 PM on August 7th, 2013:

    Louis Vuitton Outlet

    Is this still good news for the JT-Ozouf fiber optic investment in Jersey? My house in the UK was linked up to broadband 20 years ago.

  33. 33 Louis Vuitton Outlet said at 2:34 PM on August 7th, 2013:

    Louis Vuitton Outlet

    Is this still good news for the JT-Ozouf fiber optic investment in Jersey? My house in the UK was linked up to broadband 20 years ago.

  34. 34 Louis Vuitton Outlet Online said at 2:34 PM on August 7th, 2013:

    Louis Vuitton Outlet Online

    Is this still good news for the JT-Ozouf fiber optic investment in Jersey? My house in the UK was linked up to broadband 20 years ago.