Minicamp Talk

Posted: June 6th, 2024 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Minicamp Talk

The Eagles have had mandatory minicamp practices the last few days. Let’s talk about some of what we’ve learned from those practices.

Zack Baun

Baun played LB and OLB for the Saints. I thought his best moments were as an edge rusher so I thought the Eagles would use him there. Instead he’s been an off-ball LB so far. Baun is well-spoken and had some interesting things to say in a recent press conference. He talked about how the scheme reminded him of the one he played in at Wisconsin. His DC in college was Jim Leonhard, who had played in the NFL. Leonhard and Vic Fangio were both with the Ravens in 2008 so it is no surprise that the UW defense had an NFL feel and the current scheme feels familiar to Baun. Someone asked Baun if there was any frustration with him not being an edge rusher. Baun said he was happy to play wherever the Eagles asked. My guess is that Baun wants to play a lot and is focused on getting on the field. He’s got 14 starts in four years. If the Eagles give him a legit chance to start as an off-ball LB, that is fine with him. Baun and Devin White have gotten most of the reps as the starting LBs. We’ll see if they can keep those jobs. The focus in minicamp has been on the passing game and so far Baun has been solid in coverage.

Will Shipley

Jimmy Bama had a good note on Shipley.

…one of the obvious standouts on the day was rookie RB Will Shipley, who worked quite a bit out of the slot, and who made about a half dozen receptions on the day. I thought his most impressive moment came on a reception deep down the field, after which he turned on the jets and widened the distance between himself and rookie CB Quinyon Mitchell, who was chasing him from behind. Mitchell ran a 4.33 40 at the Combine. Anyway, my takeaway here? Shipley has some wheels.

Shipley was a gifted pass-catcher at Clemson. He’s been a bit up and down so far in camp, but there is no doubting his potential as a receiver. As he adjusts to the speed and complexity of the NFL game, I think you’ll see more good days from Shipley. One of the reasons the Eagles were so high on him is they loved his competitive spirit. This isn’t a guy who is happy to collect a check. He wants to play. He wants to win. If Shipley fails, it won’t be for lack of effort.

Grant Calcaterra

Nick Sirianni praised Calcaterra in a recent press conference. Jeff McLane liked what he saw of Calcaterra at practice.

Grant Calcaterra has assumed the backup tight end spot after Jack Stoll’s offseason departure. He has already seen far more action than he did in his first two springs, and caught about a half-dozen passes on the day. Calcaterra has steadily improved as a blocker, and he’ll likely have to do as much of that in 12- and 13-personnel, but he has an opportunity to increase his workload.

I’ve had CJ Uzomah pegged as the backup TE, but maybe Calcaterra can win that role. As Jeff mentioned, Calcaterra must block well enough if he wants to be the backup. The Eagles aren’t going to throw a lot of passes to the backup TE so the player must be able to contribute as a blocker as well as a receiver.

QB Update

Everyone agreed that Jalen Hurts continued to be up and down. Tanner McKee made some good throws and had a few standout moments. Brandon Lee Gowton was impressed by Kenny Pickett.

  • Kenny Pickett had a good day. The backup quarterback fired a bullet through traffic to hit Ainias Smith in the back of the end zone. An official at practice ruled that Smith was forced out of bounds but, still, that was an attention-grabbing play. Pickett also had a really nice back-shoulder touchdown throw to Joseph Ngata. Pickett apparently likes throwing back-shoulder passes; we’ve seen a number of those from him and they’ve looked good more often than not. Pickett was involved in what was arguably the play of practice when he aired it out to Johnny Wilson, whose size came in handy to make a grab just above the outstretched arm of Isaiah Rodgers.

We know Hurts is a good starting QB. Things will start clicking for him soon enough. It is good to hear that Pickett flashed. He’s more of an unknown. The Eagles like his talent, but need to see what he can do in this offense. Pickett is starting to show the talent that got him drafted in the first round. The next step for him is to start to be more consistent.

Here is BLG on McKee.

  • Tanner McKee made some nice anticipatory throws this spring. We know he can do some good things from the pocket. But he also can throw on the move, apparently, since he found the aforementioned Davis in the back left corner of the end zone while rolling left. Not an easy completion. McKee also made a throw rolling right on Wednesday. He’s doing his part to push for QB2.

McKee is more of a QB of the future. It is encouraging to hear that he’s improved from last year and is having some strong moments.

CB Depth

We know Darius Slay will start at one CB spot. Isaiah Rodgers, Quinyon Mitchell and Kelee Ringo have all played with the starters at different times. Rodgers has the most experience. Mitchell has the most talent. Ringo had multiple good practices and is showing he’s improved from last year. He is pushing for the starting spot opposite of Slay. Mitchell has played in the slot and outside. He’s had some good moments and has been trash-talking AJ Brown so he’s clearly not intimidated by NFL stars.

Cooper DeJean is mostly playing in the slot, even seeing reps with the 1’s. He has made some plays and has looked good.

The overall CB group is vastly improved from last year.

Mekhi Becton

Landon Dickerson was excused from attending the minicamp so LG was wide open. Becton has been playing in Dickerson’s absence. Here is Brooks Kubena on Becton.

Mekhi Becton should remain a player of note during the summer. The No. 11 pick in 2020, Becton started in 30 games for the New York Jets in three seasons as an offensive tackle. He’s being cross-trained as a guard since signing with the Eagles, and he practiced as a first-team left guard in Dickerson’s place. Stoutland said he “didn’t realize” Becton could play other positions. Becton may emerge as Steen’s top challenger for the right guard spot.

Becton has little OG experience. Getting him some reps on the inside in the spring makes sense. You want OL to be ready for multiple spots. Becton is learning a new offense. I wonder if the Eagles want him to spend a lot of time at a new position. I think the smart thing would be to have him focus on playing RT. The Eagles drafted Steen to play RG. They want him to be a long term answer at that position. If he struggles, maybe Becton does win the role. I just think the team will give Steen every chance possible to win the job.

The Defense

Sirianni made sure to praise Fangio and the defense. Sirianni is happy with what he’s seen so far. Brandon Graham talked about how he thinks things are better this year. He praised Fangio and said everyone is on the same page, which he said wasn’t the case last year. Graham also talked about how communication is better this year.

BLG offered this nugget in one of his practice recaps.

  • Hard to contextualize the frequency relative to practices in previous years but I’ve definitely noticed safeties rotating right before the snap in an effort to disguise coverages.

We won’t know anything until the season starts, but I sure feel better about the defense.

Quick Hits

Jimmy Bama – “John Ross made a bunch of catches, including a one-hander. He was a rookie camp tryout, but has looked like he could legitimately compete for a spot on the 53-man roster.”


BLG -“UDFA running back Kendall Milton took a swing pass from McKee to the house. Looked fast.”


Rookie LG Trevor Keegan wasn’t practicing due to an injury. The Eagles signed OG Max Scharping. He is a big OL at 6-6, 325 and has 33 starts under his belt. He’s played for the Texans and Bengals. You wonder if signing Scharping is a sign that Keegan might be out for a while.


James Bradberry was supposed to play some safety, but got hurt and didn’t practice.


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