Eagles training camp 2022, Day 7: Finding targets in the middle of the field

The Eagles returned to practice on Saturday morning after a bad day on Friday and were graced by cooler temperatures.

This was a “yellow” workout for the Eagles in full pads. It took 1 hour 23 minutes with a development time of 5 minutes bringing it to 1:28.

Sunday’s training is at 7 p.m. on the Linc. It is the only public practice of the spring.

Let’s go to today’s observations:

1. As always a few household items:

• Runningback Boston Scott was added to the injury report with a concussion. He shot close to Marcus Epps’ goal line during Thursday’s practice. He eventually surfaced, but remained on the ground for a while.

• DeVonta Smith (groin), Grant Calcaterra (hamstring), Greg Ward (toe), Jordan Mailata (concussion), and Andre Dillard (concussion) all missed practice again. Mailata and Dillard are going through the concussion protocol but at least were on the field as spectators on Saturday; that is a good sign.

• Mac McCain III (knee) was limited on Saturday.

• CB Kary Vincent Jr. and CB Jimmy Moreland left practice early with unspecified injuries.

• Brett Toth (knee) and Tyree Jackson (knee) stay on Active/PUP, but train with trainers on side fields.

2. Sometimes, if you looked at Jalen Hurts’ spray maps from last season, there was a notable gap in the middle of the field. There were times when Hurts didn’t pitch there very often. So two plays on Saturday really stood out.

• On one of them, Hurts threw a perfect seam pass to a streaking Dallas Goedert. The two have bonded quite a bit this summer.

• A few games later, Hurts hit AJ Brown with a strike in the middle of the field after Brown settled in an open space. Even before Smith’s injury, most of the passing this summer went to Brown. He’s been attacked a ton.

3. Overall it wasn’t a great day for Hurts, but not bad either. It was quite a performance with some really nice throws mixed in. Note: I didn’t watch 7-on-7s because I chose to watch OL-DL 1-on-1s. (More on that later.)

Hurts’ best throw of the day came in 11-on-11s on a deep ball to Brown down the left sideline. Brown had a chance to get the pass in the end zone, but dropped it. Darius Slay had tight cover on the play, but the ball was hauled in beautifully by Hurts and Brown was unable to secure it. Brown dropped eight passes with the Titans last year – 7.6%.

4. Kyzir White had his best training camp on Saturday. The Eagles mixed and matched several linebacker combinations, but White stood out. He blew up a screen pass to Miles Sanders and also got his hand breaking a pass to Dallas Goedert. The Eagles have linebackers; it’s so weird.

5. Jalen Reagor might have made the catch of training camp… but it didn’t count. Reagor took to the air to aim a ball high and in the process his helmet fell off. It looked like Reagor came down with the football, but the referee in the area ruled it to be incomplete. It was close.

A little later in training, receiver Deon Cain made a very nice concentration catch with the second team working against the defense of the first team. James Bradberry jumped the pass and slammed it into the air. But Cain was able to find it in the air and although he lay on his back, he took it inside. Bad luck for Bradberry; good focus from Cain.

6. The Funniest Part of the Camp: Offensive vs. Defense Lines Exercises:

• During these sessions, rookie Cam Jurgens showed impeccable technique that even stopped the great Jordan Davis a few times. Not Saturday. Though Jurgens tried to anchor (and seemingly did everything right), Davis hit him with a bullrush that put Jurgens on skates. It was impressive. When the whistle sounded to end the period, these two lined up again and the coaches didn’t let the rep happen. I’m a little bitter about that.

• Brandon Graham vs. Jack Driscoll has become a daily crime. I always think of what Lane Johnson said about Graham, calling him a “squeaky bowling ball.” That’s pretty accurate. Graham actually walks through Driscoll every day.

• Lane Johnson handled a bullrush from Haason Reddick with ease.

• Sua Opeta had some very impressive reps against Javon Hargrave. Isaac Seumalo is the Eagles’ starting right guard, but I’m starting to think Opeta will be the best backup guard on this team, maybe even above Driscoll.

• Driscoll had a good rep against Patrick Johnson, allowing the young pass rusher to use momentum against him to get him wide.

• Good reputation from rookie Kyron Johnson who went as far as to beat Josh Sills to the QB. By the way, Sills was the second team tackled today.

• Isaac Seumalo and Lane Johnson had a good reputation against Fletcher Cox and Haason Reddick. Seumalo and Johnson have never actually played side by side, but they look smooth.

• Although they weren’t practicing, Mailata and Dillard gave tips to their younger teammates between reps. Always good to see.

7. One of Hurts’ best throws on Saturday came five feet out of bounds. On one play during team practice, Hurts rolled to the left, but there was nothing, so he threw the ball deep out of the rink. That’s a good game for Hurts as earlier in the camp his worst play was an INT which he shot into tight cover and rolled over to the left over his body. Nick Sirianni complained about interceptions earlier in the camp. Hurts threw none in 11-on-11s today.

8. The Eagles rotate on the second team corner against Zech McPhearson and Alabama rookie Josh Jobe made the most of his chance on Saturday. Jobe had a great break in the dive pass on a pass from Gardner Minshew to Cain in the back of the end zone. On the next play, Jobe had a handy PBU on the left. The offense wanted a penalty – AJ Brown even threw in his towel like a makeshift flag – but the umpire closest to play didn’t call it. It counts as a PBU.

9. Without Smith, the Eagles turned their receivers on the first team offense. We saw several players taking turns, including Jalen Reagor, John Hightower and Britain Covey. But Zach Pascal was the first man with AJ Brown and Quez Watkins. On the first game in 11-on-11s, Brown and Watkins were wide and Pascal went into the groove.

Veteran Pascal returned to training on Thursday as a limited participant, but was full on Saturday. He missed the first five training sessions of the summer with a serious case of food poisoning that left him in hospital for four days – he thinks it was a quesadilla with a bad chicken. The good news is that Pascal said he is starting to regain his strength after losing 16 pounds (!) during the ordeal.

10. Jason Huntley is known as the fast running back, but he ran with a vicious streak today. On one play, he dropped his shoulder into the field to help Andre Chachere to safety. And later, after a nice run to the left sideline, he delivered an impressive stiff arm. Without Scott, Huntley should have more opportunities.

Dumb observation of the day: The Eagles did a fun point return exercise on Saturday. The returnee had a soccer ball in his hand and when the punter started to drop they had to throw the ball in the air, catch the spiked ball and then try to catch the ball they threw at themselves. It looked like the beginning of a juggling act. The only one who successfully completed the task: Britain Covey.

Subscribe to the Eagle Eye podcast

Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | stitcher | Art19 | Watch on YouTube

Leave a Comment