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Practice Notes: How Did Rookies Rebound After Preseason Opener?

Posted Aug 12, 2017

Saturday marked the final live-hitting practice of this year's Training Camp. It was also the first time the team reconvened after Thursday night's preseason game in Green Bay. Here's how the Eagles responded.

Number Of The Day: 18

LeGarrette Blount is just one of three running backs in the last 10 seasons to score 18 touchdowns on the ground in a season, joining DeAngelo Williams (18 in 2008) and Adrian Peterson (18 in 2009). - John Gonoude

Practice Observations

1. With the addition of cornerback Ronald Darby, there are some new jersey numbers. Darby is 35, which previously belonged to Blount. The running back got 29 from safety Terrence Brooks, who switched to 24.

"I know LeGarrette, that's his number. To me, it doesn't matter what number I wear. I just want to get out on the field and play and 24 doesn't look bad," Brooks said. - Chris McPherson

2. With cornerbacks Ron Brooks (hamstring) and Aaron Grymes (personal reasons) not on the practice field, Malcolm Jenkins saw a lot of time as the slot cornerback on Saturday, with Corey Graham stepping in as a starting safety alongside Rodney McLeod in the nickel package. Graham made his presence known early in the first live period of the day. The veteran defender knifed through the line and met Blount on a running play and helped bring him to the ground on the first play of that session. Three plays later, after linebacker Jordan Hicks nearly picked off quarterback Carson Wentz at the line of scrimmage, Graham paired with Vinny Curry to bring Blount to the ground once again. Running back Corey Clement came on the field on the next play and got downhill in a hurry, exploding through the line and picking up a big chunk of yardage right up the gut. - Fran Duffy

3. The first team action of the day came in a blitz period where the defense sent several versions of pressure against the offense. After an incompletion to start the period, Wentz connected with wide receiver Torrey Smith on a slant route for a big catch-and-run before hitting tight end Zach Ertz on an all out blitz with no safeties in the middle of the field. On the fourth and final rep for the first team on both sides, Wentz was "sacked" by linebacker Nigel Bradham and defensive end Brandon Graham, who converged on the quarterback before he was able to deliver the throw. - FD

4. With Alshon Jeffery sitting out team drills, Mack Hollins worked with the first-team unit and saw some time in the slot as it will be a team effort to replace Jordan Matthews' spot. - CM


5.
The second group came out on both sides, and Clement got things started with a run to the left for a near first down. Quarterback Matt McGloin hit a streaking Brent Celek on a crossing route to move the chains before connecting with wide receiver Nelson Agholor on a quick screen from the slot. The former first-round pick took the pass and exploded down the right side for a big gain. On the very next play, running back Donnel Pumphrey did a good job in pass protection, blocking safety Terrence Brooks off the edge to give quarterback Dane Evans space to throw the ball downfield. Fellow rookie Nathan Gerry flew into the backfield for a stop behind the line of scrimmage on the next play.

To end the period, two second-year players stood out. Running back Byron Marshall took on an inside blitzer in what was a huge collision right in front of Evans, who threw a pass downfield that was intercepted by fellow sophomore linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill, an athletic player vying for a spot on the back end of the roster once again in 2017. - FD

6. The second units on both sides of the field came on, and defensive end Derek Barnett got the corner on tackle Dillon Gordon to hurry McGloin on one throw. The ball got out to Clement in the flat, and cornerback C.J. Smith joined linebacker Mychal Kendricks in getting the rookie to the ground quickly. Defensive tackle Destiny Vaeao flew into the backfield in a flash on the next play and actually disrupted the handoff from McGloin to Clement, resulting in the ball popping in the air for the quarterback to secure and take a knee. The second unit was done for the period after a great play in pursuit by Barnett, who chased Clement down from behind on a run from left to right. - FD

7. The third units took the field next, with Gerry getting into the action first, bringing Pumphrey to the ground at the line of scrimmage. The rookie running back responded two plays later with a great run to the left where he showed off his wiggle, making cornerback Mitchell White miss at the second level. Tight end Trey Burton made an outstanding diving catch along the left sideline on the next play, and defensive end Alex McAllister wrapped things up with a stop behind the line of scrimmage of Pumphrey. - FD

8. I stood right by the offensive and defensive linemen as they went one-on-one for the first time in a few days, a period that had good energy from start to finish. Graham got things going with a win against Lane Johnson on the outside. Vaeao followed suit, beating Chance Warmack on his outside number.

Center Jason Kelce had a great rep in pass pro, showing off his quick feet against defensive tackle Justin Hamilton in a win for the offense. Defensive tackle Tim Jernigan swam past guard Isaac Seumalo, and Gordon showed off his athletic ability, matching Curry step for step up the field as the veteran defender rounded the arc on the way to the quarterback. Barnett had a strong showing, working his spin move on fellow rookie Victor Salako before coming back on the very next rep with one of his more impressive rushes of the summer. Barnett bull-rushed Salako right off the snap, getting inside the tackle’s pads, before transitioning into an outside rip move to blow by the offensive lineman for what would’ve been a sack. McCalister had a good outing as well, beating Taylor Hart on a speed-to-power rush late in the period. - FD

9. Hicks nearly intercepted Wentz earlier in practice, but got his mitts on a McGloin pass intended for Burton in the end zone during a red zone period for an interception. - CM

10. Linebacker Steven Daniels forced a fumble on a run play during a team drill. - CM

11. To kick off a team series, the Eagles' offense opened in 13 (one back, three tight end) personnel. Agholor was the lone receiver on the field. - CM

12. One of the players who had a sack on Thursday against the Packers, defensive tackle Gabe Wright, notched a tackle for loss of Blount during a team period. - CM

Injury Report

Offensive lineman Josh Andrews remains out with a hand injury.

Guard Brandon Brooks was sidelined with an ankle injury.

Cornerback Ron Brooks suffered a hamstring injury in the preseason game on Thursday.

Tight end Anthony Denham is still not back in action due to a calf injury.

Quarterback Nick Foles is still battling a sore elbow.

Cornerback Aaron Grymes was excused for personal reasons.

Running back Wendell Smallwood has a hamstring injury.

Wide receiver Bryce Treggs sat out practice with lower leg soreness.

Tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai was sidelined with the knee injury he incurred against the Packers.

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