On Tuesday, the NovaCare Complex was host to a joint practice for the first time as the Eagles welcomed the New England Patriots. Here's a recap of the action ...
Six players did not take part in Tuesday's joint practice with the New England Patriots: wide receiver Dave Ball (quad/hand), linebacker
With the injuries to the offensive line, the first-team unit looked like this on Tuesday: left tackle
A Look At Cooper's Return To The Field
In an 11-on-11 drill, Cooper lined up as the Z-receiver and quarterback
Working with quarterback
Vick also completed a 40-yard bomb to Cooper, who made the over-the-shoulder catch and tapped both feet inbounds right at the sideline.
Cooper's third touchdown of the day came as he streaked down the sideline against cornerback Logan Ryan.
Chip Kelly's Message Is Clear: No Extra-Curricular Activity
After the first snap for the Eagles' first-team defense, cornerback
Head coach Chip Kelly and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick set ground rules before Tuesday's joint practice that anyone who engaged in a scrum would be ejected.
"(If) someone got in extracurriculars they were going to be done for the day," Kelly said. "It was one way we made sure that didn't continue. So I don't know exactly name-wise who it was for them, but he sat and our guys sat. That was one thing we agreed upon. We didn't want this to turn into a wrestling match. Both of our squads knew before it happened. If you're going to get in a skirmish, you're going to sit."
On Sunday, Kelly expressed his displeasure regarding flare-ups at camp because in a real game situation the penalty and/or ejection could cost the team.
What You Missed On The Field
The joint practice between the Eagles and the Patriots was missing something that was quite evident early on. It was the music. Head coach Chip Kelly wanted to eliminate the distraction since there were a lot of things being communicated on the field between the two teams. Plus, the Eagles are used to it, but New England is not. During the team stretch early on in practice, defensive tackle
It should come as no surprise that Kelly was more vocal out on the practice field considering the lack of music.
From a logistics standpoint, this is how the Eagles and the Patriots conducted the practice on Tuesday. The two teams worked out on separate fields at the beginning as the Eagles did individual position group work while the Patriots did group install. The two teams worked against one another in 1-on-1, 7-on-7, 11-on-11 and special teams drills.
During the 1-on-1 WR/DB drill early in practice, wide receiver
It is a shame that Johnson ended practice on the sideline because he was the star of practice early on, dazzling with his hands and feet. First he jumped over cornerback Kyle Arrington - who didn't bite on the stutter-step fake and had tight coverage on the post-corner route - to make an excellent catch. Then he displayed tremendous body control along the left sideline by stopping, turning his torso 180 degrees, and reaching out to snatch the ball all in one motion, with toe-tap included, before falling out of bounds. To cap things off, and all this happened within a 10-minute span, Johnson made an awesome juke while running back a kick from deep in the end zone. He started to go right, but then stopped on a dime at the 15-yard line and changed direction after he saw the Patriots who were covering the kick on the other side start to drift and overpursue. All three players were caught flat-footed and couldn't recover as Johnson exploded left to open space to pick up extra yards. In addition to Johnson, who was listed as the primary kickoff returner, Jones, cornerback
During a 7-on-7 red zone drill, the Eagles lined up with a bunch formation in the slot to the left. Two of the players - wide receiver Riley Cooper and tight end
The first player to field a punt in the second special teams session which focused on punt returns was cornerback
In the first 11-on-11 session, Foles got the first rep with the first-team offense. Foles and Jackson connected, again, as the receiver streaked down the right sideline past cornerback Logan Ryan.
When the first-team defense took to the field,
Vick took the reps with the first-team unit during the second go-around and completed a nice pass down the seam to tight end
Brandon Boykin worked as the top slot corner.
Though there was no hitting, certain members of the Eagles defense embraced and were eager to initiate contact against the Patriots, and a bunch made plays on the ball.
Chip Kelly flashed a little special teams magic as holder
One particular field goal make by kicker
Defending a wide receiver with an entire field open against Tom Brady simply isn’t fair. That’s the hard lesson the Eagles defensive backs learned on Tuesday as Brady found a way to complete nearly every single pass regardless of how tight the coverage was during the one-on-one drills. Marsh and Boykin each had flawless downfield coverage, only for Brady to find his receiver on a back-shoulder throw.
During the one-on-one drills between the Eagles offensive line and Patriots defensive line, first-round pick Lane Johnson continued what has been a very strong camp thus far, stoning blockers left and right.
The surprise player of the drill was probably center
DeSean Jackson Getting Comfortable
Wide receiver DeSean Jackson is having one of the best Training Camps of his five-year career. He is catching almost everything that is thrown his way, and has also been working hard on improving his punt return skills. Jackson told reporters after Tuesday's practice that he and the rest of his teammates are feeling comfortable in Chip Kelly's system.
"It's great so far," Jackson said of this year's camp. "We have some great guys going out and putting in the effort to buy into the system that Chip Kelly is bringing in. I think everybody is on pace to get better and learn a new system. A lot of guys were comfortable with Coach (Andy) Reid and his system, so you just have to take it back to stage one to just get into everything that you need to learn, as far as what (Kelly) expects and what he's asking of you. ... I've been doing some great work and things like that. I think everybody's just excited."
The Eagles have been mixing in a lot of option routes for the wide receivers, giving them the ability to determine which route would be the most effective against the given defense. Jackson says he enjoys the extra freedom and that it will be a great benefit to all of the Eagles pass catchers.
"To have option routes as a wide receiver. ... I definitely think it's a huge addition to have depending on the defense or the cornerback or whoever's guarding you," Jackson said. "Anytime you have the option to switch a route up, or have the option to stop or go, with the capabilities of the wide receivers that we have on this team, I think that will be a definite plus for us."
DeMeco Ryans: Joint Practice Worked
With the Eagles' first presason game quickly approaching, the team got their first taste of opposing NFL competition during Tuesday's joint practice with the New England Patriots. It was an early challenge for both sides of the ball, but linebacker DeMeco Ryans said that it was an especially great test for the defense.
"I think we benefited from just being able to see different looks," Ryans said. "For our offense to be able to see a different defense and things that they do, and for us, it was good for us to go against one of the top quarterbacks in this league if not the best quarterback in this league (in Tom Brady). To be able to practice against him and to be able to get some good quality reps against a great quarterback, I think it benefited us a lot."
Ryans also admitted that the team was playing with some extra energy compared to their normal practices, and that having a good team like the Patriots come into the NovaCare Complex gave the Eagles even more motivation.
"The tempo definitely picks up anytime that you have another team coming in," Ryans said. "You want to compete more and you want to be able to get your hands on a ball or make the play in the backfield. You want to stand out when another team comes, especially when they're coming into our house. We want to make sure we do what we have to to compete and make the right plays and play smart but also show that we can hang with them."
-- Dan Klausner, Chris McPherson, Alex Smith and Bo Wulf contributed to this report.