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Wake-Up Call: Doug Pederson Needs To Add This To The Playbook

Posted Aug 22, 2017

The Eagles and the Miami Dolphins resume their set of joint practices Tuesday morning at the NovaCare Complex. Here's what you need to know for Tuesday, August 22.

1. Brandon Graham, Jordan Hicks Leave Practice Due To Injury

Two of the most important pieces of the defense - defensive end Brandon Graham and linebacker Jordan Hicks - didn't finish Monday's practice. Head coach Doug Pederson will provide an update after Tuesday's practice, which we will carry live at 12:20 p.m., but Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News reported Monday night that Graham suffered a triceps strain, and Hicks has a groin strain.

Derek Barnett went in with the first-team defense for Graham and Joe Walker replaced Hicks at middle linebacker. Barnett has had an outstanding preseason and the first-round pick is pushing for quality playing time once the regular season begins. Walker is in a battle with a slew of young linebackers for a roster spot. Walker was on track to make the roster last year before he suffered a torn ACL last preseason. He has not missed any time during Training Camp.

2. Eagles Send Lineman Matt Tobin To Seattle For 2018 Pick

Two years ago, Matt Tobin started 13 games at guard. On Monday, the Eagles shipped the veteran and a 2018 seventh-round pick to Seattle in exchange for a 2018 fifth-round selection. Tobin, who started at right tackle in the Bills game, is the second lineman the Eagles have traded since the start of Training Camp, as Allen Barbre was moved to Denver.

The move is a sign of the trust in the quality depth that the Eagles have along the offensive line. At tackle, the Eagles have Jason Peters and Lane Johnson as the starters. Halapoulivaati Vaitai is the top backup at right tackle (he was injured for the Bills game) and Dillon Gordon is the second-team left tackle, although Johnson could slide over. There is also former defensive lineman Taylor Hart and rookie Victor Salako.

3. Eagles Harness The Power Of The Solar Eclipse

4. Fletcher Cox Is Still At It

It should be noted that he was flat-out dominant at Monday's joint practice.

5. Someone Is Finally Able To Stop Alshon Jeffery

Not on the field. Alex Smith went one-on-one with the Pro Bowl receiver on Monday's Inside Training Camp presented by Xfinity.

6. Does Coach Pederson Have This In His Playbook?

Dolphins head coach Adam Gase was the Bears' offensive coordinator while Jeffery was with the team. Jeffery is so special that Gase had a simple play call in emergency situations.

“They’re getting a guy that you can basically throw the ball up and he’ll go get it and make the play. It doesn’t matter what the coverage is. (With) two, three guys on him, he’s made some incredible plays when we were together in Chicago. I think it was the first time I ever had a player where I’d call a play and just say ‘Throw it to Alshon,’" Gase said.

"He’s a big-body guy. You kind of are surprised when you stand next to him. You always think he’s taller, but his arms and his wingspan are incredible. His ability to track the ball and go get it in traffic is really something that you don’t see a lot. He’s a guy that when you get in the red zone, he’s a definite threat, and he can be a game-changing guy. When he makes those explosive plays, they’re game-changing plays.”

7. Alonso, Maxwell Return To Philadelphia

Kiko Alonso and Byron Maxwell were two big offseason additions heading into the 2015 campaign. Alonso battled a knee injury, while Maxwell struggled to live up to a big contract. Both were packaged as part of a deal to Miami that eventually led to the Eagles acquiring the No. 2 overall pick in 2016 which was used on quarterback Carson Wentz.

The trade worked out for the Dolphins as the two have started and played well on defense, but there are still some hard feelings.

“I’d be lying if I tell you that I don’t want to do better than the Eagles do. I do. I want to win more games than them. I want to prove them wrong,” Maxwell said.

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