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Eagles Training Camp Practice Notes | August 1, 2023

K'Von Wallace notched an interception Tuesday.
K'Von Wallace notched an interception Tuesday.

It was a milestone day at Training Camp as the pads went on for the first time as the players were on the field for 90 minutes. Here are the highlights from a gorgeous morning at the NovaCare Complex.

Pre-practice injury report: Wide receiver Deon Cain was added to the injury report on Tuesday. He did not practice due to an ankle injury. Defensive end Derek Barnett (knee), cornerback Avonte Maddox (toe), and linebacker Haason Reddick (groin soreness) remain limited.

• The coaches mix and match the personnel groupings throughout Training Camp, but it should be noted that Christian Elliss and Nicholas Morrow continued to receive first-team snaps at the linebacker position opposite Nakobe Dean. – Chris McPherson

• Special teams periods are underway and working with the first-team punt coverage unit as the "personal protector" is second-year safety Reed Blankenship. Arguably one of the most important roles on the core four special teams units, the PP lines up in the backfield behind the snapper and in front of the punter. Blankenship, who is competing for a starting role at safety as well, will continue to provide effective play in the third phase of the game. – Fran Duffy

• During individuals, the ball carriers – quarterbacks included – went through the gauntlet, which helps the players learn to protect the ball while running through contact. It's notable that Head Coach Nick Sirianni uses the time to go through the finer details when it comes to holding the football in order to protect it from the punches and rakes that will come from defenders. – Chris McPherson

• On the first play of 11-on-11 action, Jalen Hurts rolled right and found DeVonta Smith in the back of the end zone for a touchdown down in the red zone. Hurts has often been on the move so far this summer, and moving the pocket will once again be a big part of the Eagles' pass game. It's a great way to utilize the dual-threat nature of Hurts' physical skill set, getting him on the edge to threaten defenses with both his arm and his legs. The defense finished this initial session strong as linebacker Nolan Smith stayed home as quarterback Ian Book rolled right and forced an incomplete pass. – Fran Duffy

• One-on-one drills begin, and while the offensive and defensive lines work some 2-on-2 drills to my left, I've got eyes on the running backs and linebackers in front of me. The linebackers are working on their blitzing with the running backs working in pass protection. Boston Scott had some really good reps in this drill, showing off his technique, willingness, and foot quickness to mirror with second-level rushers. Scott had really good reps against Nakobe Dean and Shaun Bradley in this drill. Dean was not without his share of wins, however, as the second-year linebacker bested Scott on one rep with a late rush after beating D'Andre Swift with a power move and executing a nice swim move as well early on. – Fran Duffy

• Savoring the wide receiver/defensive back 1-on-1s for a second day, here are some of the highlights:

  1. Big Play Slay made things tough for DeVonta Smith on their two battles. First, Slay had tight coverage on an in-breaking route that left little room to put the ball as Jalen Hurts tried to lead Smith, but the pass was incomplete. On the second rep, Smith tried to bait Slay into thinking that he was running the same route, but he cut it out to the sideline and up. Slay wasn't fooled, but a pinpoint pass by Hurts led to a 30-yard completion.
  2. Slay's counterpart James Bradberry has been outstanding early in Training Camp, but not even he could stop a filthy back-shoulder throw from Hurts to A.J. Brown along the left sideline for a 17-yard gain. Later on in the team period, the two were able to execute this same exact route and throw highlighting the importance of practice.
  3. Cornerback Avonte Maddox showed tremendous patience against wide receiver Quez Watkins. The receiver had inside leverage and faked going inside before turning out. The veteran corner stayed in-phase and left no window for the pass to be completed.
  4. Quarterback Marcus Mariota and wide receiver Olamide Zaccheaus already have chemistry from their time in Atlanta and it showed during this drill. Zaccheaus ran a fade down the right sideline and created enough separation at the snap to give Mariota a window to float the ball into over the shoulder for a 35-yard completion. – Chris McPherson

• Jalen Hurts comes out onto the field for 7-on-7 work and goes on to complete all five of his passes, which was a nice microcosm of his day overall. Outside of one big play downfield to Brown late in the day, Hurts was incredibly accurate and efficient on Tuesday, with the ball rarely hitting the ground. As C-Mac noted in the Eagle Eye in the Sky Podcast, he has yet to throw a pick in a team period yet this summer. – Fran Duffy

The Eagles donned the pads for the first time at this year's Training Camp. Check out some of the best images from the session.

• I'm continuing to see good strides from linebacker Shaun Bradley. The fourth-year player has made his impact primarily on special teams so far in his NFL career, but this is the most where I've seen him show up on defense. In the first team period he attacked downhill, defeated a block, and found the ball. He got home on what would have been a sack later in the drill, taking a good angle to quarterback Marcus Mariota. In the second team period, he again showed up on an inside run, showing off his explosive power in defeating a block from tight end Dallas Goedert and getting to the ball. Here's hoping Bradley can carry this play over to the preseason. – Fran Duffy

• There is plenty of depth at tight end with Dallas Goedert, whose outstanding daily performances are so commonplace that it's what fans are accustomed to seeing at this point, leading the way. One player who battled back from injury is Tyree Jackson, who caught consecutive passes to end a team period. Jackson, the former college quarterback, is a huge target at 6-foot-7, 249 pounds and has the athleticism to get open. It's good to see him bounce back after a knee injury prematurely ended his 2022 season. – Chris McPherson

• Rookie undrafted free agent cornerback Mekhi Garner delivered the biggest hit of camp in a "live" situation at the end of the second team period. Quarterback Tanner McKee threw the ball to the flat, targeting receiver Charleston Rambo, who made the catch and then caught the shoulder of Garner, who laid him out in a seemingly clean bang-bang play. – Fran Duffy

• Fletcher Cox may be one of the oldest players on defense, but you wouldn't be able to tell that when watching him practice. I saw No. 91 closing on the ball towards the sideline at top speed multiple times on the field on Tuesday. One play, in particular, caught my eye on a screen pass to Boston Scott late in practice. Jason Kelce was out blocking a linebacker in space, but Cox flew past Scott and high-stepped his way into a celebration on the sideline, as his teammates all took note of the pursuit effort from the Pro Bowl defensive tackle. – Fran Duffy

• Marcus Mariota made one of my favorite throws of camp towards the end of the day, stepping up and out of the pocket to the right against edge pressure and hitting a streaking Greg Ward crossing across his face. Mariota had to make the throw on the run, off-platform, and he striped it to Ward for a first down. The two hooked up last Friday for a big-play touchdown as well, connecting on a deep post downfield, but this one was just as exciting. That was a great ball from Mariota. – Fran Duffy

• During the last special teams period, players practiced racing down the field to keep the ball inside the 5-yard line. Tyrie Cleveland downed one at the 2-yard line. Charleston Rambo swarmed to the ball just inside the 5-yard line, drawing enthusiastic applause from Special Teams Assistant Tyler Brown. The returners were back there as well and Britain Covey, the primary punt returner last season, did a good job of distracting the gunner on one rep to help aid the ball into the end zone for a touchback. – Chris McPherson

• After the offense won the third-down jamboree on Sunday, the defense stormed back with a win on Tuesday forcing the offense to run sprints at the end of practice. Safety K'Von Wallace had the big play for the defense with an interception of a pass intended for tight end Dan Arnold. Nicholas Morrow hid his intentions and blitzed up the middle for a sack on the penultimate play before Greedy Williams locked down the win for the defense with a pass breakup of an attempt to wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland. – Chris McPherson

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