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Training Camp Practice Notes: August 16

Darius Slay 1920 081621

The Eagles hosted Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots for the first of two days of joint practices at the NovaCare Complex on Monday. It was a highly competitive and crisp two-hour practice that featured 1-on-1 drills (offensive line vs. defensive line, wide receiver vs. defensive backs), a 7-on-7 period, and several team sessions, including an intense scrimmage-like two-minute drill to conclude the day. Here is a look at who shined under the cloudy skies in South Philadelphia.

• I went over to watch the Eagles' offensive line take on the Patriots' defensive line in 1-on-1 drills. Isaac Seumalo, back in uniform as a full participant in practice for the second day this summer, had a good first rep, working his hands well against an inside move from New England's Akeem Spence. Jordan Mailata, who gave up a bull rush on his first rep, rebounded with a couple of solid snaps afterward. Nate Herbig, taking his reps at center, had a good drill overall with a couple of nice wins inside. – Fran Duffy

• During 1-on-1 sessions at the beginning of practice I watched the Eagles' defensive backs take on the New England wide receivers. Darius Slay racked up three pass breakups against former Eagle Nelson Agholor, with one route coming on a fade, another on a slant, and another on an out route. Good showing from No. 2 for the good guys. – Ben Fennell

• For the first team action in 11-on-11, I went over to study the Eagles' offense against the Patriots' defense. Jalen Hurts came out firing with a couple of crisp completions to start the session, hitting Dallas Goedert on a pass where he moved to the left. Hurts then hit Quez Watkins over the middle with a nice throw in traffic. The offense's best play came via Miles Sanders, who exploded through the line for a long run through what seemed to be a wiiiiiide open hole on the offense's right side. – Fran

• I watched the Eagles' defense in this period, and for the Patriots it was a heavy focus on the run game behind their HEAVY offensive line. Trent Brown, Shaq Mason, and Michael Onwenu are some heavyweights up front for the Pats, and they had those guys on the move early and often against the Eagles' front. There were a few plays where Eagles defenders got to the ball fast. – Ben

• The 7-on-7 sessions start, and I'm over with the Eagles' offense against New England. On the third dropback, Hurts whipped a throw to Jalen Reagor over the middle for a nice completion in the intermediate area. A few plays later, he hit Travis Fulgham on a similar type of throw between the hashes. I love seeing Hurts complete these passes in a competitive environment, especially since this was not his sharpest period overall. It was good to see Hurts come back off the bad plays and still deliver in traffic for completions. – Fran

• During that 7-on-7 period, I had my eyes on the defense, where Alex Singleton broke up a handful of passes in the middle of the field. This guy was everywhere in this drill! A couple of them could have gone for some interceptions in the middle of the field. This was an exceptional performance from him. The guy just has so much fun playing football. – Ben

• In the next 11-on-11 period, Hurts hit Reagor on the very first play for a deep ball downfield. It appeared to be a similar kind of route that Quez Watkins ran in the game last Thursday night that fell complete. This pass was placed a bit closer to the sideline, and Reagor tracked it and made a nice fingertip grab for the explosive play downfield. Later in the day, Reagor made a nice play on the left side on a quick wide receiver screen from Nick Mullens. – Fran

• This play happened so far away from me, but on a run play, I really liked what I saw from linebacker Genard Avery, who set a strong, strong edge against the tight end to force the action back inside. Avery was back on the field today after returning from injury. – Ben

Jalen Hurts and Zach Ertz were on the same page for the next 11-on-11 period, as the second-year quarterback hooked up with his veteran tight end twice in the passing game. The second completion was the big one – a deep corner route similar to the throw Hurts made last Thursday night to Dallas Goedert along the right side. Ertz has had a good camp. – Fran

Andrew Adams, who was working with the second-team defense for most of the day, had a couple of impressive pass breakups deep downfield. The first one was an outstanding leaping PBU where he nearly picked it off outside the numbers. Adams has really flashed since returning from the COVID-19 list earlier this summer. – Ben

• Finally, the two teams gathered together on one field in a scrimmage-esque environment. The Eagles lined up on the near sideline, with the Patriots on the far side. Each offense would get the opportunity to move the ball down the field, and the Eagles were up first and they had success on this opening drive. Hurts rolled right and found Quez Watkins rolling in that direction, with the second-year receiver sustaining the catch through the ground on a nice grab. After a quick completion to Ertz, followed by a sack, Hurts hit Dallas Goedert on an impressive completion down the field to move the chains. It looked like a really impressive route from Goedert. – Fran

• This Eagles defensive front has been absolutely swarming all day, particularly the first- and second-team units. Fletcher Cox and Shaq Mason have been battling all morning. Javon Hargrave has given Onwenu everything he can handle. The energy level was really, really high. – Ben

• The teams wrapped up the session with a two-minute drill. Each offense got two cracks at a possession to move the ball and score. Hurts had the starting unit on the move quickly, with two fast completions to Miles Sanders and Travis Fulgham on the right side before finding Goedert on a throw between the hashes. This was one of my favorite throws of the day from Hurts because not only did he have to complete the pass in traffic, but he stepped up against edge pressure, keeping his eyes downfield to find his tight end for the first down. A checkdown to Watkins stopped the clock on the next throw, and with just a couple of ticks left on the clock, the Eagles' offense lined up for one final play. Hurts rolled right and found Jalen Reagor at the front pylon, and Reagor was able to make the catch going to the ground. The pass was ruled incomplete, however, because Reagor had a foot out of bounds. That was a good drive from Hurts overall. – Fran

• The starters on defense stood tall in this two-minute period, with linebacker Eric Wilson coming up with a red zone interception of quarterback Cam Newton. If he didn't pick it off, Anthony Harris was right there behind him and might have taken it back himself. Hargrave was in quarterback Cam Newton's face helping force the ball out sooner than the former MVP would have liked. This defense had a strong finish to the day. – Ben

• The second-team offense took the field for their two-minute drill. Joe Flacco found streaking tight end Tyree Jackson for a big play on a deep crosser to get things started. Quick completions to Greg Ward and Andre Patton inched the ball closer to the end zone before Flacco spiked the ball to stop the clock. On the final play, Flacco placed a beautiful touch pass to the back right corner of the end zone for Patton, who pulled the throw in with both feet in for a touchdown. – Fran

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