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Eagles Training Camp Practice Notes | August 18, 2022

WR A.J. Brown comes down with the one-handed catch.
WR A.J. Brown comes down with the one-handed catch.

BEREA, Ohio – The Eagles completed the first of two joint practices with the Cleveland Browns on Thursday ahead of their preseason tilt on Sunday. It was a gorgeous day in Northeast Ohio as the two sides were on the practice fields of the Browns' training complex for an hour and 45 minutes. Here is a thorough recap of the action:

1. As the team arrives and makes its way out onto the practice field, the first interaction between the two squads takes place. Former teammates embrace, friendly coaches catch up, coaches who worked with players in college are reunited, and everyone is happy on all sides before serious work takes place between the lines. – Fran Duffy

2. For individual drills, I start with the offensive line. Coach Jeff Stoutland is working with players on a pass protection drill where the linemen work on resetting their anchor. The rep begins with the player engaging with a "defender," and the offensive lineman starts with his hands outside the shoulder pads of the opponent. This is NOT where you want to be in-game ... but things get messy in the trenches and each rep is not perfect. Can you reshoot your hands back inside and take control of the block, all while dropping your anchor so you don't get bullrushed into the quarterback? Each player takes a couple of reps through this drill. – Fran

3. The first one-on-one sessions begin on another field, and as I'm making my way over from watching the offensive line in the previous period, I happened to miss a one-handed catch from A.J. Brown down the field to kick things off. I'm kicking myself for missing the rep, but the Eagles' receivers didn't let up. Quez Watkins gets a win downfield on a corner route from the slot. DeVonta Smith pulls in a deep ball on a fade down the sideline. Zach Pascal draws praise from his teammates, carving up the Cleveland DB on a simple hitch route. Jalen Reagor snares a curl route for another reception. Deon Cain fights through contact and wins on a slant route. The ball hasn't hit the ground yet! John Hightower runs one of the best routes I've seen him run, creating separation along the sideline from rookie third-round pick Martin Emerson. The first incompletion happens on a pass intended for undrafted rookie Britain Covey, but the Eagles march back with several more catches. – Fran

4. DeVonta beats his man on a slant, and A.J. Brown follows suit with the same route on the next throw. Watkins runs a great route in the middle of the field, staring at the corner and breaking him down before cutting inside for a reception. Jalen Reagor catches a back shoulder throw. Smith catches one more along the sideline for good measure before the horn blows to signal the next period. These drills are obviously catered more towards the receiver winning, but this was a decisive session for the Eagles. Sharp routes and impressive catches at all three levels, even with a couple of Cleveland's top corners on the sideline. – Fran

5. Linebacker Kyzir White's coverage skills were on display throughout practice starting in the one-on-one drills against the tight ends and running backs. In two reps during the one-on-one period, he had sticky coverage on a pass intended for running back Kareem Hunt before intercepting a pass – which is very difficult to do in these drills – intended for running back Nick Chubb.

"He's brought a lot of this defense," said cornerback Avonte Maddox, who had a strip in 7-on-7 drills. "He's flying around to the ball. Smart player. He's definitely playing really well, great football, and I'm excited to see what he can do." – Chris McPherson

6. It's easy to see why the receivers have improved the way they have all across the depth chart. As special teams periods take place, two of the Eagles starters, DeVonta Smith and Quez Watkins, head over to the sideline alongside Eagles assistants Kevin Patullo and Dontrelle Inman. Patullo and Smith are working on catching passes from awkward body angles along the sideline, while Inman is giving Watkins some pointers on techniques catching the football. For a team and an offensive staff heavily invested in the pass game, these receivers have plenty of tutors at their disposal. – Fran

7. New Eagle Ugo Amadi, acquired in the trade with Seattle, made the trip to Cleveland and is wearing No. 32. The versatile defensive back played on Thursday in the slot. One of the things that made Amadi appealing for the Eagles is his experience on the back end of the defense, in the slot, and extensive special teams experience. – C-Mac

8. The Browns' offense tested the Eagles with a lot of gap-scheme runs – not a surprise as the offensive line with left tackle Jedrick Wills and guards Wyatt Teller and Joel Bitonio along with the backfield duo of Chubb and Hunt. Cleveland also dished out plenty of play-action passing, something that the Eagles' defense appreciated seeing on Thursday.

"They definitely ran a lot of play-action," Maddox said. "That's something where you have to train your eyes, definitely for a defensive DB, linebackers. This is a time for us to work on our eyes. That's definitely a good thing for us to work on." – C-Mac

9. In the next period, the Eagles' offensive line takes on the Browns' defensive line in one-on-one drills. Cleveland is missing All-Pro pass rusher Myles Garrett (who is absent due to a personal issue), but this is still a battle I am looking forward to this week. Jadeveon Clowney tries to bullrush Lane Johnson, but No. 65 sits down and stymies it. Isaac Seumalo and Jordan Elliott stalemate inside. Cleveland tackle Tommy Togiai tries to rip his way past rookie center Cam Jurgens, but that rush is stopped. Landon Dickerson stops Taven Bryan's bull rush cold. The first clear win for the Browns comes with rookie pass rusher Alex Wright, who uses an inside move to sneak past Jordan Mailata. The big man bounces back on his next rep, shutting the door on another inside rush. Guard Sua Opeta flashes violent hands on his first rep, but the teams go back and forth on wins in this drill as the backups take their turn. Jurgens and Opeta once again get some wins to their credit. For Cleveland, their rookie Alex Wright (getting first- and second-team reps with Garrett absent) really looks the part. He has a lot of similarities to Eagles defensive end Josh Sweat. – Fran

10. Full team action begins, with Jalen Hurts and the starters getting five reps to start things off, and the ball never hit the ground in this sequence. Four straight completions from Hurts find the hands of Boston Scott, Kenneth Gainwell, A.J. Brown, and Dallas Goedert on consecutive throws before a Boston Scott run to the left. Goedert's catch was the flashiest, as the veteran tight end spun in the air to secure the catch downfield. After three reps with Gardner Minshew and the backups, Hurts and the starters returned to the field. A quick bubble screen to Gainwell featured impressive blocking on the perimeter from Brown and Watkins in the slot, helping to spring the second-year runner down the right sideline. Cleveland's coverage begins to lock down in this drill, forcing Hurts to scramble twice to end the session for the first-team unit. – Fran

11. Before practice, Defensive Coordinator Jonathan Gannon praised rookie first-round pick Jordan Davis' stamina and hustle, saying that there are "no limitations" on the massive, hulking defensive tackle. Davis backed up his coach on Thursday. While the Eagles used a heavy rotation along the defensive line showcasing the immense depth along the line, Davis shouldered a heavy workload using his size and power to clog the run lanes time and time again. In an early team period, Davis left Chubb, a hard-charging, tough-nosed back with nowhere to run amping up the defensive sideline. – C-Mac

12. The horn blows, and after a brief water break, we have another 11-on-11 session, with the teams this time focusing on third-down situations. This period has the Eagles' offense working a bit uphill, as the Browns' secondary begins to tighten things up. Hurts found Goedert, isolated outside on a cornerback on the back side of the formation, for a first down. The Eagles' offensive line (and running backs) did a seemingly nice job in blitz pickup in the first part of the period, but the ball hits the ground a couple more times before the starters head to the sideline. Upon their return to the field, Hurts hits Brown on a slant, then picks up a first down on his own with a scramble down the right sideline after facing some early pressure. – Fran

13. During a special teams drill, Jeff Stoutland brings his offensive linemen over to the short field to work on the finer details of the screen game. The goal? Timing. Stoutland is drilling his players to have the right cadence down in their heads before releasing out into space and to make sure they hit their landmarks correctly on the move. After the starters go, they coach the backups. After the backups go, they coach the third-team unit. All the while, Stoutland and assistant coach Roy Istvan are coaching players up. – Fran

14. What's a practice notebook without including the punter? Arryn Siposs has a booming leg – there's no doubt about that – and it caught the Browns off-guard on Thursday as one of his punts sailed so high that the Browns returner was unable to track it and ended up dropping it on the ground as he ran backwards to catch it. This got Siposs' teammates' attention, adding a little juice to the special teams period. – C-Mac

15. Some defensive highlights from the final scrimmage session include: the line left no room for Hunt to run, clogging up the gaps; defensive end Josh Sweat chased down Browns quarterback Jacoby Brissett for a sack to close out the action for the first-team unit. The heat wave continued with the second-team unit registering a pair of sacks to wrap up the day on a high note. – C-Mac

16. After the defense gets off the field in the first set of plays in this scrimmage session, the Eagles' starting offense heads out. On three straight plays, Jalen Hurts found DeVonta Smith for completions. On each, it appeared like the former Top 10 pick was lined up in the slot, and inside he saw some favorable matchups that Hurts could not pass up. On the third play, Smith turned a short pass into a large gain that the refs blew dead once he reached the safety level. My money is on him making that safety miss in live action (Smith ended this sequence by drawing a pass interference penalty on a deep ball down the right sideline). The period did not end there though, because after a Jalen Hurts designed run play, Boston Scott takes a handoff and runs to the right. Big ol' No. 69 Landon Dickerson is out in front as a puller absolutely engulfs a linebacker in the hole, smushing the defender to the ground. The Eagles' sideline erupts. – Fran

17. In the last sequence of the afternoon, the Eagles' backups on offense enter the scrimmage, and Cleveland's defense ups the physicality. After a short Gainwell run to the left, one of the Browns' linebackers (Sione Takitaki) sniffs out a receiver screen that Jalen Reagor finds a way to corral through contact. The Eagles' highlight offensively featured a pass from Gardner Minshew to tight end Jack Stoll in the middle of the field for a nice pickup. As the final horn blows, both teams converge in separate huddles ... this was a good day of work on both sides. – Fran

18. Injury Report

Did Not Practice

CB James Bradberry – groin

TE Grant Calcaterra – hamstring

LB Christian Ellis – hamstring

DT Javon Hargrave – toe

C Jason Kelce – elbow

RB Miles Sanders – hamstring

WR Greg Ward – toe

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