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Training Camp Practice Notes: August 2

Fletcher Cox 1920 080221

The Eagles updated the status of rookie wide receiver DeVonta Smith on Monday. Smith, who suffered a knee injury on Saturday, is deemed week to week. What did the coaches think of Smith's first week of Training Camp practices? Offensive Coordinator Shane Steichen raved about the first-round pick's ability to win off the snap of the ball.

"His releases off the line of scrimmage for a young player are super impressive," Steichen said. "Like, it's rare to see the way he gets off the line of scrimmage. His first step and his jab to create that separation, I mean, that's the biggest thing I've seen from him, along with his speed and his route-running ability. It's been very impressive." – Chris McPherson

• We were blessed with beautiful weather again on Monday. It feels great to be back out watching more football, and the first thing I watched was (again) wide receivers going through individual drills. Today, guys worked on getting releases against press coverage and working upfield, looking balls in over their shoulder. – Ben Fennell

• In the first team period, I watched the "starters" on the middle field. Jalen Hurts started the day with completions to Travis Fulgham on a comeback route and then Zach Ertz on a corner route off play-action. Good to see No. 1 get off to a nice start this morning. – Fran Duffy

• In the second team period, Hurts completed a screen pass to Miles Sanders on his first attempt before dropping back and seeing the number 97 in his face immediately, as Javon Hargrave pushed his way into the backfield. Hargrave has had an outstanding start to camp. His quickness and power have shown up every day. On the next play, both Hargrave and Brandon Graham knife into the backfield to force Hurts to step up and scramble. – Fran

• The run game got going after that, as Miles Sanders took off on a long run up the middle before Kerryon Johnson scampered untouched down the right sideline on a perimeter play. On the very next snap, Jordan Howard fired downhill for a nice run between the tackles, again untouched. Offensive coaches were excited after those three consecutive reps. A couple of plays later, Joe Flacco slung a pass right down the seam to young tight end Tyree Jackson for a big completion. – Fran

• That was a really nice catch by Jackson, who fully extended over the middle to pull in the throw. These young tight ends have really flashed – whether it's Jason Croom, Jack Stoll, Caleb Wilson, or Jackson. These guys are athletic, are catching nearly everything, and are good candidates to be that H-Back type of player in the offense. – Ben

• During the 7-on-7 period, the offense hit a huge play deep downfield with Hurts unloading a perfect throw to second-year wideout Quez Watkins. Watkins got an inside release off the snap and ran a clean post route to create plenty of room for Hurts to loft in the pass. – Ben

• During special teams every day, it's easy to spot Miles Sanders. For every one of those drills, he is working at the same spot on the sideline with Assistant Head Coach/Running Backs Jemal Singleton, focusing on his hands and catching passes. The pass game is a huge point of emphasis for Sanders entering this season. – Ben

• In the ensuing team period, Cox made his presence felt quickly, wrapping up Sanders at the line of scrimmage on a run play before getting his hands up and knocking down a Hurts pass over the middle on the next snap. Soon afterward, No. 91 went step for step with Boston Scott to the left sideline, showing off his range. Cox has – expectedly – had a good start to camp. – Fran

• The third-team unit hits the field, and Watkins reaches the end zone again on a wide receiver screen from Nick Mullens. It's funny – this play looked eerily similar to his touchdown that he scored against Arizona last season. This is the first day where we got to see Watkins in 11-on-11 action, and it was good to see him hit a couple of big plays. He also had an outstanding grab in one-on-one drills on Saturday (go back to our practice notes to find that). – Ben

Ben's guy – rookie corner Zech McPhearson – came away with an interception late in the day on an underthrown ball down the left sideline. The fourth-round pick has been around the ball every day, and appeared to earn extra reps with the second team on Monday. – Fran

• After practice, Jalen Hurts got together with some of his pass targets in the near end zone, as Reagor, Ertz, Fulgham, and Watkins all joined the quarterback for some routes on air. On the opposite field, Joe Flacco got together with J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Andre Patton for some one-on-one work as well. – Fran

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