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Eagles Training Camp Practice Notes: August 20, 2023

Jalen Carter and Nakobe Dean wait for the offense to break the huddle.
Jalen Carter and Nakobe Dean wait for the offense to break the huddle.

Pre-Practice Injury Report: Some positive news after Saturday's lengthy list. Fletcher Cox (knee soreness) and Mekhi Garner (ankle) returned in a limited capacity. Eight players missed practice (no one new was added to the list): Britain Covey (hamstring), Kyron Johnson (appendectomy), Moro Ojomo (concussion), Haason Reddick (thumb), Trey Sermon (ankle), Nolan Smith (shoulder), Greg Ward (ankle), and Quez Watkins (hamstring).

1. Practice starts, per usual, with individual drills. The quarterback and running back groups are working together on handoff mechanics. The quarterbacks lined up under center and handed the ball off to the running backs, going through the motions of several of the schemes in the Eagles' playbook. After the handoff, the quarterbacks would roll outside, catch a ball from an assistant coach, and then make a throw on the run to work through their boot-action pass plays as well. – Fran Duffy

2. In the first team period of Sunday's practice, the first-team offense took on the first-team defense. This was the A.J. Brown period as he was targeted on three of the first six plays. On the opening pass, Jalen Hurts found Brown on an out route to the left sideline for a solid gain. A good route from Brown and a great pocket for Hurts led to positive yardage. The second play also found the hands of Brown. With the ball spotted on the 40-yard line, Brown, the farthest receiver to the left, cut back at the 25-yard line to beat his man and make the catch. With Brandon Graham swooping in from the middle, sound blocking from Landon Dickerson and Lane Johnson allowed the play to happen. The third and final play for Brown was the most impressive.

With six men on the line, Sean Desai's defense sent a blitz. Perfectly read by Hurts, with Graham and Milton Williams barreling down on him, he found Brown. However, the catch was not a simple one, he had to pick a contested ball out of the air and come down holding the ball while battling the hands of the cornerback. Hurts used his legs on the second-to-last play of the period. With his eyes on the defense, he spotted the blitz from Nakobe Dean and Zach Cunningham and rushed to his right. Blocking from Cam Jurgens and Johnson on the edge opened the lane for their quarterback. The short, six-play drive was highlighted by the performance of Brown. – Owen Boyle

3. I had my eyes on the middle field where the second-team units battled. Safety K'Von Wallace did a tremendous job diagnosing the underneath out route on the first snap and broke on the ball. Credit to Deon Cain, who was able to still bring it in. Quarterback Marcus Mariota shined in the final three snaps of the session. First, he dropped a dime on an intermediate out route to the sideline despite pressure from a blitzing Christian Elliss up the middle. Running back Rashaad Penny got just enough of Elliss to allow Mariota to throw the ball. Next, Mariota tossed a gem on a seam route to tight end Tyree Jackson for a 35-yard touchdown, getting the ball over the safety. Lastly, Mariota rushed through the hole left vacated by a looping pass rusher and used his legs to get positive yardage. – Chris McPherson

4. After the team finished their "compete" period, they split up for a special teams circuit. Michael Clay is leading the charge on punt coverage individual drills, with players working on their get-off at the snap to try and block a punt. Players raced through the drill, with guys on offense and defense getting into a three-point stance and flying off the ball. Some reps that stood out to me included second-year tight end Grant Calcaterra, athletic linebacker Christian Elliss, veteran safety Terrell Edmunds, and do-everything running back Boston Scott. – Fran Duffy

5. In the first team session following the compete period, Jalen Hurts hit A.J. Brown on an out route along the left sideline. Hurts followed that with a short out to Kenneth Gainwell and back-to-back throws to Dallas Goedert. Jordan Davis and Brandon Graham had enough and teamed up to stop Hurts on a play-action keeper. The defensive line affected the second-team offense as well with several pressures, including a tipped pass at the line of scrimmage. – Chris McPherson

6. 7-on-7 action begins in the red zone, and Jalen Hurts came out hot. A double move from DeVonta Smith resulted in a touchdown on the right side. He followed that up by striping a throw down the seam to Dallas Goedert for a score. He backed that up with completions to Goedert and Kenneth Gainwell before getting back to Smith with another touchdown in the back of the end zone. The lone blemish in the passing game came from a near-interception from linebacker Nakobe Dean, who stepped in front of a quick throw intended for Goedert underneath that hit the ground. – Fran Duffy

7. The team came back together for a long "move the ball" period, starting with the first-team offense matching up with the second-team defense, and in this one the two went punch-for-punch. Jalen Hurts found Dallas Goedert for a nice completion streaking across the field to get the drill started. Sydney Brown flew down into the backfield to tag Hurts for a "TFL" in the run game on the ensuing snap. Hurts came back and hit DeVonta Smith on a comeback down the left sideline, but two plays later was forced from the pocket due to tight coverage on the back end leaving him nowhere to go with the ball. Soon afterwards, Olamide Zaccheaus had one of the highlights of the day, pulling in a diving catch from Hurts along the near sideline with Terrell Edmunds draped over him. – Fran Duffy

8. The defensive starters came out next to go up against Marcus Mariota and the second-team O. Avonte Maddox announced his presence early, sniffing out a wide receiver screen with authority in the far flat. Maddox would get home for a sack later in the drill. A Boston Scott run to the left never gets out of the box thanks to Jordan Davis' disruption inside. Mariota is forced to scramble after both Brandon Graham and Milton Williams got into the backfield. Mariota rounded out the period with a handful of completions, but the defense came out with the splash plays. – Fran Duffy

9. It's good-on-good to end the day's action, with the starters on both sides taking the field for one final "move the ball" period. Jalen Hurts finds A.J. Brown (again – these two were in-sync today) for an out route to get things rolling. Avonte Maddox stifles a screen pass to Olamide Zaccheaus before it even gets started on the next snap. Jordan Davis swallows up a run from Kenneth Gainwell on the inside. The defensive line was able to collapse the pocket around Hurts and force a scramble (Milton Williams and Brandon Graham were the main penetrators on that one). Zach Cunningham and Darius Slay join forces to stop a quick throw to Boston Scott, but then Hurts comes back with a couple of big throws and a run. A sail route from Hurts to Dallas Goedert picks up a good chunk of yardage before Hurts finds Brown once again over the middle of the field to move the chains. – Fran Duffy

10. Nick Sirianni ended practice with a friendly field goal competition, and no, Jake Elliott was not involved. Marcus Mariota, Boston Scott, Cam Jurgens, and Justin Evans participated. The goal – Survive and advance. Mariota was the first to go. Let us just say he will not be the backup kicker this year. Scott made his kick with a line drive. Scott channeled his inner Cristiano Ronaldo with his post-kick celebration. Then, right guard Cam Jurgens stepped up. Hyping up the crowd at the NovaCare Complex, Jurgens toed it through the uprights. Evans was the last player to kick and looked the part with the best field goal of the competition. "It did not surprise me at all. He has strong calves," James Bradberry said.

The latter three advanced to the final round which included a full set up of offensive and defensive linemen. Scott missed his second kick to the left. Cam Jurgens fired up the fans again, but his kick rattled off the right post, sending a ringing sound across the fields. Evans had the chance to win but shanked his kick to the left, hitting the portable Pro Shop. In the end, nobody came away victorious, but it was all good fun. After practice, punter Arryn Siposs summed it up the best, "It is a bit of fun for everybody to mess around and do that, which is exciting. That is what this team is built on. We get our work done, but at the same time, we are ready to have a good time." – Owen Boyle

Check out the best images from Training Camp, presented by Independence Blue Cross, as the Eagles whittle the roster to 53 and prepare for the 2023 season.

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