Nick Sirianni saw an opportunity.
It initially looked like the head coach was wrapping up practice early, but he gathered the entire team because he was not happy with the performance on the field. As defensive end Ryan Kerrigan explained, Sirianni said Friday's session mirrored the adversity that the team will encounter at some point in a game this season. Sirianni wanted to see how the team would respond. After a spirited final few periods, it was clear that the message was well received.
"I think we finished the practice stronger than we started," Kerrigan said.
Here are the news and notes from Friday's Training Camp practice:
• Center Jason Kelce was asked earlier this week if Sirianni would provide a rest day for veterans during Training Camp. On Friday, Sirianni provided the following veterans with a rest day: defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, tight end Zach Ertz, defensive end Brandon Graham, tackle Lane Johnson, Kelce, Kerrigan, and cornerback Darius Slay.
Here are the other Eagles who did not practice due to injury: wide receiver Jalen Reagor (limited with lower-body tightness), guard Brandon Brooks (day to day, hamstring), cornerback Shakial Taylor (day to day, lower body), wide receiver Quez Watkins (day to day, non-COVID illness), defensive back Nate Meadors (week to week, hamstring), and guard Isaac Seumalo (week to week, hamstring). – Chris McPherson
• With so many veterans off on Friday, it was cool to see some young players thrown into the fire. One of those examples? Rookie JaCoby Stevens, who I caught calling the defense with the first-team unit in a red zone session early in practice. – Ben Fennell
• After that first period, the team broke off with the linemen going into individual drills while the rest of the squad took part in a 7-on-7 session. Jalen Hurts completed his first two passes in that drill, both to DeVonta Smith, before hitting Dallas Goedert on a corner route for a touchdown on the right side. Hurts got better as the practice went on in Thursday's session, so it was good to see him start fast on Friday. – Fran Duffy
• It was good to see the veterans put their coaching hats on throughout Friday's practice. Lane Johnson was working extensively with Jack Driscoll as Brandon Brooks coached up Matt Pryor. On the other sideline, during a special teams period, Darius Slay worked with young veteran Craig James on his press coverage technique. – Fran
• In a team drill, Josh Sweat made his presence felt in the backfield on consecutive plays, arriving at the ball for what would have been a tackle for loss on Jordan Howard and a would-be sack against Hurts. Sweat has been splitting first-team reps with Derek Barnett this summer, and Defensive Coordinator Jonathan Gannon said that he views both as starters on this defense on Thursday. – Fran
• One coach who brought a ton of great energy on Friday was Assistant Head Coach/Running Back Coach Jemal Singleton. The veteran coach was vocal all day long, and showed off his enthusiasm after a long run from running back Kerryon Johnson. Singleton sprinted 30 yards downfield after the play to praise his running back after the big gain. – Ben
• Linebacker Genard Avery showed off his range, wrangling up the speedster Adrian Killins in the flats on one running play. – Fran
• On these perimeter plays, you need guys blocking on the outside. Travis Fulgham had an impressive block on one play and another player who has stood out? Michael Walker. He's given good effort in the run game and has flashed each day so far. – Ben
• In another team period, Joe Flacco hit rookie running back Kenneth Gainwell for a touchdown on a little Texas route out of the backfield. Gainwell had a couple of drops on Thursday, but he caught the ball really well on Friday. It's great to see young players fight through adversity and bounce back. You're not always going to be perfect every single day; I love to see that rebound from Gainwell in the opening week of camp. – Fran
• A few plays later, another rookie nearly plucked a pass in the end zone. Cornerback Zech McPhearson correctly diagnosed what the offense was trying to do and nearly came away with the interception. I noted that McPhearson was putting in extra work after practice on Thursday, and he's flashed every day so far. – Ben