Good morning, Eagles fans. Happy Wentzday! Today's practice is a lighter one after Tuesday's marathon session, starting at 9:45 a.m. and running for approximately 90 minutes. Afterward, offensive coordinator Mike Groh will talk to the media which will be livestreamed here and on our social media platforms. Tuesday also marked the first live periods of Training Camp and they surely did not disappoint. Let's dive into the hard-hitting topics!
1. The making of a left tackle
Dave Spadaro's latest On the Inside column delves into the development of first-round pick Andre Dillard, who has made steady progress since he was chosen 22nd overall by the Eagles in April after an outstanding career at Washington State.
"The transition from college to the NFL is much more difficult than the one from high school to college," Dillard said. "You don't realize that until you're here. You can get away with things in college that you can't get away with in the NFL. These guys have an answer for just about everything you bring, so you have to learn more than you've ever learned, and you have to be sound in everything you do. You have to be technically sound in every single practice, or those guys are going to get you, and it's not pretty."
2. Practice Notes: Who sizzled at Training Camp?
Fran Duffy, Ben Fennell, and Chris McPherson witnessed what is scheduled to be the longest Training Camp practice on Tuesday at two hours and 20 minutes. It was also the first practice that featured live hitting. Along with the weather, the competition heated up with a standout performance from J.J. Arcega-Whiteside.
The final "live" session of the day was a "Move the Field" session, where the ball was placed on the 20-yard line, and it was a live-game simulation. If the defense can stop the offense in three downs, they force a punt. Otherwise, the offense keeps going until they can score. On the very first play, the offense did just that. Wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside kicked off the period with a "right place, right time" catch as linebacker Nathan Gerry tipped a pass on the right side. The ball popped up in the air and landed right into the hands of Arcega-Whiteside, who did the rest, scampering another 60-plus yards, outrunning the pursuing defenders. – Ben Fennell
3. Schwartz: Grugier-Hill among early Training Camp standouts
Defensive coordinator, Jim Schwartz, met with the media Tuesday to discuss who has stood out to him so far during Training Camp. Among the many names mentioned was 2018 team captain Kamu Grugier-Hill, who is entering his fourth season in the league. He has already made his presence known with a notable interception on Day 3 of Training Camp off Carson Wentz. Schwartz is aware of Grugier-Hill's development and expects him to have a big role in this defense.
"I think Kamu over the course of the last two years has become better versus blockers," Schwartz said. "He's become more of a physical presence inside. Everybody knows the athletic ability that he had but he was always sort of considered a hybrid player or a light player. I think he's taken a big step to being a full-time linebacker and when I say full time, I don't mean being on the field all the time but I mean can play inside, can play outside, can take on a guard, can step up and fill a run play, all those kinds of things. His understanding of the defense is really good too."
4. Roseman: Pederson is a 'special coach and a special person'
Executive Vice President/General Manager Howie Roseman sat down with SiriusXM's Mark Dominik and Bruce Murray after practice Tuesday. The three discussed everything from the state of the team to head coach Doug Pederson's impact.
"Doug is a special coach and a special person," Roseman said. "I think for all of us in the building, we all want to make sure we're all doing our job right to support him because he does a tremendous job and he's hired a tremendous coaching staff. So, it's our job and our role to make sure he has the right pieces and that he can do whatever he wants, from an offensive perspective and really give us the tools on defense and special teams too."