Good morning, Eagles fans! To combat the Monday blues, remember Eagles preseason football is back this week! Practice will begin at noon today and offensive coordinator Mike Groh will speak afterwards at around 1:30 p.m. The press conference will be livestreamed here and on our social media platforms. In this edition of Morning Roundup presented by Microsoft, there is a lot of cover from this past weekend. Let’s get into the most notable stories.
1. Over 40,000 fans help raise $475,000+ for autism research
The Eagles hosted their Training Camp practice at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday to a crowd of more than 40,000 fans. As part of Military Appreciation Night presented by Dietz & Watson, the evening focused on celebrating our country's armed forces, which included an honorary post-practice jersey exchange between Eagles players and military personnel on the field.
As the team's signature fundraising event, the Eagles Autism Challenge sets out to drive scientific breakthroughs and establish Philadelphia as a major center for autism research and care. The funds raised through the team's practice will provide critical resources to doctors and scientists at leading institutions so that those affected by autism will have an improved quality of life.
"On behalf of the Philadelphia Eagles, we would like to thank everyone who came out to support our team tonight at Lincoln Financial Field," said Don Smolenski, Philadelphia Eagles President. "We have incredible fans and are excited to have their support as we honor the men and women in uniform while also raising more than $475,000 for cutting-edge autism research."
2. DeSean Jackson showered by love from Eagles fans
No. 10 received the loudest applause from the crowd to open practice.
"It's been five years since I came out of that tunnel and the support hasn't changed one bit," Jackson said. "I'm happy. I'm excited for this year. ... It's Philadelphia, it doesn't get any better than this."
Jackson then put on a show. He was lethal in a one-on-one drill against defensive backs. First, the veteran beat Sidney Jones on a slick comeback route where he attacked outside and flashed his eyes over his inside shoulder, as if he was looking for the deep ball. That got Jones to look for the ball. Then, Jackson slammed on the brakes, shifting gears back outside on a comeback with yards of separation on the young corner. Jackson ended the drill with a quick stutter off the line of scrimmage, blowing by Rasul Douglas for what would have been a looooong touchdown.
Later in a team drill, Jackson caught a deep post from quarterback Carson Wentz to ignite the fans once again just like old times.
3. LB Grugier-Hill 'relieved' that lower-body injury isn't season ending
"It's unfortunate, I thought I was trending in the right direction," said Grugier-Hill, who watched practice from the sideline on crutches Sunday. "But stuff happens. It's the game of football.
"It's probably the worst injury I've had but thank God for that too because I've seen much worse. ... I was a little frustrated yesterday, but I'm positive now an I know myself to be a quick healer, so I'm excited for the season."
Check out the best photos from Military Appreciation Night presented by Dietz and Watson at Lincoln Financial Field during Eagles Camp presented by Independence Blue Cross.
4. Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro previews the roster battles ahead of preseason opener
Who will contribute from the rookie class? Miles Sanders and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside have stepped up in practice. Top pick Andre Dillard is developing at left tackle. Defensive end Shareef Miller is going to have a chance to show his game in the preseason. Same with quarterback Clayton Thorson, who is battling with Cody Kessler for the No. 3 quarterback job, if the Eagles decide to carry three on the 53-man roster.
5. Can Canadian star Alex Singleton find a home with the Eagles?
With all the talk about linebackers, Alex Singleton’s name has joined the conversation. The 25-year-old was one of the stars in the Canadian Football League before signing a contract with the Eagles. Chris McPherson spoke with Singleton about how the CFL has helped him to where he is now. Check out the full story here.
"I love that game. I love Calgary. It still means a whole bunch to me and all of those fans still reach out every day," Singleton said. "The CFL is such a tight-knit group that I have Tiger Cat fans, Toronto fans, Edmonton fans, Saskatchewan fans who are rivals but reach out and follow the Eagles just as much because I'm here. It's cool to know you kind of have a whole country behind you. It makes it pretty special."
6. Practice Notes: The Bulldozer feasts at the goal line
On arguably the most beautiful day at Training Camp, the Eagles were in full force on the field. The standout player of the morning was rookie defensive end Shareef Miller who gave 110 on each play. Check out what Fran Duffy, Ben Fennell, and Chris McPherson took from the practice here!
“During the first team session, before they tackled to the ground, Miller and fellow end Daeshon Hall met Scott in the backfield for the tackle," McPherson wrote. "During the live goal-line period, Miller stuffed Scott to keep him out of the end zone. Late in the final team period to conclude practice, Miller had a sack and was active with his other reps. And, to top it all off, he and Casey Tucker mixed it up in the O-line vs. D-line one-on-ones. The two were matched up in consecutive reps and some bad blood from the first snap carried over.”
7. Miles Sanders stands out in crowded RB picture
The Penn State product enters his first Training Camp and has already created a respected reputation for himself. His natural instincts on the football field and pure talent have allowed him to stand out among the other running backs. Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro analyzes how Sanders has been able to differentiate himself in such a packed running back room.
“Every day, yeah, I’d say it’s coming. It’s getting better. I feel like I’m up to speed here,” Sanders said on Saturday as he walked off the practice field at the NovaCare Complex doing what rookies do – carrying fellow running back Wendell Smallwood’s pads and helmet. “For me, it’s just a matter of getting more and more comfortable with what we’re doing. I know it’s going to take some time. I’m a patient person. I just want to be out there on the field doing whatever I can do to help this team.”
8. New Eagle Johnathan Cyprien ready to push for roster spot
On Friday, the Eagles signed veteran safety Johnathan Cyprien to the 90-man roster. The 29-year-old spent the past two seasons with Tennessee after four years in Jacksonville. The 6-1, 211-pound Cyprien was a second-round pick of the Jaguars out of Florida International in 2013. In 70 regular-season games (all starts), Cyprien has 507 tackles, 16 pass deflections, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and two interceptions. Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro dives into Cyprien’s versatility and what contributions he could make to the team.
“Versatility is something the Eagles look for in their safeties, and Cyprien knows that he’ll be asked to do a lot of things in coverage and supporting the run defense," Spadaro wrote. "That’s the way the game is now for players at that position in this league.”