Good morning, Eagles fans! The final practice ahead of Thursday's preseason opener against the Steelers is about to get underway. At around 11:45 a.m., we'll hear from head coach Doug Pederson, and quarterbacks Carson Wentz and Nick Foles. In the meantime, there's plenty to get caught up on in this edition of the Morning Roundup presented by Microsoft.
1. Can Nate Sudfeld Develop Into A No. 1 QB?
Dave Spadaro caught up with the third-year player who is in line to start Thursday against Pittsburgh. More from his column below:
The business of Sudfeld is this: The Eagles want to know exactly what they have in this guy. Can he potentially be a starter in the league? Can he be a high-level backup? Just what is Sudfeld's ceiling?
We're in the process of learning all of that.
Sudfeld has taken a ton of reps in the spring and through the halfway point of Training Camp, and he's on course to throw upwards of 100 passes in the four preseason games to come. If there was a Preseason Fantasy Football League (is there?) Sudfeld might be worthy of a No. 1 overall pick. That's how much work he's going to get. And that suits Sudfeld just fine.
2. Who Will Be The Next Eagles Player In The Hall Of Fame?
Graham Foley spoke with tackle Jason Peters and running back Darren Sproles about whether or not they could follow Brian Dawkins into the Pro Football Hall of Fame:
Peters said on Monday after practice that he was unable to see much of the Hall of Fame festivities over the weekend, choosing to watch some of it on a replay. But he wasn't taking any notes for a future speech. Peters is all business going into the 2018 season and not looking ahead to his potential weekend in Canton.
"It would really mean a lot, but I'm not thinking about that right now," Peters said. "I'm looking forward to the season and making another run."
You'll have to click the link above to read about Sproles' reaction to the question.
3. Is Nathan Gerry The Front-Runner For The Weakside LB Spot?
Fran Duffy and Ben Fennell's Practice Notes from Monday include some notes about the interesting depth chart battles:
Linebacker Nathan Gerry continues to get action with the starting defense in base personnel as he appears to be the odds-on favorite to win the weakside spot to open the year. That's not Gerry's only role, however, as he also stayed on the field as he also called the shots as the middle linebacker in the team's backup nickel package. That versatility will help Gerry in the future.
Take a look at the best photos from the big guys on the defensive side of the ball.
4. Tre Sullivan 'Glad' To Have Corey Graham Back
Tre Sullivan was taking the reps as the third safety throughout Training Camp until Corey Graham was re-signed on Sunday. Sullivan, who is in his second season, welcomed the veteran's return. Graham Foley with more:
Sullivan sees Graham's signing as a benefit. For the 24-year-old who was signed as an undrafted free agent last season out of Shepherd, adding another veteran in the defensive backs room will only be a positive influence.
"I expected him to come back and I'm actually glad he's back," Sullivan said. "I'm a young player. Everything isn't just going to be handed to me. I know I have to learn and have to grow as a player and I feel like my ceiling is extremely high and I'm glad those guys are around me to help me learn."
5. A Fan's Tribute To Brian Dawkins
Tommy Lawlor's latest column offers a different perspective on Brian Dawkins' Hall of Fame induction:
For my money, Dawkins is the best blitzing defensive back I've ever seen. He had great timing. Some defensive backs are overanxious, and that actually makes them slow off the ball. Others try to play it too cool, and that makes them slow off the ball. Dawkins timed the snap well and exploded into the backfield.
He understood how to slip blocks so even if someone was there to slow him down. He also knew how to finish. Many defensive backs get into the backfield and don't know what to do. Dawkins finished his career with 26 sacks. He knew exactly what to do when he had a quarterback in front of him.
Safety is one of my favorite positions. I can't tell you how much I loved Waters and Hopkins. I was a huge fan of Gary Fencik when he was a star for the Bears. Kenny Easley was an amazing player for Seattle before injuries ended his career. Steve Atwater of the Broncos was a huge, punishing hitter. Vann McElroy was a ball hawk for the Raiders. I fixated on Joey Browner from the Vikings. And that Ronnie Lott guy was OK, too.
Dawkins was unlike any of those guys. He changed the position. He was listed as a free safety, but that was to help out depth charts and player titles. There's a reason why Dawkins was called Weapon X.