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Practice Notes: Alshon Jeffery Sends A Message Ahead Of Miami's Visit


In the first practice since Thursday's preseason win over the Buffalo Bills, the Eagles had 10-10-10 workout eyeing the joint practices with the Miami Dolphins on the horizon. Here are our notes from the action at the NovaCare Complex.

Number Of The Day: 385

Brent Celek ranks fourth in Eagles history with 385 career receptions, trailing only Harold Carmichael (589, 1971-83), Pete Retzlaff (452, 1956-66), and Brian Westbrook (426, 2002-09). - John Gonoude

Practice Observations

1. The Eagles got clear skies and a dry heat on Sunday afternoon at the NovaCare Complex for a quick 10-10-10 session. The first-team offense took the field for the first period of the morning after some individual work. Things got started with a Darren Sproles run to the left. He and Carson Wentz connected off play-action on the next play as well. A few minutes later, Wentz rifled a throw over the middle to tight end Zach Ertz. Running back LeGarrette Blount also caught two passes out of the backfield in the drill.* - Fran Duffy*

2. The starting defense took the field next down in the red zone, and we got a look at the team's nickel defense with Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills outside with veteran Patrick Robinson inside playing the slot. Robinson earned praise from coach Cory Undlin on the second play, defending a fade from the slot perfectly in the back of the end zone. Jim Schwartz sent a blitz on the next snap, with three defenders converging on quarterback Nick Foles in the backfield for what would've been a sack. Another blitz later in the drill forced a quick throw that safety Rodney McLeod batted down in the end zone. Defensive tackle Tim Jernigan also came away with a sack in the period. - FD

3. After a special teams session that included field goals and some work for the kickoff coverage unit, the starters on offense returned to the field. Running back Wendell Smallwood, who returned to practice today, caught a pass on the first play from scrimmage. Two plays later, the team drew the first set of applause from the crowd after Jeffery and Wentz hooked up on a double move down the left sideline. Two plays later, Wentz fired a pass right on Jeffery's back shoulder for a completion, a throw with a ton of velocity behind it. Wentz hit Torrey Smith a couple of plays later on a deep crossing route and ended the period with two straight completions to Sproles out of the backfield. - FD

4. Let's not overlook the field goal work on Sunday. After missing a 45-yard attempt Thursday night in the preseason game, head coach Doug Pederson had to give Caleb Sturgis a vote of confidence. Sturgis responded in a big way going a perfect 8 for 8 on Sunday with some of the kicks landing in the coaches' parking lot. - Chris McPherson

5. As for Smallwood's return from a hamstring injury that sidelined him for the two preseason games, he looked good both running and catching the ball out of the backfield. He said after practice that he's 100 percent healthy and ready for a big week with the joint practices and third preseason games. Corey Clement has made a strong push for a roster spot, but Smallwood was having a strong camp before the injury. - CM

6. Wentz's athleticism allows for him to keep plays alive within the pocket which we've seen in the first two preseason games. He executed a zone-read where he kept the ball in practice on Sunday. I wonder how many times we could see that this season. - CM

7. It wasn't a live-hitting practice, but a linebacker and cornerback Rasul Douglas collided with wide receiver Shelton Gibson on a pass attempt in the middle of the field. The pop forced the ball out for an incompletion. - CM

8. Defensive end Steven Means, fresh off of his two sacks in the win Thursday night, got second-team reps with Derek Barnett sidelined with a lower-body injury. - CM

9. The top defense went back out, and it was the front four that made most of the plays in this drill. Brandon Graham flew into the backfield for a tackle for loss on the first play before Fletcher Cox and Jernigan both had a party at the quarterback for what would've been a sack in live action. Vinny Curry held up Corey Clement at the line of scrimmage on a run play his direction, and Robinson got a pass breakup in the flat on a quick throw. Linebacker Joe Walker ended the period with an interception of Matt McGloin in the middle of the field. - FD

10. The offense returned to the field for some work in the high red zone, and this became the Jeffery show. Wentz began the period with three completions in his first four passes before hitting Jeffery on a corner route in the back of the end zone. The quarterback lofted the throw and gave Jeffery the chance to go up and battle for it, as he outmuscled two defenders for the contested grab. Two completions and a touchdown to tight end Brent Celek later, Wentz would again go back to Jeffery on the other side of the field. This time, Alshon leaked down the left sideline on a fade route and Wentz just threw him an alley-oop for a score. It was good to see the duo connect on a handful of big plays in the day's practice. - FD

11. Graham got the final period off to a quick start, bull-rushing tackle Matt Tobin back into the quarterback's lap on the first play before getting a sure sack on the second one, a throw that was intercepted by Malcolm Jenkins between the hashes. Safety Corey Graham had tight coverage in the deep middle on a post route to second-year receiver David Watford. Defensive tackle Destiny Vaeao got a sack on one play and made another stop a minute later. The offensive highlight came from rookie receiver Shelton Gibson, who climbed the ladder and made an outstanding catch in the end zone for a touchdown on a crossing route in a crowd. - FD

Injury Report

Offensive lineman Josh Andrews hasn't been practicing due to a hand injury.

Defensive end Derek Barnett was out with a lower-body injury.

Wide receiver Bryce Treggs remains sidelined with lower leg soreness.

Wide receiver Paul Turner is still recovering from a shoulder injury.

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