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Practice Notes: Carson Wentz sharp, defense swarms late

Following Sunday night's practice at Lincoln Financial Field, the Eagles returned to the NovaCare Complex for a 10-10-10 practice on Monday afternoon that was shorter than the scheduled 90 minutes. There was still plenty to glean from the workout as Fran Duffy and Ben Fennell offer these takeaways.

1. Jason Peters, Jason Kelce, and Alshon Jeffery were given the day off Monday, meaning we had some different lineups along the offensive line. Isaac Seumalo slid from left guard to center, with Stefen Wisniewski stepping into the left guard spot. Rookie Andre Dillard was the starting left tackle. Defensively, L.J. Fort was the second linebacker alongside Nathan Gerry, with Zach Brown (who was the first man up in Sunday's practice) coming onto the field in the 4-3 base. – Ben Fennell

2. In a light, shortened practice, Carson Wentz looked sharp. It started in the first offensive session, as the quarterback completed three of his four red zone tosses. First, he hit Dallas Goedert at the goal line on a curl route for a touchdown. Next, he hit Zach Ertz on an out-breaking route just shy of the goal line. Two plays later, he rounded out his sequence with a pretty throw to DeSean Jackson in the back of the end zone. Wentz started to his right, didn't like what he saw and got through his progressions, finding D-Jax on the end line for a score. – Fran Duffy

3. After that touchdown from Wentz to Jackson, my eyes went to behind the offense, as Jason Kelce (sporting a bucket hat with a play sheet in hand) was side by side with quarterbacks coach Press Taylor. It appeared as if Taylor was breaking down the concept to Kelce, teaching him the progression for the quarterback. The center is an extension of the quarterback, so the more Kelce understands the concepts it can only help the execution of the scheme. – Ben

4. The second-team units took the field, and after a couple of positive plays for the defense, Nate Sudfeld responded with a well-placed touchdown throw to tight end Alex Ellis in the back of the end zone. The ball was high above the facemask, which is right where you want the throw in that situation, and Ellis came down with it in traffic. On the final play of the period, Sudfeld tossed a pass to Carlton Agudosi on the back shoulder for the score. – Fran

5. Tight end Alex Ellis has flashed almost every day since he signed on Friday. Remember that this isn't some no-name undrafted free agent from a small school. Ellis earned a scholarship at the University of Tennessee, where he was teammates with Derek Barnett. This is his fourth season in the NFL, and he actually started games with the Jacksonville Jaguars before joining the Kansas City Chiefs last year. Fran has talked about how he has had his moments in one-on-one periods, and he appeared to run a nice route on that touchdown catch from Sudfeld. – Ben

6. 2018 sixth-round pick Matt Pryor is getting reps with the second team at left tackle, and as I think about it, he's the only player being cross-trained right now at both guard and tackle. Not only that, but he's the only player being cross-trained as a right-side and left-side player (most of his reps this summer have come at right guard). That versatility is hard to find. – Ben

7. The first "defensive" session begins, and the defensive line made some plays in this period. First up, Malik Jackson notched a "sack" on the first snap, where he pushed his way into the backfield and impacted quarterback Cody Kessler. A few plays later, Vinny Curry and Tim Jernigan met in the backfield for a tackle for loss against a Jet Sweep. On the final play, both Daeshon Hall and Josh Sweat arrived at quarterback Clayton Thorson at the same time, with Hall beating Jordan Mailata on the right side. – Fran

8. My favorite moment from that period came from the offensive side, however, as we see another encouraging rep from Corey Clement. It was a called run play inside, and Clement flew through the hole and scooted downhill for a big gain. Clement is starting to get some of that burst back that we saw in 2017. – Fran

9. Miles Sanders had a couple of chunk plays in the next offensive session. On the first play, he took an outside run to the left side and picked up a bunch of yardage, scooting past Rasul Douglas (who obviously could not tackle him to the ground). Minutes later, the rookie caught a pass from Nate Sudfeld in the flat and flew down the right sideline for a big play. He's starting to get his legs back as well. – Fran

10. Carson Wentz had an impressive anticipation throw in this period, threading the needle on a pass to Greg Ward over the middle. The ball came out extremely early on a deep crosser, beating the trail defender on Ward's hip, but the ball fell incomplete. Four snaps later, Ward caught a deep dig route from Sudfeld for a huge gain. – Fran

11. One defensive player who flashed to me today was Daeshon Hall. A former third-round pick by Carolina, Hall was a player I really liked coming out of Texas A&M, where he played across from former top overall pick Myles Garrett. Obviously, it was a light day of practice, but on a light day he was one of the guys consistently pressuring the quarterback or finding his way around the ball. He had a "sack" in each of the first two defensive periods as well as in the second offensive period. – Fran

12. The second defensive session definitely had a focus on Jet Sweeps and motions, as the defense continued to hone their communication and reaction to different movements pre-snap from the offense. Johnathan Cyprien, who hasn't been here a week yet, was a bit out of position at the start of one play, as he continued to talk things out with another newcomer in cornerback Orlando Scandrick. This is exactly what these practices are for! – Ben

13. With new players getting first-team reps at linebacker, Nathan Gerry had to play traffic cop at one point in the second defensive period, helping get teammates L.J. Fort and Zach Brown lined up. Brown ended up making the play on a Jet Sweep at the line of scrimmage. – Fran

14. The defense put the clamps on during the final offensive session. The secondary forced a checkdown from Wentz to Jordan Howard on the first rep. Then, after a completion over the middle to Dallas Goedert on the second play, Wentz had a pass knocked down in the end zone by L.J. Fort and then threw an incompletion to J.J. Arcega-Whiteside on a jump ball. Highly competitive veteran Josh Hawkins was right in the rookie's grill to knock the throw away and send the starting offense to the sideline. – Fran

15. Jay Liggins, the undrafted free agent corner, made a highlight play with a physical pass breakup in the end zone on what would have been another touchdown grab by Carlton Agudosi. – Fran

16. The defense gets up for its final session, and the starters go out strong. Avonte Maddox gets a pass breakup on the first play, deflecting a pass intended for Agudosi. Brandon Graham gets home for a "sack," tagging up Clayton Thorson in the backfield. Gerry comes up and makes a tackle on a quick throw on third-and-long. Josh Sweat, on the final play, barrels through rookie Ryan Bates just before the ball gets out. – Fran

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