The end of Training Camp is in sight for the Eagles. On Monday, the Eagles held their next-to-final afternoon practice. There was no live hitting, but plenty of physical play as the offense, defense and special teams want to end on a high note.
The Eagles worked on a team blitz drill. The Special CAT portion of practice focused on base offense against base defense as well as third-down situations. The final team session featured the four-minute offense (which is used to put games away) and backed up at the goal line situations.
Injuries: Good News For Asomugha
It was a scary moment at Lehigh University on Monday when safety Nate Allen and cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha collided during the 7-on-7 drills. Asomugha immediately took off his helmet, but laid flat on the ground for several moments with his face down. When Asomugha finally got up, he was holding his lip and his jersey was bloodied. After practice, the Eagles announced that Asomugha had a lip laceration, a sore neck and was being evaluated for a concussion. Allen didn't miss a snap, despite having the wind knocked out of him. On Monday evening, the Eagles followed up by stating that Asomugha showed no signs of a concussion.
There was good never for the Eagles in that wide receiver Jeremy Maclin took part in the live drills Monday. He returned to practice Sunday after being sidelined with a hamstring injury, but he only took part in a portion of practice.
Linebacker Jamar Chaney was a partial participant on Monday with a hamstring injury.
The following Eagles missed the entire practice because of injury: defensive end Jason Babin (calf), wide receiver Riley Cooper (collarbone), defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins (hamstring), running back Dion Lewis (hamstring), cornerback Curtis Marsh (hamstring), linebacker Casey Matthews (ankle) and guard Brandon Washington (concussion).
Rookie linebacker Mychal Kendricks remains with the first-team defense in subpackages along with DeMeco Ryans.
Safety Jaiquawn Jarrett continues to work with both the second- and third-team defenses along with Tom Nelson.
One of the biggest surprises is rookie free agent Ryan Rau continues to work as the second-team middle linebacker due to injury.
With all of the attention that the defensive line has merited at Training Camp, defensive tackle Cedric Thornton has had a tremendous performance at Lehigh (as well as in the preseason opener) but continues to go under the radar.
Team Blitz Drill
Quarterback Michael Vick and wide receiver DeSean Jackson connected for a beautiful 60-yard touchdown on a play-action pass.
Tight end Clay Harbor did a nice job of bringing in a quick-strike pass from quarterback Nick Foles. On the play, Darryl Tapp had dropped back in coverage against Harbor.
Foles had running back Bryce Brown wide open down the right sideline after Brown shook loose from linebacker Keenan Clayton. However, Foles overthrew Brown otherwise it would have been six.
This is the play that fans will want to see during the season – wide receiver Jeremy Maclin lined up at quarterback and took the snap out of the shotgun. Maclin handed the ball off to running back LeSean McCoy. Quarterback Michael Vick, who lined up wide to the right, ran an end around, took the ball from McCoy and looked down the field to make the pass. However, the defense, on this snap, won with a sack.
Harbor made an awesome catch where he had to spin around to grab a ball that was at his back shoulder from Vick. Harbor held on to the ball and beat Allen in coverage.
Team Drill (Four-Minute Offense)
McCoy took a pitch from Vick on the left side and squared up against safety Oshiomogho Atogwe. While we don't know what would have happened since there was no live tackling, McCoy made a daunting cut back inside that shook Atogwe.
The Eagles worked with three-safety sets where Allen, Atogwe and Kurt Coleman were the safeties.
Extra Work For Hughes
After Asomugha left the field because of his injury, the Eagles had Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on the left side and Joselio Hanson on the right. It's worth noting again that Marsh, too, was sidelined by an injury.
When the Eagles went into a three-cornerback subpackage, Hanson went inside and Brandon Hughes lined up at right cornerback with the first-team defense.
A fourth-year player out of Oregon State, Hughes explained that there is a bit of a difference going against the first-team offense in practice.
"It's a good gauge on how the coaches are feeling about you," Hughes said. "The experience is valuable because the one offense does different things than the two offense. They will give you a couple more looks that when you get into the game, you're saying, 'I've seen that from our offense.' It's not as structured. It's not as basic as running with the twos or the threes."
The 5-11, 185-pound Hughes has worked on both the inside and the outside since he was a fifth-round pick of the Chargers in 2009. Hughes said that his long legs and big frame allow him to work against quick receivers inside and tall receivers on the outside. And, he's adjusted to the Eagles' new style of more press coverage smoothly because that's what he played at Oregon State.
"It was a track meet every game," Hughes said. "Todd (Bowles) is a really good coach. He's taught me a lot about my technique. I'm a little erratic. I'm a hyper corner. I react when you give me something. He's taught me to calm down and see what I know I'm looking at instead of just reacting."
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