Practice Notes: 15 takeaways from intense Monday workout

Sure, it was a lighter practice on Monday, but there was plenty of heat – beyond the temperatures. Fran Duffy, Ben Fennell, and Chris McPherson offer 15 observations from the day.

1. The Eagles kicked off the work week with a 90-minute 10-10-10 practice. It's a shorter session that's broken down into three sections that repeat. First, there are 10 plays for the offense (where the defense provides a certain look), 10 plays for the defense, then 10 minutes of special teams work. The key for the Eagles is that they bring the energy and maximize the value of the lighter practice. Head coach Doug Pederson wants to manage the players' workload during the week, but there is still plenty of preparation that needs to get done. As you'll read throughout the notes, the intensity was there, even a little too much at times. – Chris McPherson

2. With that in mind, the offense looked really sharp to start practice off. Carson Wentz dropped a couple of great throws in the bucket downfield, first hitting Nelson Agholor on a fade route down the right sideline over the shoulder against Avonte Maddox for a long touchdown. On the next play, he threw a pass to tight end Josh Perkins on a similar route on the left side. On the final play of the sequence, Wentz unleashed a beautiful go route to Alshon Jeffery down the left sideline for a long touchdown against Jeremiah McKinnon. – Fran Duffy

3. The crispness of the offense continued with the backups in that opening session, as Cody Kessler dropped back and hit J.J. Arcega-Whiteside down the left sideline. It was an outstanding catch by the rookie, who showed off his strong hands by going up and over the head of the corner. The offense has not always been operating on all cylinders over the last couple of weeks with drops, procedure penalties, and other mistakes plaguing them here and there. This was, however, a really good-looking day for that group in general. – Ben Fennell

4. A couple of personnel notes: Jason Kelce did not practice on Monday, meaning that Isaac Seumalo slid into the center spot with the starters while Stefen Wisniewski jumped in at left guard. On defense, Rodney McLeod didn't participate, putting Andrew Sendejo into the starting lineup next to Malcolm Jenkins. It was Avonte Maddox's day in the slot with Sidney Jones on the outside opposite Rasul Douglas. Newly signed cornerback Sojourn Shelton was also at practice today, sporting No. 26 in white. – Ben

5. The defense stepped up for their first session, and this was another period clearly emphasizing what to do when defending jet sweeps and plays off of it. There was a record amount of running plays by wide receivers last year, and these types of plays are a big reason why. It's imperative that defenses have the communication buttoned-up heading into the season with jet sweeps becoming so popular around the NFL. Tim Jernigan and Malik Jackson combined for a run stop early in the period, Malcolm Jenkins thudded up Josh Adams at the line of scrimmage on the next snap, and Shareef Miller did a good job tracking down a jet sweep in the flat on another rep. – Fran

6. After a special teams session, the full team returned to the field for an offense-focused session as they worked on dealing with various pressure looks from the defense. Rasul Douglas made an impressive pass breakup in the flat on an early play against Cody Kessler, and a few plays later safety Johnathan Cyprien was upended by rookie Andre Dillard on a screen pass. – Fran

7. Alex Ellis made a diving catch on the final play of the session, and a few minutes later, he made another diving catch in the end zone. The tight end was signed early in camp, and he's made a play or two every day that makes me say "hmm." Remember, he's started games in this league (earlier in his career in Jacksonville) and was with the Kansas City Chiefs last year, so he's at least got some familiarity with this offense. – Fran

8. The defense got some work in the low red zone, inside the 10-yard line, next. Tim Jernigan came up with a sack against Carson Wentz, tapping him on the shoulders before the ball came out. On the very next play, Derek Barnett and Andre Dillard had to be separated. I missed what caused it, but the two former first-round picks went to the ground. A scuffle here and there, in my opinion, isn't the worst thing in the world, especially for a rookie lineman adjusting to life in the trenches in the NFL. After practice, Jason Peters and other offensive linemen spoke with reporters and said they enjoyed seeing the rookie in that situation, and that those kinds of things happen in camp. Barnett and Dillard hugged after practice, so nothing will carry over. – Fran

9. In the final offensive session, the two units went back and forth. On the third play, safety Tre Sullivan tipped a pass intended for Zach Ertz, knocking the ball up in the air where it was intercepted by a diving L.J. Fort. On the next snap, Carson Wentz dropped back and rifled a pass down the sideline between the corner and the safety to DeSean Jackson, who was working vertically down the field for a big play. The fans on that sideline were thrilled with the outcome of that one, and a couple of plays later they applauded again as rookie Miles Sanders sprinted to the end zone after catching a checkdown in the flat. – Fran

10. Wide receiver Charles Johnson was very active in practice today, catching a large number of passes with the second- and third-team units. The veteran receiver has produced in the NFL, but is certainly in a battle for a roster spot this summer. My guess is that he will have to prove himself on special teams in order to make it. – Fran

11. Well, it should be noted that special teams coordinator Dave Fipp listed Johnson as one of the standouts from the preseason opener against Tennessee. – C-Mac

12. In the final defensive period, the starting defense sprinted to the start of the drill, where the tone was set by Vinny Curry. The defensive end was in the backfield taunting the offense before it broke the huddle, joined up with Malik Jackson to create a "tackle for loss" on the second snap, and executed an admirable handstand after a run stuff a couple of minutes later. No one will ever question the energy and passion that No. 75 brings to the defense. – Fran

13. This was a HEAVY defensive personnel grouping from the Eagles' defense in this series, as it appeared most of the time that there were six defensive linemen, three linebackers, and just two defensive backs on the field. Those two defensive backs? Malcolm Jenkins and Tre Sullivan, lining up out wide as quasi-corners. Jenkins actually picked off a pass at the goal line and sprinted down the right sideline. A receiver began chasing him from behind ... but that player was Greg Ward, who wasn't even in on the play! The fun these guys have in practice is always great to see. – Ben

14. One final note from me comes from Treyvon Hester, who scooped up a fumble in the backfield after a muffed handoff. The defensive tackle ran a few yards with the ball after the recovery, but the defensive sideline was clearly not happy with that effort, especially after Jenkins raced so far the other way after the interception. They urged him to turn around and keep going, but as the team got ready for the next rep, Hester had to get lined back up, much to the chagrin of his teammates. – Fran

15. I apologize for not addressing this on the podcast, but we didn't acknowledge the touchdown reception by Keegan Render, who lined up as a sixth offensive lineman during a snap at the goal line. The rookie free agent center from Iowa told me after practice that the last time he scored a touchdown in an actual game was as a defensive lineman on a pick-six in seventh grade. Nice to see the big men get a little love in practice. If I'm correct, the last offensive lineman to score for the Eagles was the great Todd Herremans, who actually posted two touchdowns – in 2008 and 2010. – C-Mac

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