It was a gorgeous Monday morning at the NovaCare Complex as the Eagles took the field in pads for the first time since last January. And, for the most part, practice looked like any other 10-10-10 practice (cycles of 10 plays offense, 10 plays defense, and 10 minutes special teams for about 90 minutes). The action was crisp and the tempo was fast. The players were intense, no doubt about that. But ... all of the coaches wore masks when they weren't able to physically distance. Each player had his own water bottle. All towels were used once, and then thrown into a hamper to be laundered immediately after practice. The footballs were to be sanitized after the practice. None of the players wore the lower shield attached their facemasks, just to note. And, of course, there were no fans for the session. The media numbers were limited, but not by a crazy amount and all reporters wore masks and were able to have enough room to stay distanced. Once practice ended, players were available for interviews on Zoom. And that was that. – Dave Spadaro
Jalen Reagor impresses
First-round draft pick Jalen Reagor was very busy in the first padded practice of Training Camp. No. 18 often lined up outside with DeSean Jackson and quarterback Carson Wentz went to the rookie repeatedly on crossing routes. Reagor showed sure, confident hands and ran precise routes. He also had one of the best catches of the day on a goal-to-go situation when he made a diving catch of a Jalen Hurts throw in the corner of the end zone. Reagor was on the receiving end of about a half-dozen passes and he looked really, really good. When Reagor was finished taking his on-field reps, he went off to the side to work with quarterback Carson Wentz and tight end Zach Ertz. Clearly, Reagor is off to a good start, as Head Coach Doug Pederson said earlier in the day on Monday. "Jalen Reagor has been really impressive out on the football field," Pederson said. He sure was on Monday. – Spadaro
The quarterbacks stand out on Day 1
Carson Wentz had great zip on the football and was accurate and fooled the No. 2 defense on one keeper as he ran to the left side in open space. He looked like, well, Carson Wentz and his toss high over traffic in the end zone to a leaping Dallas Goedert (who went waaaayyyy up to get the ball) was a thing of beauty. Nate Sudfeld didn't make a lot of downfield throws with the No. 2 offense in the 10-10-10 practice, checking down with nothing open deep. Rookie quarterback Jalen Hurts looked the part – throwing very well on the run, showing great mobility, displaying strength with his arm, and terrific accuracy. The pass to Reagor was sensational in the end zone. Hurts came right back after that and lofted a picture-perfect fade pass to wide receiver John Hightower, dropping it in perfectly against cornerback Rasul Douglas, who had good coverage on the play. – Spadaro
Young RBs step up
It is quite certain that the Eagles are going to give Miles Sanders a ton of opportunities to make big plays this season, and Boston Scott is going to have a sizable role as well. Corey Clement looked good on his first day of work in pads in a long time, particularly catching the football out of the backfield, and a couple of younger backs opened eyes. Now, keep under advisement to take this for what it's worth because there was no tackling to the ground, but Elijah Holyfield ran hard and showed some power with his inside game, and undrafted rookie Michael Warren also looked like he wanted to take on some defensive players with his rugged style of running. Both have some size – Warren is 218 pounds and Holyfield is 215 – and if the Eagles feel the need for a bigger running back, they have some young options. The lack of experience may be an issue, but then again, Assistant Head Coach/Running Backs Coach Duce Staley likes these kind of coaching moments. He has some talent behind the first three veterans. – Spadaro
Fran Duffy's quick hits
1. The first team period of the summer got up and running with a handoff to Miles Sanders, who had a couple of nice runs in the period. Later in the drill, Sanders would make a cut on the backside, and leak out on a long run up the right sideline. Head Coach Doug Pederson has talked about how it's Sanders' backfield, and that carried through to the practice field on Monday morning, although Boston Scott had some nice runs of his own as well. Sanders would score a pair of touchdowns later in the day down in the red zone as well, one rushing and one receiving.
2. The first completion came on the very next play with Carson Wentz hitting Dallas Goedert down the seam on a quick play-pass. Rookie Shaun Bradley was in the vicinity and delivered a nice stick, sending Goedert to the ground, but the veteran tight end was able to hold on to the throw (quick note – Bradley would show up on a blitz where he flew through the hole and got home for what would have been a likely sack of Carson Wentz. On the next play, Wentz lined up under center and dropped back on a long play-action fake and hit Jalen Reagor over the middle on a dig route. Perfect throw right in stride. It was our first real look at the connection between these two, and with DeSean Jackson lifting the top off the defense Reagor was able to make the catch with no safety lurking. Wentz would hit Reagor on a post route later in the drill as well for what appeared to be a 15-to-20-yard gain.
3. During the first defensive team session, Vinny Curry blew through rookie Prince Tega Wanogho for a sack of Nate Sudfeld. Curry bench-pressed the rookie on contact and was able to win quickly off the edge.
4. Jalen Mills knifed into the backfield and made a stop right at the line of scrimmage early on, wrapping up Elijah Holyfield. Mills jumped around after the stop and got his teammates excited, showing that he's bringing the same level of swagger to the safety spot that he brought to corner. A couple of plays later, Mills was in on an incompletion to Josh Perkins in the back of the end zone.
5. The next session for the offense gets started, and this one belonged to the defensive backups. First, Miles Sanders was "tackled" at the line of scrimmage on the opening play. Wentz threw a pass in between both Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert that was nearly picked off, then threw another incompletion on a pin-point accurate pass to rookie Quez Watkins. Wentz had gone through his progressions and worked to the right side, where Watkins was running a dig route, and he hit Watkins right on the hands ... it just squirted through and hit the ground. The offense got into a rhythm with a couple of quick throws to Goedert underneath and a long run by Boston Scott down the right sideline.
6. In the next offensive session, rookie Quez Watkins stood out with a couple of touchdown passes in the red zone from Wentz. Watkins has long arms and definitely has some pep in his step with the ability to work downfield. He looks like a really springy athlete.
7. The play of the day may have come in this session thanks to a one-handed grab from Dallas Goedert in the back of the end zone. Wentz lofted the ball in the air for the tight end who went up with his right hand and reeled in the throw, getting his knee down just before hitting the white paint in the back of the end zone.
You know why the Eagles keep their eyes out for defensive linemen? Because you can never have enough of them in this league. Two key members of the defensive line are out for more than a few days. Tackle Javon Hargrave is likely to miss "multiple weeks" with an upper body injury and that's a blow to a tackle rotation that welcomed Malik Jackson back to practice on Monday after he missed all but the opening game of 2019 with a foot injury. Defensive end Derek Barnett is "week to week" with a lower body injury. He has missed 12 games total in the last two seasons with injury. Right guard Jason Peters watched practice in a jersey, but no pads. He is day to day with a lower body injury. Wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside also watched practice wearing a jersey with no pads and is day to day with a lower body injury and linebacker Duke Riley missed practice with an illness. Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery is right where the Eagles want him to be in his recovery from his 2019 injury, Pederson said, but he remains on the Physically Unable to Perform list. He watched practice from the sidelines, so that's an encouraging sign. In fact, it's fair to say that the Eagles are being cautious with some of the players as, we must remember, the goal is to have everyone available for September 13 when the season opens at Washington. So, no panic please. – Spadaro