Philadelphia Eagles News

Practice Notes: Wentzday magic among 15 takeaways from Eagles Training Camp

Wednesday's practice was a spirited one as the Eagles rebounded nicely from the sauna that was the NovaCare Complex on Tuesday when the team hosted its longest, most physical workout of the summer. Head coach Doug Pederson pulled the reins back a bit as Wednesday's session was a 10-10-10 workout, meaning cycles of 10 plays for the offense, 10 plays for the defense, and 10 minutes of special teams for 90 minutes. This allows the offense to show certain looks for the defense and vice versa, so you might see plays and formations for the first time in Training Camp. Here are the notable moments from "Wentzday" at the NovaCare Complex.

1. The offense hits the field first, and with Jason Peters and Jason Kelce getting a veterans' day off, we have a new look up front. Rookie first-round pick Andre Dillard practiced with the first-team unit at left tackle. Isaac Seumalo shifted over from left guard into the center spot, and veteran Stefen Wisniewski worked in Seumalo's typical left guard role. Halapoulivaati Vaitai and Lane Johnson rounded out the right side of the line. – Fran Duffy

2. The starting defense was actually on the field for the first couple of plays of this period. I had my eyes on the trenches. I thought Brandon Graham had a couple of really strong reps to start things off against Lane Johnson, creating pressure on Carson Wentz from the defensive left side. – Fran

3. Sticking with the starting defense, there was something that for whatever reason was strikingly evident to me Wednesday. When Malcolm Jenkins goes out for his set of snaps, he sprints from the sideline to the ball. Maybe he had some extra juice and looked faster, hard to believe after Tuesday's grueling practice, but the 11th-year safety wanted to make a statement. He said after practice that it's a habit that he picked up in New Orleans and has carried with him to Philadelphia. Defensive end Brandon Graham, to no surprise, joins Jenkins. However, Jenkins wins the vast majority of the time. – Chris McPherson

4. Dallas Goedert broke open for a touchdown down the right side on a double move later in the drill. The second-year tight end was wide open and caught the first pass from Nate Sudfeld on the day. I was really impressed by Goedert's improvement as a route runner from his first Training Camp to the end of his rookie season, and that has continued through this camp. – Ben Fennell

5. The defense worked on its "big nickel" package throughout Wednesday's practice as Malcolm Jenkins played the slot with Andrew Sendejo and Tre Sullivan at safety. Sullivan played in 12 games and recorded 17 tackles in 219 snaps last season. The former rookie free agent out of Shepherd netted an interception as cornerback Rasul Douglas, who continues to make plays each day, tipped the pass into the air. Jenkins said after practice that Sullivan has developed to the point where he's in the right place at the right time and needs to start making more plays like the one he did here. Let's see if that sparks something for Sullivan as the first preseason game gets closer, especially with Rodney McLeod inching closer and closer to a full return. – C-Mac

6. During the first defensive portion of the practice, the offense presented several looks with orbit or jet motion. The motions forced the defense to communicate the checks and defensive audibles properly. Gap fits are also a point of emphasis for a defense when offensive players are on the move pre-snap. These short periods now iron out details that will need to be perfect in Week 7 or 11. – Ben

7. Second-year defensive end Josh Sweat is an impressive athlete, and you get to see the full package on special teams. Watching the 6-5, 251-pound defensive end running down on kickoff coverage is quite the sight. Sweat's long limbs are evident in his running strides. – Ben

8. The offense took the field for their second set of plays, and Carson Wentz got things going early. First, he rifled a pass into Alshon Jeffery (who made a great hands catch) in the middle of the field in pretty tight coverage. A couple of plays later, he dropped a perfect touch pass to Nelson Agholor down the field over the shoulder, and while it fell incomplete, it made me think about some of the best passes Wentz has thrown so far through six practices. Thinking about it, his best tosses have been those touch throws at the intermediate or deep areas, dropping the ball in a bucket, or driving the football in traffic in the intermediate part of the field. – Fran

9. Fran hit on the shifting with starters on the offensive line, but changes had a domino effect on the second-string as well, as second-year offensive lineman Matt Pryor stepped in as a backup left tackle behind Dillard. Pryor had tackle and guard experience coming out of TCU last year but was primarily at right guard this summer. – Ben

10. One player on offense who is standing out in this defensive period? Wendell Smallwood. The veteran running back made some plays on the ground and through the air, running away from a linebacker for a big play in the passing game over the middle of the field. – Fran

11. On the other side, Sweat showed up several times as well. Whether he was chasing plays down from the back side or collapsing the pocket in the passing game, Sweat isn't quite dominating the competition, but he's showing up every day, which is great to see for the second-year defensive end. – Fran

12. The final offensive session starts down in the red zone, and the starters look crisp. Darren Sproles gets into the end zone on a run to the left side with blockers out in front. Running back Miles Sanders snatches a screen pass to Wentz's right side and you can really see the juice he has in his legs with his short-area burst. Finally, Wentz hits Jeffery on a corner route for a touchdown on the right side. – Fran

13. I studied Zach Ertz as I made my way toward the back of the end zone for a better look at the period. I witnessed one of the highlight plays of the day up close. On a beautiful corner-post route out of the slot, Ertz sold like he was breaking outside then jerked back inside for a touchdown from Wentz. Ertz snapped his route so sharply that safety Trae Elston stumbled and lost his shoe in coverage. Ertz literally juked him out of his shoes. – Ben

14. One player who made some plays on defense today is cornerback Josh Hawkins. The young veteran was added in the middle of last season and actually played on defense in the playoffs due to injuries. A competitive player who brings it every day in practice, Hawkins had a pass breakup early on against Wentz and then had a late one in the final session against J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. – Fran

15. Your interesting jersey update for Wednesday. With it being Wentzday, there were some interesting variations of replica jerseys honoring the franchise quarterback – there was a camo Wentz jersey (fitting with his love of the outdoors) as well as an olive-colored one. Not quite camo, but olive green. But the winner of the day, in my opinion, was a white Reebok stitched Terrell Owens jersey. It's rare to see 81 with Owens on the back, let alone a stitched version. – C-Mac

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