Practice Notes: Who shined in the first joint practice against the Ravens?

The Eagles battled birds of a different feather Monday as the Baltimore Ravens were on the fields at the NovaCare Complex for the first of two days of joint practices before Thursday's preseason showdown at Lincoln Financial Field. Fran Duffy, Ben Fennell, and Chris McPherson braved the 95-degree temperatures to bring you a recap of all the action.

1. To set the stage, Monday's joint practice at the NovaCare Complex served as a sort of reunion. First, there were a number of alumni on hand, including Trent Cole, Seth Joyner, and Troy Vincent. Baltimore provides quite a few Eagles connections, including head coach John Harbaugh (former special teams coordinator and secondary coach), assistant head coach David Culley (former wide receivers coach), and quarterbacks coach James Urban (same role in Philly) among others. – Chris McPherson

2. It smells like crabfries and suntan lotion, as the sun broils the fields at the NovaCare Complex. SWOOP is sunbathing along the sideline. But in all seriousness, there's a little bit of extra juice during the stretching period as the players banter in anticipation of going against another team. During the stretch, I also note how Josh McCown is working side by side with Carson Wentz. – C-Mac

3. Joint practices begin with 11-on-11 run periods in the high heat – these coaches were not easing into it! It was great to see the competitiveness from these two teams in the opening session, as each squad (Eagles offense vs. Ravens defense) exchanged wins. Highlights for the Eagles included a nice run off left tackle for Corey Clement and a nice gain for Jordan Howard to the same side. Ravens safety Earl Thomas gave him a nice thump at the end of that run to help set the tone for what the practice would be on both sides. – Fran Duffy

4. On the final play, wide receiver Carlton Agudosi pushed veteran corner Justin Bethel to the ground blocking on the perimeter. Agudosi has had a lot of highlight grabs here in camp, but hasn’t done a lot on special teams to this point, so watching him make plays as a blocker is good to see. – Ben Fennell

5. Special teams field goal drill. I track Jake Elliott going 6-for-6 with the last attempt a 52-yarder. In fact, someone yelled "BOOM!" out loud after the ball took flight on the last kick. It should be noted that Cameron Johnston attempted a fake field goal, taking the snap from Rick Lovato, rolling to his left, and hitting Joshua Perkins. I learned on Monday that Johnston is left-handed. _– C-Mac _

6. Next up, it's 7-on-7 action begins with the Eagles' offense taking on the Ravens' defense. Baltimore’s defensive backs had a couple of impressive breakups early in the drill, and when the first-team units came back onto the field, Wentz responded with a sharp completion between multiple defenders over the middle of the field to tight end Zach Ertz. It was one of Wentz’s best throws of the day. He followed that up with a nice throw to Nelson Agholor on the run across the field (the ball was punched out by Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey) and then one last completion to Alshon Jeffery on the right side. – Fran

7. The Baltimore defense is a tough unit, and its secondary did a really good job throughout the afternoon, forcing Eagles quarterbacks to check the ball down in several of these passing periods. – Fran

8. To close the period, Clayton Thorson completed a pair of touchdown throws to Carlton Agudosi on a slant and to Josh Perkins on a little pop pass over the middle of the field. Thorson continues to look more and more comfortable. – Fran

9. While Fran was watching the 7-on-7 period, I moseyed over to watch the one-on-ones between the Eagles' offensive line and the Baltimore defensive line. Brandon Brooks had what I believe to be his first real rep of the summer, as he locked down Baltimore’s Willie Henry and did so quickly. The young tackle got nowhere against the strong, powerful Brooks. Jordan Mailata also stood out in this drill over at right tackle with some strong reps against rookie defensive end Jaylon Ferguson, who broke the NCAA record for career sacks last season (breaking former Raven Terrell Suggs’ record from his days at Arizona State). A couple of Baltimore players who stood out included veteran Pernell McPhee, Daylon Mack, and Patrick Ricard. – Ben

10. Special teams drills begin, and as the Eagles' kickoff return unit matches up with the Ravens’ kickoff coverage team, the contact does not let up. Blocks are heard from across the field, as competitive juices are flowing in the humidity. Miles Sanders and Corey Clement busted off a couple of nice returns to start the session, but the physicality of the drill stood out to me. – Fran

11. Another team period gets underway and Wentz completes his first three passes, first on a slant to Jeffery over the middle for a quick pass off play-action, then to Agholor on an intermediate crossing route (the Eagles attacked downfield on the play but Earl Thomas was in the post to cover DeSean Jackson), and then on a quick receiver screen to Marken Michel to close his sequence of plays. – Fran

12. A long team period came up next, and the highlight of the session came on a deep post route from Wentz to Jeffery. Wentz lofted a beautiful throw down the field, and Jeffery went up and over Earl Thomas for the big play which would have gone for about 50 or so yards in a game. – Fran

13. We all know about DeSean Jackson’s speed, but his ability as a route runner just isn’t talked about enough. He got great separation on a number of plays, including a couple of comebacks in the second half of practice along the sideline where no defender was within 5 yards of him after the break point. – Ben

14. Move the ball period, Wentz hit Agholor on a flat-wheel route down the right sideline. Later, Wentz connected with Arcega-Whiteside, who made a great catch despite tight coverage from Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith. Also, Matt Pryor received some first-team reps at left tackle with Jason Peters getting rest and Andre Dillard not on the field. – C-Mac

15. One final team period with the squads going at it in the red zone. Wentz hit Mack Hollins on a slant route for a touchdown to open the period, and shortly afterward Thorson stepped on the field and threw a pair of touchdowns. First, Thorson hit Arcega-Whiteside for a jump ball touchdown where he went up and over a defensive back. Next, he threw a great ball on the right side to Michel, with the ball coming out very early and hitting the young receiver along the sideline by the right pylon for a score. I continue to be impressed with how Thorson has responded after the first couple weeks of camp. – Fran

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