Practice Notes: Who unleashed the dogs at Training Camp?

Training Camp as we know it for 2019 has come to a close. Don't shed any tears. There will be joint practices next week with the Baltimore Ravens, but the team starts to shift into regular-season mode with each week closely resembling a game week. Fran Duffy, Ben Fennell, and Chris McPherson recap the doggone action on the field, along with a spirited battle between position coaches.

1. It's only Tuesday, but this is a game-week Friday in terms of practice. For that reason, we'll see a lot of situational periods as the team finalizes the plays that they will run in Thursday's game. We'll also see the coaches stressing substitutions, particularly when it comes to special teams. The worst thing that can happen is that you get to the game, and the second-team punt unit is supposed to take the field, but only 10 guys instead of 11 run out because there's confusion. The team worked on some of those types of substitutions early on in practice. – Fran Duffy

2. Someone who really stood out to me from the get-go was a service dog named Giuseppe, who I'd argue might have been on the ground too much. He's definitely on the roster bubble. He's still a very good boy. – Ben Fennell

3. Second- and third-team units took the field for the opening team period of the day. These players will see the bulk of the action in the preseason, so coaches want to make sure that things are buttoned up with them from an execution standpoint. We saw a similar period at practice on Monday, with the starters on either side getting the period off. – Fran

4. Carson Wentz took the field for the first time and looked pretty good, completing each pass in his opening session. First, Wentz hit Alshon Jeffery on a deep out route on the left side, keeping the ball just outside the outstretched arms of Rasul Douglas along the sideline, where only Jeffery could make the catch. A few plays later, the two hooked up again on a deep in-breaking route. It should be noted, however, that Derek Barnett was in the backfield and likely would have come up with a sack on the play. – Fran

5. The team got together for some red zone action in a very animated period, as the offense and defense went back and forth. Sidney Jones got a pass breakup against Nelson Agholor on a high throw on the first play of the day. Two plays later, Zach Ertz scored right at the goal line on a crisp throw from Wentz. On the next play, Wentz went to Ertz again, but the ball fell incomplete with tight coverage from Jones. – Fran

6. The backups came onto the field, and Joshua Perkins caught a pass down the seam from Cody Kessler for a touchdown. With Dallas Goedert and Richard Rodgers out of practice, Perkins has been getting a ton of playing time lately and seems to flash almost every day. – Fran

7. The starters return, and the defense wins this sequence of plays. First, Malcolm Jenkins sneaks in for a "sack" of Wentz as he's preparing to throw. On the next play, Wentz delivers a tight ball to Ertz in the back of the end zone, but Avonte Maddox comes up with the diving pass breakup. The second-team defense continues the momentum, with a "sack" by Vinny Curry and a diving interception from Orlando Scandrick at the right pylon. – Fran

8. We're seeing some different players rotate in at linebacker with the first-team defense, including Alex Singleton and T.J. Edwards. We talked about this on the podcast, but the coaches will mix in different personnel groupings. For example, the second-team defensive line might work with the first-team back seven. It's to get players acclimated to lining up and working with each other since injuries will cause changes during the season, many times in the middle of a game. – Chris McPherson

9. In one final sequence of 11-on-11 action in the red zone, Wentz rifles a pass that goes past a receiver, skids along the slick grass, and catches a child right in the chest. I was a couple of feet away, and couldn't tell if he was able to get his hands up to deflect the throw, but this kid took it like a champ. Several staffers came over to check on him, including cornerback Avonte Maddox, but the boy held strong and even declined a drink of water from one of the trainers. It was an outstanding example of toughness in the dog days of summer. – Fran

10. The dad should have gotten his child out of the way or deflected the pass. Nonetheless, the defense forced incompletions on the next two passes, another impressive series for that unit. – C-Mac

11. After a special teams period, the majority of the team returned to the red zone for some 7-on-7 work. Cornerback Ronald Darby and safety Rodney McLeod both participated in this drill after not doing 11-on-11 work. – Ben

12. On the second play of the drill, Wentz dropped a dime over the shoulder of DeSean Jackson in the back corner of the end zone with Avonte Maddox in coverage. Perfect throw, perfect catch. Two plays later, Wentz hit Perkins for a score on a slant route from the slot. Soon afterward, Wentz rifled a pass into the waiting hands of Nelson Agholor, who won on an in-breaking route, jumped up, and made a great hands catch for a touchdown. – Fran

13. You should have noted that Malcolm Jenkins came up with a beautiful pass breakup of a Wentz throw to Jeffery in the end zone in between those touchdown throws. Jenkins did a great job of reading Jeffery to sense when the ball was coming. – C-Mac

14. Although this was a bit of a slower practice, that doesn't mean it wasn't animated. Players helped the referees multiple times in this period and things got very competitive. First, Ertz made a leaping touchdown grab, touching both feet down in the back of the end zone for a touchdown. Defensive backs coach Cory Undlin was NOT happy with the call. On the final play of the drill, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside made a diving catch right by the front pylon on the sideline in front of the defense. Every player signaled that it was short of the goal line, and the referee, vice president of football operations and compliance Jon Ferrari, agreed with them. In the next drill, a pre-snap penalty occurred, and it was eventually credited as a false start penalty as opposed to offsides by the defense. Assistance head coach/running backs Duce Staley, like Undlin before, was NOT happy with the official after that determination. – Ben

15. I love seeing Coach Undlin work with his young defensive backs. He perches himself in the back of the end zone during these red zone drills. Maddox comes over to talk through coaching points when he's not in the game. On a touchdown pass from Wentz to Agholor, Douglas was beat in coverage. Douglas went right to Undlin and knew exactly what he did wrong. On a touchdown throw from Clayton Thorson to tight end Alex Ellis, Undlin instantly told new cornerback Sojourn Shelton how he was too far deep in coverage. – C-Mac

16. Malik Jackson, at 6-5, has a knack for tipping passes at the line of scrimmage, as he did on a Wentz throw down the middle of a period where the offense was backed up at the goal line. – C-Mac

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