Staying strong at minicamp! Check out the best moments from Day 2...
The Eagles hosted the second of three minicamp practices Wednesday at the NovaCare Complex. Dave Spadaro provides insight from what he saw on the field and in the locker room, while Chris McPherson and Fran Duffy offer 12 more observations.
Jeffery: Offense Making Progress
Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery has clearly established a connection with quarterback Carson Wentz throughout the spring and sees big things for 2017. Not only for him, Jeffery says, but for the entire offense.
"We are so much more in sync than when we started on the field. It's a big difference," Jeffery said. "We've got a lot of players stepping up and making plays and that's what you need. Carson puts the ball right where you want it. If you do your job, you know he's going to do his."
Jeffery has been outstanding in the first two days of the mandatory minicamp catching passes all over the field.
"I like where I am right now, but I also know I have a lot of work to do," he said. "You just try to get better every day. It's gone well so far. I'm happy." - DS
Safety Game Solid In Year 2
Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod have been together for a full season plus this offseason. It's safe to say, then, that they know what each other is thinking on the football field and that their strengths play well together. A solid part of the defense last year, the starting safeties think they will take their games to a new level in 2017.
"No doubt about it," Jenkins said. "Just having that year under our belts together and knowing the defense that much more and what each of us can do, we're going to be on the same page with everything. I'm excited about it. You want that continuity. Rodney is such a good football player and he works his craft and so by the time we're getting ready for a game, we know every situation and how we're going to react and where we're supposed to be."
Said McLeod: "We work well together. We both know what we're trying to do, and we put the time in to study the defense and look at opposing offenses in the days leading up to a game. I expect even better things this season with us." - DS
Agholor Keeps Focus As Camp Nears End
Nelson Agholor has looked like a different wide receiver this spring, as everyone who has watched practice would agree. He's been more explosive, more confident catching the football, and sharper in and out of his routes.
Has he turned the corner?
"Day by day," he said. "I'm not going to change the way I'm approaching things. I'm just trying to stack the days together. I'm not looking ahead. I'm not looking around me. I'm just honed in on my job and my responsibilities. My job is to get open and catch the football. I want to be great at that every single day."
Along with Bryce Treggs, who had another big day, Agholor made plays down the field again for a passing game that appears to be much more capable of stretching defenses in 2017. Having Jeffery and Torrey Smith certainly helps, but Agholor has made some good things happen this spring working a lot from the slot in place of Jordan Matthews, who continues to miss practice time because of a knee injury. - DS
More Observations: Under-The-Radar Receivers Make Some Noise
1. The news of the day was obviously Jason Peters' contract extension and, just like he was on Tuesday, the veteran tackle was parked right behind the offensive huddle during team periods. Peters didn't take part in team sessions, but he stood right next to head coach Doug Pederson during every 11-on-11 drill and took in the action, coaching up his teammates along the way. - FD
2. Peters rejoined the team on Tuesday after sitting out the offseason workouts, but on Wednesday there was another return that had nothing to do with the players. Wide receivers coach Mike Groh was back after missing the start of the minicamp due to a family situation. He worked on the nuances of blocking during the individual drills. Later on in practice, Groh had the receivers work on their hand-eye coordination using tennis balls. - CM
3. I thought Bryce Treggs had a good day today. He's always looked quick and explosive but today I thought he made some nice grabs and looked confident at the catch point all afternoon. - FD
4. Quarterback Carson Wentz's natural athleticism allows him to look at ease when he's rolling out of the pocket and making throws on the run. - CM
5. Tight ends Zach Ertz and Trey Burton stood out as well. Burton made a great catch in a team period where he spun around and made a catch thrown behind his body on a crossing route for a first down. Later in the period, Ertz caught a pass over safety Rodney McLeod on a beautiful throw by Carson Wentz. - FD
6. Here's some love for two of last year's rookie free agents - cornerback C.J. Smith and wide receiver Paul Turner. Smith intercepted a Dane Evans pass as the first 11-on-11 drill focused on third-down situations. In the same period, Turner hauled in a high and wobbly pass from quarterback Matt McGloin over cornerback Aaron Grymes. - CM
7. Nelson Agholor was on the receiving end of two bombs from Wentz. First, Agholor beat Rasul Douglas deep before making one of the plays of the day on the back end of a perfect deep ball from Wentz against Jalen Mills. Agholor attacked drills throughout the afternoon with good energy, looked quick in and out of cuts, and was in the mix with the returners as well during special teams drills.
However, the pass may have never been delivered in a game because defensive tackle Tim Jernigan exploded into the backfield with ease on what likely would've been a sack. The first-year Eagle has been nearly unblockable for much of the spring, and his performance once the pads go on in camp will be something I'm extremely anxious to see. - FD
8. Not all of Wentz's deep balls hit the mark, however, as one was intercepted by safety Rodney McLeod on a deep throw in the middle of the field. It was the veteran defender's second pick of the day to go along with an outstanding pass breakup against Treggs on a deep post route in the middle of the field earlier in the afternoon. - FD
9. Cornerback Aaron Grymes was once again very disruptive, breaking up two passes that I saw during practice and once again constantly being around the football. During a 7-on-7 drill, Grymes broke up a Wentz pass over the middle that was intended for Agholor. The practice ended in with two separate team period, and Grymes ended the day with a diving pass breakup on a quick throw to the right intended for slot receiver Paul Turner. On the play beforehand, Steven Means came away with a sack to cap off his disruptive afternoon. - FD
10. The Eagles want to give players reps at different spots during the spring. In the final 11-on-11 period, Isaac Seumalo worked with the first-team unit at center, while Allen Barbre was at left guard. - CM
11. Najee Goode continues to provide a steady veteran presence at linebacker. He had a nice pass breakup of an attempt intended for Ertz during a 7-on-7 drill. - CM
12. The Eagles announced that defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (neck strain) and wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham (foot) missed Wednesday's minicamp practice due to injury. Gabe Wright took first-team reps at defensive tackle in Cox's absence. *- CM