Eagles Training Camp 2022, Day 7: Finding Midfield Targets

The Eagles returned to practice Saturday morning after a day off Friday and were graced with cooler temperatures.

It was a “yellow” practice for the Eagles in full pads. It lasted 1h23 with a development period of 5 minutes which lasted 1h28.

Sunday’s practice will be at 7 p.m. on the Linc. It is the only public practice of the spring.

On to today’s observations:

1. As always, a few household items:

• Running back Boston Scott has been added to the injury report with a concussion. He took a big shot near the goal line from Marcus Epps during Thursday’s practice. He finally popped up but stayed on the ground for a while.

• DeVonta Smith (groin), Grant Calcaterra (hamstring), Greg Ward (toe), Jordan Mailata (concussion) and Andre Dillard (concussion) all missed practice again. Mailata and Dillard are following concussion protocol but were at least on the court as spectators on Saturday; it’s a good sign.

• Mac McCain III (knee) was restricted on Saturday.

• CB Kary Vincent Jr. and CB Jimmy Moreland left practice early with unspecified injuries.

• Brett Toth (knee) and Tyree Jackson (knee) remain on Active/PUP, but train with coaches on secondary courts.

2. Sometimes when you looked at Jalen Hurts’ spray charts in games last season, there was a noticeable hole in the middle of the pitch. There were times when Hurts didn’t throw there very often. So two games on Saturday really stood out.

• On one of them, Hurts threw a perfect sewing pass to Dallas Goedert. These two have gotten pretty close this summer.

• A few plays later, Hurts hit AJ Brown with a shot through midfield after Brown found an open space. Even before Smith’s injury, the bulk of passes this summer had gone to Brown. He was targeted a ton.

3. Overall, it wasn’t a good day for Hurts, but it wasn’t a bad one either. It was a decent performance with some really good mixed shots. Note: I didn’t watch 7v7 because I chose to watch OL-DL 1v1. (More to come in a moment.)

Hurts’ best pitch of the day came at 11-for-11 on a deep ball to Brown on the left sideline. Brown had a chance to fire the pass into the end zone but let it go. Darius Slay had tight cover on the play but the ball was thrown beautifully by Hurts and Brown couldn’t secure it; maybe Slay got his hands on it. Brown lost eight assists last year with the Titans – 7.6%.

4. Kyzir White had his best day of training camp on Saturday. The Eagles mixed and matched several different linebacker combinations, but White stood out. He blasted a screen pass to Miles Sanders and also got his hands up to break up a pass to Dallas Goedert. The Eagles have linebackers; he is so weird.

5. Jalen Reagor might have made it through boot camp…but that didn’t count. Reagor got up in the air to point a ball and his helmet was taken off in the process. It looked like Reagor went down with the ball, but the area referee ruled it incomplete. It didn’t go far.

Later in practice, receiver Deon Cain made a great focus shot with the second team working against the first team defense. James Bradberry jumped the pass and hit it in the sky. But Cain was able to find him in the air and, even though he was on his back, he carried him. Bad luck for Bradberry; good concentration of Cain.

6. The most fun part of camp: offensive line vs. defensive line drills:

• Throughout those sessions, rookie Cam Jurgens showed impeccable technique that even stopped the great Jordan Davis a few times. Not Saturday. Even though Jurgens tried to ground himself (and apparently did everything right), Davis hit him with a bullrush that put Jurgens on the skids. It was impressive. When the whistle sounded to end the period, these two were lined up again and the coaches didn’t let repetition happen. I’m a little bitter about this.

• Brandon Graham versus Jack Driscoll has become a daily crime. I still think of what Lane Johnson said about Graham, calling him “a sonic bowling ball”. It’s pretty accurate. Graham runs through Driscoll every day.

• Lane Johnson handled a scramble from Haason Reddick with ease.

• Sua Opeta had some really impressive reps against Javon Hargrave. Isaac Seumalo is the Eagles starting right guard, but I’m starting to think Opeta will be the best reserve guard on this team, maybe even over Driscoll.

• Driscoll had a fine reputation against Patrick Johnson, letting the young pass thrower use his momentum against him to get him wide.

• Good rep for rookie Kyron Johnson who stepped up to beat Josh Sills at QB. By the way, Sills was the left tackle for the second team today.

• Isaac Seumalo and Lane Johnson had a good reputation against Fletcher Cox and Haason Reddick. Seumalo and Johnson have never really played next to each other, but they look seamless.

• Even though they weren’t training, Mailata and Dillard gave advice to their young teammates between rehearsals. Always good to see.

seven. One of Hurts’ best throws on Saturday landed five feet out of bounds. On a play during team drills, Hurts rolled to his left but there was nothing there so he kicked the ball deep out of bounds. It’s a good play for Hurts because earlier in camp his worst play was an INT that he fired into tight coverage rolling to his left across his body. Nick Sirianni complained about interceptions earlier in camp. Hurts didn’t throw one in 11-for-11 today.

8. The Eagles turned second team corner Zech McPhearson and Alabama rookie Josh Jobe took advantage of his opportunity on Saturday. Jobe had a great diving pass breakup on a pass from Gardner Minshew to Cain in the back of the end zone. On the next game, Jobe had a handy PBU on the left sideline. The attack wanted a penalty – AJ Brown even threw down his towel as a makeshift flag – but the referee closest to the game didn’t call it. It counts as a PBU.

9. Without Smith, the Eagles rotated their receivers on the first-team offense. We’ve seen several players get their turn, including Jalen Reagor, John Hightower and Britain Covey. But Zach Pascal was the first guy with AJ Brown and Quez Watkins. In the first game at 11-11, Brown and Watkins were wide and Pascal lined up in the slot.

Veteran Pascal returned to training as a limited participant on Thursday, but was full on Saturday. He missed the first five practices of the summer with a serious case of food poisoning that landed him in hospital for four days – he thinks it was a quesadilla with bad chicken. The good news is that Pascal said he was starting to regain his strength after losing 16 pounds (!) during the ordeal.

ten. Jason Huntley is known as the fast running back, but he was running with an average streak today. On one play, he lowered his shoulder to the safety of Andre Chachere. And later, after a nice run to the left sideline, he delivered an impressive stiff arm. Without Scott, Huntley should have more opportunities.

Stupid observation of the day: The Eagles had a fun punt return exercise on Saturday. The returner had a football in their hand and when the punt started to drop they had to throw the ball in the air, catch the kicked ball and then try to catch the ball they were throwing to themselves . It sounded like the start of a juggling act. The only one to have succeeded in the task: Britain Covey.

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