ITB: Jordan Davis' Traits On Display At Camp
The Philadelphia Eagles are now more than one week into training camp, with attention being paid to the passing game, running back rotation, and the defensive line.
On the latest Inside The Birds podcast, Adam Caplan and Geoff Mosher share the latest intel from camp and discuss which players have stood out:
Geoff Mosher: “At the practice I went to, I don’t think the ball was in the air for more than 15 yards once, and that’s not a Jalen Hurts thing. I didn’t see it from Gardner Minshew either. Not only that day but after the first practice that (Caplan) saw, the people who were at practice were saying there was really not a downfield presence. And then when the pads came out on Tuesday, there was more of a downfield presence there. That speaks to what we were talking about, the unevenness of the first days of training camp where it’s still touch and feel and the defense is ahead of the offense.”
Mosher: “You and I have been reporting that the focus has been there, everything that he wasn’t last year – because he came to camp not in shape – has been the opposite (this year). If you remember last year, he made some really amazing plays in practice and obviously didn’t have a great season, but he felt more like a splash player last year. Whereas this year, from what I’m hearing, he’s more consistent. He’s winning when he’s supposed to win, he’s running the routes the way he’s supposed to run. He’s actually looking like a more complete player this summer.”
Adam Caplan: “On the field, he’s definitely had a good camp. I know that the issue he’s had is when he goes up against the 1s. It’s one thing to work with the first-team offense, which he’s had some snaps, but it’s another when he’s going up against the 1s on defense. He has not been able to always beat coverage. Though he’s very strong physically, it’s not about that. It’s about hand usage and how to beat press and tight coverage. That’s going to be the challenge for him and has been really since he’s been drafted.”
Mosher: “I know people are looking really into the idea that Miles Sanders got second-team reps one day and Kenny Gainwell got first, but they addressed it in the press conferences. If anything, I think it’s more of a testament that they really like Kenny Gainwell and want to get him more work, as he will be the number two guy in a two-man rotation most likely than it’s some kind of changing of the guard and Kenneth Gainwell is all of a sudden your feature back. That’s not how I’ve interpreted it nor heard it to be.”
Caplan: “It’s never been about Sanders being the main back, he’s always been the main back. The question we’ve had is: How much can Gainwell cut into that? We know he’s a guy that can catch the football. We saw the strange role for him being the goal line back earlier in the season.”
Mosher: “It stood out to me that Cam Jurgens had some good reps against Jordan Davis. It’s not even just the reps. What I saw is a guy whose pass protection technique was solid. His foot chopping was synonymous with his hand punch. He was able to wall off Jordan at certain times. I was really impressed with Jurgens’ ability to have a plan.”
Caplan: “As one of the players told us, he said it’s not going to be about the athleticism. It’s trying to get Hurts out of a tough play. (Jason) Kelce is a master at it. If he doesn’t like the look, he changes it and it helps Hurts out. There’s just no way you can make up for that kind of experience. But the good thing is he’s going to be the backup this year.”
Mosher: “Sorting through traffic is a big thing. If you’re going up against the Giants in a Wink Martindale defense, and he’s going to cover up all of the gaps and have people in and out … as a center, you have to call out the MIKE linebacker first and then be able to rotate either right to help your right guard or left to help your left guard and not leave a wide gap for a blitzer to come through. You have so many responsibilities, so if he’s behind in that it would be unideal to have him out there.”
Caplan: “Whatever his weight is, he’s a super freak. How this manifests into a high-end NFL player, we’ll have to see. But you see what the Eagles front office and coaches saw, and there’s something special about this player. When they harness all of this stuff and get him the way they want him to be with technique and all of that, look out because you can’t teach size. This kid’s ability is off the hook, he’s just got to put it all together.”
Mosher: “Carson Strong has ways to go. I was watching those 7 on 7s at the end of practice. You rarely see interceptions on 7 on 7s; He got picked off twice on back-to-back snaps. It’s not because he has a bad arm. We know he has a great arm. We talked about the offense and how difficult it was going to be to go from Nevada to here. My sense would be that it’s sort of in his head a little bit right now and he might be uncertain and therefore when he throws the ball, it’s not razor sharp.”
– Benjamin Paul is a staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.