Eagles Camp Observations: Sirianni’s Got Much To Say
The Eagles took the field for the seventh practice of the Nick Sirianni era, nearly a week away from their preseason debut with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Though several of the teams centerpieces – including Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Lane Johnson, Jason Kelce, Darius Slay, and Zach Ertz – were given the luxury of a veteran day off, the pads still popped for the second consecutive day at the NovaCare Complex.
Although Wednesday’s 75-minute practice featured a heavy dose of the running game, there were a number of pertinent takeaways.
• The Eagles activated safety Andrew Adams from the reserve/COVID-19 list and waived/injured DB Nate Meadors
• Linebacker Alex Singleton (reserve/COVID-19 list) was present at the start of practice. However, he did not participate in practice.
• After an impressive start to camp, linebacker Davion Taylor has been listed as week-to-week (calf).
• Prior to the commencement of practice, running backs Miles Sanders, Boston Scott and Kenneth Gainwell took extra work on the JUGS machine. While Sanders might not be as natural of a pass-catcher as Boston Scott is, it was nice to see him working on an area of his game that hurt him last season.
• The left tackle competition had been rather one-sided through six practices, with Jordan Mailata dominating the headlines. However, Andre Dillard opened practice as first-team left tackle but continues to underwhelm.
• In a major contrast from the previous regime, Nick Sirianni and his staff remained hands-on and unafraid to drill players on details and fundamentals. Early in practice, Sirianni ripped into Jalen Reagor after a play. Reagor was later seen talking things over with Jalen Hurts.
• As noted, the offense adopted a run-heavy approach on Day 7. Sanders, Scott, and Jordan Howard shouldered the bulk of the carries, but it was interesting to see Kerryon Johnson’s reps minimized.
• Jason Huntley is springy and has some burst. He’ll need to develop his pass protection and remains a long shot, but I’m interested to see how he performs in the preseason games.
• Hurts showcased an up-and-down morning. He threw a dart over the middle that was intercepted by sixth-round rookie JaCoby Stevens in full-team drills but followed it with a perfectly-placed strike down the sideline to John Hightower. Hightower was closely guarded by rookie Zech McPhearson but managed to reel-in a leaping reception on the sideline.
• Speaking of McPhearson, the rookie cornerback always seems to be around the football and doesn’t appear to lack for confidence. His physicality and instincts were on display throughout practice.
• Hurts looked sharp in red zone 7-on-7s, connecting with Dallas Goedert for two scores, including one with Shaun Bradley closely trailing. His other throws included a Quez Watkins reception just short of the goal line, with Craig James swarming, and a short toss to Miles Sanders which was dropped.
• Quez Watkins has soft hands and looks markedly improved from a route-running standpoint.
• With Darius Slay taking the day off, Michael Jacquet saw increased snaps. One play that stood out was a defensive pass interference call in the corner of the end zone on 7-on-7s. Flacco lofted one up for 6-foot-7 tight end Tyree Jackson. Jackson, a decorated former college quarterback at Buffalo, will be an intriguing player to watch this preseason.
• John Hightower must continue to develop his play strength and run blocking. Poor technique on a short toss to Gainwell, blatantly holding onto to cornerback Lavert Hill.
• Richard Rodgers, perhaps the team’s best blocking tight end, notably whiffed in a rep against Genard Avery in 11-on-11. Avery got around Rodgers with ease and disrupted a Miles Sanders run.
• At the end of practice, running backs Elijah Holyfield and Jason Huntley, and wide receivers Jalen Reagor and Andre Patton were on the JUGS machine.
– Andrew DiCecco (@ADiCeccoNFL) is a Staff Reporter/Content Producer for InsideTheBirds.com.
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