Inside The Birds Training Camp Report: Offense Inconsistent; Defensive Line
The Philadelphia Eagles will play a football game this week for the first time since late December when they faced off against Washington.
On the latest Inside The Birds Podcast, Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan discuss the latest from Eagles camp and go in depth about some of the offensive inconsistencies and defensive standouts as well as what to look out for in Thursday’s preseason opener.
Adam Caplan: “The thing that I’m noticing more often than not is when a guy’s role is established. They’re not overworking the player, they’ll get the number two guy, number three guy a lot of work. Miles Sanders has not had a lot of reps; they are giving Boston Scott and particularly Jordan Howard a lot of work. They are completely different running backs, both have their packages of plays and their roles within the offense and obviously if Sanders gets hurt, Jordan Howard fits what they want on first and second down and Scott would be a good change up because he’s had a very good camp, he looks explosive.”
Geoff Mosher: “I think too much was made about the lack of declaration of Jalen Hurts as the starting quarterback. I think he’s taking every single QB1 rep in training camp so far. So I think that just goes to show you what we’ve said all along, it’s not a competition, Jalen Hurts is the No. 1 quarterback while he’s here, Joe Flacco is the backup, and Nick Mullens is fighting to make the team, an uphill battle, I would say just based on numbers. The sense I get is that with Jalen, they think he’s doing okay, they’d like to see more. Plenty of camp for him to show more. That’s how it was kind of described to me, there are things that they want to see him do better, there are some things that he does well and there are some things that he needs to clean up. I didn’t ask for any grade or anything but overall he’s doing okay, is how it was kind of put to me.”
Caplan: “Jordan Howard, I’m flummoxed by. Boy did I get that wrong, I thought it was a stupid decision to bring him back. I understand Chan Gailey (former Dolphins OC) didn’t want him, okay that’s fine. But he didn’t want them after one week? I heard he literally made a decision after one week of training camp that I can’t use this guy, which is absurd. How does this happen between a front office and the coaching staff, it should not be allowed and that tells you how bad the communication was.”
Mosher: “Then you read the tea leaves right and the Eagles bring him back, and then they immediately claim Kerryon Johnson off waivers so you’re thinking that even they weren’t really satisfied with having him.”
Caplan: “We put on our show a couple months ago that he had a really good OTAs, for what it’s worth. I know you can hit and there’s no 11-on-11 7-on-7, but he looked like he was in better shape and apparently he’s been terrific. He’s absolutely in our top 10 most impressive players.”
Caplan: “Something has motivated him, the light has gone on and the funny thing is, he had as high as a third round grade from a performance standpoint from some teams that I talked to this past week. So it tells you how the football character was down below. Maybe the light’s going on, he has been awesome, and the catch that he had on Sunday night, I think he got hit hard maybe two plays before, he may have missed a couple plays and came back and caught a 50 yard bomb so this guy can fly and he’s so gifted. If he can just continue to mature and what we’ve heard is he’s starting to understand what it’s like to be a professional.”
Defensive Line Upside
Caplan: “If [the Eagles] wind up being better than .500, not only will it be because Hurts played well, it’s because their lines were dominant. everyone talks about could this be a top five offensive line, yes. Could this be a top five defensive line? We haven’t talked about that, hell yes.”
Mosher: “It certainly could. The only thing we’ve said is depth at defensive tackle is a question mark going into camp. I’ve seen Milton Williams play in different positions, we know that, and as you mentioned, they’re doing so much with the defense. Milton Williams is one of those guys that I’m really looking forward to seeing how he plays in the first preseason game, and not just how he plays but where he plays, and the usage. By the way they’re starting to do some of that stunting and stuff up front now which I said was gonna be a big part of this defense, you’re starting to see that in practice.”
Caplan: If you ranked the top 10 players based on performances in training camp, he’s top five. He’s been that good, we were told that the pre draft testing, his testing for football intelligence is so high. That’s probably a reason why he’s done so well and he’s not overwhelmed. But again, it is fair to say ‘okay it’s with the twos’.”