June 4, 2024   6 MIN READ

First Take

Birds Gather For Sirianni's First Mandatory Camp


PHILADELHIA – For the first time during the Nick Sirianni era, the Eagles are holding a three-day mandatory minicamp, the final time the team will be together before training camp in late July.

Tuesdays session, which lasted 65 minutes, included a heavy dose of 7-on-7s (minimal full-team work), while also mixing in some special teams drills. The practice tempo and flow were noticeably ratcheted up compared to last week.

The Eagles return to the practice field on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.

Let’s get on with the observations.

ITB Photo: Almost all hands were on deck for the Philadelphia Eagles’ mandatory minicamp.

*The only player who wasn’t present was G Landon Dickerson, who had an excused absence. Veteran Mekhi Becton filled in as the first-team LG in his absence.

*Shortly after Sirianni revealed that CB James Bradberry would be repping at safety, the veteran defender was seen walking to the medical tent after coming up with an injury during position drills. He emerged without a helmet and was held out for the remainder of practice.

*WR Jacob Harris (undisclosed) was a non-participant. He was also held out of the open practice last week.

*There were four tryout players in attendance: CB Parry Nickerson, WRs Griffin Hebert and Brandon Smith, and K B.T. Potter. Nickerson, who played for Vic Fangio in Miami, has appeared in 30 games (three starts) while Potter, 24, was originally a rookie free agent signing of the Pittsburgh Steelers last spring.

*The WRs, working on the near side of the field during warmups, mostly caught the ball cleanly. There were rare lapses, such as Austin Watkins failing to reel in a Will Grier pass, and Kenny Pickett missing wide to Hebert.

*Defensive depth chart notes: The first-team secondary featured Darius Slay and Kelee Ringo at CB, and C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Reed Blankenship at S. Avonte Maddox manned the primary nickel role and also repped at safety.

* Tyler Hall also garnered first-team reps at nickel. The second-team secondary included CBs Quinyon Mitchell and Isaiah Rodgers. Maddox and Tristin McCollum were the safeties, and rookie Cooper DeJean reprised his role at nickel.

*The first-team defensive line reps belonged to Josh Sweat, Jalen Carter, Jordan Davis, Milton Williams and Bryce Huff.

* Eli Ricks and Josh Jobe were the third-team cornerbacks. Mekhi Garner and Andre’ Sam were the third-team safeties. Nickerson logged some reps at nickel.

*Devin White and Zack Baun were the first-team linebackers while Nakobe Dean, who mostly repped with the second-team opposite Oren Burks, also worked in. The third-team unit was comprised of Ben VanSumeren and Jeremiah Trotter Jr.

*Offensive depth chart notes: The first-team offensive line (L-R): LT Jordan Mailata, LG Mekhi Becton, C Cam Jurgens, RG Tyler Steen, and RT Lane Johnson. Worth noting that Becton didn’t look out of place operating inside.

*The return of starting WR DeVonta Smith resulted in a glaringly more rhythmic and functional operation offensively. Smith, A.J. Brown and John Ross reeled in several short-to-intermediate level passes.

*Early in 7-on-7s, Jalen Hurts rifled a quick slant to Smith, but Blankenship jumped the route, deflecting it into the arms of White for the interception.

*Pickett fired off a pass on the far side of the field in the direction of WR Joseph Ngata, but Mitchell provided blanket coverage. I’ve mentioned how Ngata appears to have added some size to his frame during the offseason, but he just doesn’t move very well and fails to create much in the way of separation.

*Operating out of the slot, Ross caught a short pass to the left from Pickett in front of DeJean.

*Pickett badly overshot RB Kenny Gainwell, who was running a wheel route down the left sideline. Gainwell had several steps on VanSumeren.

*Pickett fires a short crosser to a wide-open Ainias Smith, but the rookie WR was unable to hold on.

*The players fielding punts: WR Britain Covey, WR Ainias Smith, CB Isaiah Rodgers, S C.J. Gardner-Johnson and CB Cooper DeJean. Covey muffed his initial attempt. Smith, who botched his lone attempt last week, failed to secure his first attempt. Both players fielded the rest cleanly.

*Hurts overthrew Dallas Goedert on a deep corner route to the right but connected with his TE a few plays later on a similar play to the opposite side for about 25 yards. Blankenship was in coverage.

*While it will assuredly take some time to master Kellen Moore’s offense, there were different subtleties and nuances worth noting, such as bunch and trips formations.

*Hurts connected with DeVonta Smith on a quick-hitter to the right. LB Patrick Johnson, the flat defender on the play, was clearly overmatched.

*Pickett tossed a dart deep right to TE Grant Calcaterra between a converging Mitchell and McCollum.

*The standout on Tuesday was Ringo, who has gotten overshadowed a bit in light of the selections of Mitchell and DeJean. The second-year cornerback was competitive in every rep against Brown, ran step-for-step with Parris Campbell down the left sideline to break up a deep pass, and provided plaster coverage downfield against the speedy Ross. Context is important, but Ringo appears to have settled in, building off his late-season momentum as a rookie.

*Ainias Smith shook free from VanSumeren and parlayed a short dumpoff into a nice pickup.

*Rodgers nearly corralled a Pickett pass, jumping the route on a pass intended for Ngata. The pass fell incomplete. In addition to his speed and short-area quickness, Rodgers is a very instinctive player.

*During a special teams drill, designed for a pair of gunners to track and field a punt at the goal line to keep it in play, both Sirianni and special teams coordinator Michael Clay were vocal. In one instance, Sirianni made an example of Mitchell following a rep he deemed substandard. The most impressive rep of the drill came courtesy of Jobe, who demonstrated excellent body control in leaping in the air to bat the ball in play. The play elicited praise from coaches. A play like this is a prime example as to why Jobe should never be counted out of the roster equation.

*Spotted injured T Le’Raven Clark on the sideline in a Roll-A-Bout.

*On the final play of practice, Pickett launched a deep shot down the right sideline to Watkins, but it never had a chance, as Ricks blanketed him on the play.

– Andrew DiCecco (@AndrewDiCecco) is a Staff Reporter/Content Producer for InsideTheBirds.com.

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