Eagles training camp observations, Day 5: Back-to-back rookie touchdowns


The Eagles had their most intense practice of the summer to date on Tuesday morning. Temperatures were high and they had their first live tackling periods of training camp. 

Tempers didn’t flare like we expected, but this was still an entertaining couple of hours. 

We’ll start with the biggest play of the day: 

1. It wasn’t how the Eagles drew it up, but the first-team offense got an 80-yard touchdown in the second live period of the day. Carson Wentz threw a quick pass to his right intended for Nelson Agholor, but the ball was tipped and went wider to JJ Arcega-Whiteside. The young rookie took off down the field and scored a touchdown after a diving Rasul Douglas couldn’t bring him down in pursuit. 

“One and done, baby,” one offensive player shouted. 

“Just how we drew it up,” said another. 

2. The best part of the touchdown was the celebration. JJAW looked like he didn’t know what to do so he threw up the ball in the air and then did his special handshake with Agholor that they just came up with Monday. When rookie left tackle Andre Dillard was late getting to the party, head coach Doug Pederson yelled at him to get into the end zone and celebrate with his teammates. 

3. After the second-team offense was forced to punt, the first teams took the field again. This was a little more conventional drive. The big play came when Wentz threw a nice deep ball to Agholor to beat Jim Schwartz’s sticks defense. That play was set up by an OPI from Charles Johnson on Sidney Jones. Jones might have gotten an interception if Johnson didn’t throw him to the ground like he did. 

Eventually, Miles Sanders punched in about a 5-yard run for a touchdown, his first of camp. 

“Oooh. Them boys look good, man,” defensive tackle Tim Jernigan said. “Hey, they surprised me today with the back-to-back drives. The first one, I was like, ‘OK, y’all got us, it was luck.’ But when they came and put that drive on us the second time, that caught me off guard with that one.” 

4. On the first live session of the day, though, give plenty of credit to the Eagles’ defensive line for what it did in the trenches. Even without Fletcher Cox, who is still recovering from injury, Jernigan and Malik Jackson dominated that period up front. Jernigan keeps getting in the backfield for big plays.  

5. Agholor had a really nice day. After a slow start in 1-on-1 drills, Agholor caught everything the rest of the morning. He’s having a good camp. One of his big catches came on a flea flicker. Nice design from Pederson. 

6. Aside from his touchdown, Sanders also had a really nice 15-or-so-yard catch on a wheel route down the left sideline. He ended up having Vinny Curry in coverage on him and Sanders was able to get some room between them and Wentz noticed the mismatch and dropped a perfect pass in the breadbasket in rhythm. This was one of the first plays with live tackling and it got off to a good start. 

After not getting much of a chance to catch passes at Penn State, Sanders really wanted to prove to the Eagles that he is capable. 

7. Jeff Lurie got taken out pretty hard on the sideline during 11-on-11s, but the Eagles’ 67-year-old owner popped right back up, adjusted his white cap and didn’t miss a play. He’s a gamer. 

8. Joe Ostman had a couple sacks against Jordan Mailata in team drills (one on a great spin move) and then beat him a few more times during OL vs. DL drills. But then Mailata was able to stand up Brandon Graham on another rep. Still, it’s probably not a great sign to see Ostman dominating Mailata. The two had a long chat after practice. We have to remember, this is all still relatively new for Mailata. 

9. I watched OL vs. DL drills today instead of 7-on-7s. I’ll try to switch back and forth most days in pads. I did hear Jones had a nice pick on a bad throw from Wentz on the 7-on-7 field but I didn’t see it. Here are a few other notes from the OL vs. DL drills: 

• Hassan Ridgeway showed off some technique, swim-moving his way through Matt Pryor. But on the next rep, Pryor stood him up for some revenge. 

• Dillard looked good. He got Curry’s momentum working against him and got him wide of the quarterback and later stood up Daeshon Hall. 

• While Treyvon Hester was put to the ground by Pryor once, he then went through rookie Nate Herbig twice. Hester and Ridgeway are making that competition for reserve DT fun. 

10. No, Nate Sudfeld hasn’t been very good this camp so far, but today he had his best throw to date. During WR-DB 1-on-1s, he threw a beautiful deep ball to Shelton Gibson, who caught it for a TD with Jay Liggins in coverage. Wentz also had two pretty throws during this period, one to DeSean Jackson (of course) and one to Agholor. 

Stupid Observation of the Day: Pederson and Lane Johnson were mic’d up by NFL Films today. I look forward to seeing that whenever it comes out. I’m sure Johnson didn’t hold anything back. 

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