Eagles training camp recap: Day 6, July 28, 2012: Pads! Hitting! Notes galore!

  • Injuries: Riley Cooper, broken collarbone.  After some quick research, it appears the average recovery time is 6-10 weeks.  Eight weeks would put us around Week 2.  Of course, severity of the fracture could play a part in recovery time.  To be determined.  Cooper is not eligible to land on the PUP list since he has already begun to participate in practices.  Calf strain for Jason Babin.  He’ll get an MRI to make sure it isn’t something more serious.  Antonio Dixon left with cramps.
  • Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie had himself a fantastic day.  PBUs all over the field, and then on a deep ball to Maclin (who had DRC beaten by a step), DRC closed in impressive fashion, leaped and made a great pick.  Star of the day.  Great quote from him after practice, too.  DRC has gotten a reputation for walking around in a very odd way in between reps.  I really don’t even know how to describe it.  Someone asked him about it, and he said, “Oh that’s that old man gimp.”  He’s not hurt, just FYI.  He’s just weird.
  • Even with these live hitting sessions, it’s still very difficult to evaluate OL and DL play from the sidelines.  Bad view.  However, it was clear Brandon Graham was very active.  Graham talked after practice: “I feel like I did a lot more than I expected… Look at my helmet. I got some meat on there.”  When you return from an injury like an ACL tear, trusting that your body won’t fail you is half the battle, and it appears that Graham is beginning to get that trust back.  Graham let me take a picture of his “meaty” (dinged up) helmet after practice (shown at the top right).
  • Cullen Jenkins got some reps at DE, and had a sack.  After practice he said that he just wants to be versatile in case the team unexpectedly loses depth at DE: “I kind of like to be able to move around… maybe play the end against the run, go back inside against the pass, different spots wherever needed, because you never know the situation. You might be deep at one spot, and have an injury at another spot, and be needed over there so I like to be able to bounce around and play wherever needed.”  He was also asked about Jason Kelce’s beard and if he was trying to mimic it.  That answer would be no: “That thing is terrible.”
  • Fletcher Cox played some DE in college, and he got some reps at DE before the vets showed up at camp.  However, he said that he only played DE because the Eagles were very thin along the DL during rookie camp.  With Cullen Jenkins getting reps at DE, it sounds like the Eagles might want Cox to take it slow and focus on DT for now.

Much more after the jump…

  • Remember that formation the Eagles showed last year against the Jets in which the DTs lined up at the DE spots, and the DEs stood up in the middle of the line?  No?  Well here’s that look just to refresh your memory (below).  The Eagles showed that today.

  • Jason Avant had a couple of incredible catches.  The play of the day, in my opinion, was the second play of the live session.  Michael Vick fired a laser that was behind Avant, and Avant reached back and snagged it with one hand.  Then later, he had a diving catch over the middle.  Chad Hall also had an impressive diving catch over the middle.
  • Marvin McNutt couldn’t have possibly been more invisible through the first 4 and a half days of camp.  And then… he goes out today in the pads and makes at least three catches that I saw, including one in which he broke a few tackles and got about 25 yards on a quick slant.  Nice day for him.
  • Damaris Johnson made a play today.  He received a handoff on an end around, and took it for a huge gain, juking several defenders.  Unfortunately, the grass tackled him about 35 yards downfield.
  • I thought Dion Lewis had a nice day, but I’m going to note some good and bad from him.  He had a one handed catch in the flat and showed some nice scoot in the running game.  On one play, a defensive lineman got some immediate penetration, and Lewis did a quick jump cut, got the corner and picked up a nice gain.  Well done.  On the not-so-impressive side, Lewis received a handoff, and his jersey was grabbed by the powerful pimp hand of Derek Landri.  That was the end of Lewis’ forward progress.  Lewis looks very quick, but nobody is ever going to confuse him with Earl Campbell.  And finally, I watched him fielding kicks, along with Brandon Boykin, Cliff Harris, and some others.  Boykin and Harris get a head of steam as they catch the ball. That little difference of a yard or two worth of momentum can mean the difference between hitting a seam and taking it to the house… or not.  Lewis seems to catch the ball far too often with his weight on his back leg.
  • Keeping with the RBs, in past training camps, I’ve said that LeSean McCoy looked like the best player on the field.  He doesn’t look much different than previous years.
  • Something I’m beginning to notice with Nick Foles:  Really good arm, but if he throws the ball more than 15-20 yards downfield, it quacks.
  • Some more final quick notes: Chad Hall was working as the backup holder.  Clay Harbor has had two good days to begin camp.  Syracuse UDFA safety Phillip Thomas had a sack on a blitz. Fan attendance was 6486.
  • And finally… My big moment: Kafka threw a ball out of bounds, and it was coming right to me.  I mean, it couldn’t have been a more perfect throw if he were trying to throw the ball to me.  I was confident.  I calmly dropped my pen and my notepad, and in that split second, there were no nerves, no fear.  I put my hands up, and… pfffff… right through them.  I mean… I barely even slowed the thing down.  Choke.  Awful.  The crowd immediately booed.  And deservedly so.  DeSean Jackson also had a drop today.  So did Nnamdi Asomugha.  Between the three of us, we have a combined 5 Pro Bowls and 5 All Pro selections. Drops happen to the best of us.

Be sure to follow Blogging the bEast on Twitter for live practice updates and action.

16 Comments

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  4. jeff tactacan says:

    tebow would of gotten a huge……..gain on that defense

  5. Adam Eagles Fan says:

    Hey Jimmy, been reading you’re blog for a while now (found it via the link at Tommy Lawlor’s site) and wanted to say great job. It’s tough to find in-depth and timely info like this, so keep it up!

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  7. Noah says:

    I sat next to Jeremy Maclin’s adoptive mother and Nate Allen’s family in the bleachers today (his sister is very cute.) Maclin’s mother told me about the medical scare, that he was bedridden for a couple weeks, and doctors thought it was anything from mono, to Lyme disease, to HIV, to a type of proto-leukemia. He lost like 25 pounds in a few weeks. Anyway, he got better and she is very happy to report he weighs more now than he ever has. She also told a story about how he was terrified of being drafted by Oakland. They looked for real estate in the Bay Area and were literally afraid to live there. She also said the organization was, “a bunch of criminals led by a crazy old man.” Nevertheless, it hurt Jeremy’s feelings when they took Darius Heyward-Bay because, “Jeremy and everybody in football knew he was better than DHB. Then when he got the call from Andy Reid, she thought it was the Cleveland Browns were on the line (she shivered in fear as she told me this.)

    As for practice, I counted 3 sacks by Brandon Graham, who played like a man possessed. The long catch and run by McNutt, which I beleive was actually a WR screen, was very reassuring, as I was desperately worried about his speed.
    Boykin is a feisty little guy who was very active. Cliff Harris also made a bunch of plays on the ball during 3-on-3s.
    Chad Hall continues to piss me off by making tough catches, being dependable, and still athletically inferior.
    Marsh must improve his press.
    Polk looks slow and deliberate.
    Conversely, Brown is a fluid runner and caught the ball well. He spoke with Andy a few times in the practice and they both looked happy with him.
    Cox had good burst but got his arms tangled up a lot. Needs to work on expanding his pass rush moves–still played pretty well.
    Damaris Johnson had a very nice end around and appears to be on the 53 as of now.
    Henry’s punting has improved markedly.
    Clay Harbor had a nice day catching the ball. Chase Ford, #89, was fed a lot of passes and seemed to always have good seperation. Didn’t see him block.
    Based on the last two days of camp, I’d say it’s a certainty that the Eagles keep 3 TEs. They did a lot of double-tight formations with Brackett and Ford, flexing Ford out, motioning, etc. I think Marty is following the Patriot example.
    Lastly, Mardy Gilyard had a few snaps with the 1s and made some nice plays throughout practice. He might be fighting head to head with McNutt for a roster spot.

    1. Tracer Bullet says:

      Every time I see Lewis or Hall as a returner, I want to grab Reid and slap some sense into him.

    2. Steve says:

      Quick, no one tell Morton about Brandon Graham, his whole worldview would just shatter if Brandon turned out to be a baller.

  8. D3Keith says:

    I’ve seen you play Jimmy, you’re better than that!

    Solid self-deprecation though. Fitting right in with the journalists, sucking at sports.

    1. deg0ey says:

      Maybe he dropped it intentionally to blend in with the rest of the herd?

  9. phillyangst says:

    That was you Jimmy!! I thought for sure that Jeff McLane that dropped that ball. You must have had some moisture on your hands from the Blue Moon glass. LOL

    I came to camp this year with the intention of watching Graham, Kendricks, Jarrett and Watkins closely. My thoughts:

    Brandon Graham looks good. I was glad to see that he isn’t wearing a brace or wrap and no signs of favoring his repaired knee. I had the pleasure of shaking his hand and wishing him a good year on Friday before his Eagles Live interview. I’m looking for a productive season from him.

    Mychal Kendricks is fast. I’m impressed with his ability to change direction so efficiently. Once he learns the defense and reads the opposing offensive tendencies, he is going to be wreaking havoc. The Little Ball of Hate may be Lawlor’s favorite, but Kendricks may be special.

    I too, recognized that defensive line formation (DTs outside/DE inside standing), but couldn’t recall from where. Thanks for the graphic.

    Didn’t see much from Jaiqwan Jarrett. I’ll hold my critique of him until preseason.

    Same with Danny Watkins. My vantage point wasn’t good to watch line play. Although Howard gave him a nice loud “Muddget” during the morning walkthrough on a screen pass play.

    And finally, I got to shake hands with my favorite Iggles lineman, The Toddfather. I caught him after his Eagles Live interview among the throng of autograph seekers. Herremans seemed to appreciate the handshake and well wish of a good year instead of another football, poster or helmet thrust in his face. But I appreciated it more.

  10. Nick S. says:

    Can you define “quacks?” Obviously not a good thing, but…

    1. A ball that is not a spiral is often referred to as a “duck” or a “wounded duck.” Hence, “quack.”

  11. Nils_eaglesfan says:

    Great notes. Thanks and keep up the good work.

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