Eagles training camp notes: August 13, 2012: Cedric Thornton is pretty much a lock at this point

I’m a little late getting these up.  Apologies, but better late than never.

  • I’ve been taking notice every time the Eagles have been running their little joker formation with the DTs split way out wide, outside the offensive tackles, and the DEs standing up over the center.  It’s a look they ran with a ton of success against the Jets last year.  In a previous post, I wrote:

The Eagles are showing a lot of that joker look they showed against the Jets last year, in which they line up the DTs outside the offensive tackles, and the 2 DEs play sort of a blitzing linebacker position.  You can do a lot of things with this look.  Against the Jets last year, they got sacks by collapsing the DTs down the line and running the DEs around the edge, and by running a little criss-cross with Babin and Cole (both looks seen below):

Well… yesterday Cedric Thornton was one of the DTs lined up on the outside, except he too was standing up.  He blew right around the RT for a sack.  Impressive.  Thornton is all but a lock to make the team.

  • On one play yesterday, the Eagles flexed Clay Harbor out on his own as a WR.  OJ Atogwe drew coverage responsibility.  Clay ran quick slant, made the catch, and blew past Atogwe down the field.  He has had an outstanding camp after looking very shaky in OTAs.  Philly Mag’s Sheil Kapadia wrote a good post on where Clay may fit in this year.
  • Bryce Brown also got flexed out and had a 1-on-1 opportunity on Keenan Clayton.  The pass was overthrown, but Bryce smoked him. If you’re a close relative of Keenan Clayton, don’t read Tommy Lawlor’s game review of the Eagles-Steelers preseason game.


  • The Eagles tried a couple flea flickers yesterday.  They didn’t work.  Kurt Coleman was all over Vick before Vick even got the ball back on one of them, and Demetress Bell held onto Darryl Tapp for his life on another.  Ugly.  Bell has been abused by Tapp the last few days.  Tapp is making it very difficult for the Eagles to cut him.  If it were up to me, I’d keep him.
  • Another guy that has had a strong camp but likely won’t make the team is Mardy Gilyard.  He caught a bomb from Trent Edwards, and has been a force on deep throws consistently throughout camp.  He also drew a pas interference on a deep ball and made a nice catch on a quick slant.  He’s going to land somewhere in the NFL, and if he finds the right situation, he might be a decent contributor this season.
  • Michael Vick threw an absolutely gorgeous back shoulder throw to Brent Celek.  Or at least I think it was a purposely a back shoulder throw.  The Eagles, for some reason, don’t work a whole lot on back shoulder throws, but if done right, they’re extremely difficult to defend.
  • Vick fumbled another snap.  3rd botched snap in 2 days.  Two were on the QB-C exchange, one was on a shotgun snap Vick wasn’t ready for.  We’re 3 weeks into camp.  Not ideal, obviously.
  • The Eagles sent Alex Henery out to try some really long FGs yesterday.  They let him try a 63 yarder, which was just short.  I’ve never seen the Eagles do that in practice before.  I wonder if that had anything to do with a situation that arose in the last preseason game.  The Eagles were down 2 and faced a 4th and 4 from the Steelers’ 39, which would have made it a 56 or 57 yard attempt.  Instead of trying the long FG, the Eagles opted to go for it, and they converted.  Henery would eventually get a crack at a game-winning 51 yarder, which he drilled.  I asked Henery after the game if he lobbied for a shot at the longer one, and he said he did, but ultimately, the Eagles chose to go for it.  Perhaps they were getting a better feel for his max range, but that seems like something they should already know.

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  1. ct17 says:

    Good for Thornton. He went to a small school and has been bouncing around the league awhile (including the Giants), but it appears he has been working hard. Giants have the same situation with a DT in Hendricks, a guy who has been to several camps but finally shined last Friday night.

    1. KeepSwinging says:

      Actually, Thornton was signed as an UDFA by the Eagles after the lockout ended last season. He hasn’t played for anyone else.

      1. ct17 says:

        Thanks, you’re right. Had him confused with another UDFA DT. Giants certainly look at a lot of them.

  2. Kben says:

    You’re probably busy crafting your Opus of Destruction on the bleacher report article (best website evar!?!?), but I thought I’d get your perspective on a question.

    You’ve mentioned how strong Gilyard has looked on multiple posts. I’ve seen similar over on BGN. You then mention he’s most likely not going to make the team? Is that simply a situation of unfortunate circumstances since he was brought in as a free agent? You would think the coaches would give him a shot with the 1s just to see how he looks.


    1. It’s an unfortunate numbers crunch for him.

      Jackson, Maclin, and Avant are obvious locks. (3)
      Cooper is going to make the team, despite some fans’ frustration with him. (1)
      McNutt struggled a little in OTAs, but he has turned it on in camp, and it going to make the team. (1).
      And Damaris Johnson has been awesome (1).

      That’s 6. They can’t really keep 7. If Damaris Johnson hadn’t been so good, I think Mardy may have stuck, but unfortunately for him, he’ll probably be on the outside looking in.

      Now, having said that, if he did somehow make the team, I would be surprised, but it wouldn’t come as a complete and total shock.

      1. Kben says:

        Thanks for the perspective and I appreciate the quick response. I didn’t even consider the simple fact that there are 6 other WR that already will (and should) make the team. Although I’m one of those who’s a little sour on Cooper. I want him to succeed, but I think this injury and setback is going to lead to his last season in Philly.

      2. SteveH says:

        Man… I wish I could see what it is that makes the Eagles really like Mcnutt or Cooper. I mean Mcnutt I haven’t gotten to see much but Cooper, I don’t see why they wouldn’t be looking to upgrade him.

        1. slandog says:

          Cooper has had a few good games as a WR when he’s had the chance, just never shined. I think the Eagles really like is special team contributions more then anything. He’s big and fast and willing to tackle on special teams. That is a must for 4th WR and Cooper is really good at that.

  3. Mark in Louisville says:

    You asked for miracles, Theo, I give you the B.R.’s Matt Miller (Your buddy Jimmy)


    1. Oh my goodness… I’m going to destroy this.

      1. Mark in Louisville says:

        Call it a belated Christmas present?

        1. Jack says:

          Wow , that Miller guy knows NOTHING about the Eagles ! Boykin , Kendricks & Curry have been pretty impressive so far . This guy obviously didn’t watch the first game cause all 3 players we’re beasting out there . Tear this lame up Jimmy !

    2. Alex says:

      LOVE the Die Hard reference.

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