A new week and a new chance for this years Eagles hopefuls to impress ahead of Sunday’s pre-season opener against the Colts. The pads were back on for day eight of Training Camp and as always, we’ve noted the biggest stories from the days action at the NovaCare Complex.
A rotation of first team reps
For the first time this training camp, rookie Nelson Agholor took most of the first team reps alongside Riley Cooper. Josh Huff was not as active as usual, perhaps just some standard rotation for the Eagles who would understandably want to see how effective their first round pick in the first teams Offense. Agholor caught a bullet from Bradford for a big gain as the QB exercised his emphatic arm strength to set the tone for the day.
Jaylen Watkins took first team reps for the Nickel position. As the race heats up for Boykin’s old spot, Watkins began to become a lot more impactful than in recent sessions. He broke up a few passes before letting up a Matthews touchdown. The touchdown came through no fault of his own however, just great placement by Bradford. Talking of whom..
It’s almost as though Bradford has put a barrier behind him now, stopping any other Quarterback from giving him competition..he looks that good out there that it’s become incredibly hard to see Sanchez winning the starting job. Open Competition no more, Bradford has the title signed sealed and delivered. Some impressive passes and touchdowns to Matthews were on show as Brent Celek styled a neat over the shoulder pass for a score. Sam is adamant that he will start against the Colts and is more than prepared. It’s difficult to argue when he’s scoring on so many plays and linking with Jordan Matthews so well. He’s a completion machine that has unrelenting arm strength, his teammates are comparing his arm to that of Aaron Rodgers..that’s not exactly a bad comparison, right?
In what’s become a bit of a school register situation, DeMarco Murray was indeed back at Camp today and has even began making some short receptions over the middle. Oh, and he also ploughed over Walter Thurmond on a run..now that’s no easy task when Thurmond is 86kg..DeMarco runs like the Hulk. There’s still no Kiko Alonso however who we believe is still following procedure for a concussion as per the NFL rules.
Talking of the Hulk..
Marcus Smith FINALLY did something noteworthy. In what is very much a do or die scenario for the second year linebacker, he is almost expected to put up or shut up..and today he finally put up. In a blocking drill he was able to completely floor Dennis Kelly. The rest of the team were celebrating the play and that’s the kind of thing we need to see Smith but on a bigger and much more consistent basis if he is to earn a spot on this years roster.
As Eagles Insider/ CSI Eagles expert Geoff Mosher from CSNPhilly pointed out, the Eagles were running the majority of their drills with 1:03 left on the clock. Now whether they are practicing how to close out games and manage the clock with the up-tempo Offense or whether they’re working on some new interesting plans for the closing moments of a game remains to be seen, but it’s definitely raised a few eyebrows.