Ten takeaways from day four of Eagles Training Camp

AP_16210713280316.2e16d0ba.fill-735×490

It feels so good to say Football season is back! Eagles Training camp is officially underway as the rest of the 90-man roster joined the rookies and selected veterans for the Eagles first full team practice. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t on our side and meant that the days action was to be had inside the Bubble at the NovaCare Complex. Here are ten takeaways from today’s practice.

Trey Burton seeing WR /FB reps:
There was no way that this wasn’t going to be the first takeaway on the list. I’ve been preaching Burton’s move to WR for months..from podcast features to countless articles reinforcing my points, for me it was almost too obvious to line Burton up on the outside. The Eagles experimented with this during the spring and it looks as though that trend is going to continue deep into Camp.

Seeing Burton line up as a FB with the 3rd team is also interesting, but isn’t as telling as the reps on the outside. The Eagles clearly see a lot of potential and versatility in Burton and as someone who has been trying to orchestrate this move or at least convince through my articles that it’s a perfect fit, this was the best thing to see after the first full team practice.

 

Ron Brooks starting at corner?:
This one caused a few question from the Beats on the scene. Ron Brooks saw plenty of action with the first team today, spending most of his time in the slot.

It will be interesting to see whether this continues as Camp develops..but I personally don’t think it’s surprising. The 10-10-10 practice was designed to familiarize plays with the systems. Considering that the Eagles are implementing new schemes on both Offense and Defense, it kind of makes sense to have those who succeeded under Schwartz set the tone and show the younger, less adapted guys how it’s done against a slower Offense..no?

 

Jalen Mills bringing the heat to a rainy day:
The attention may have widely been diverted elsewhere, but the Green Goblin continued to steal the spotlight.

It’s important to note that Matthews had possession of the ball briefly before Mills bought him down. Considering Mills was dominating against undrafted rookies suffering from drops, there was always a slight concern his learning curve would incline. Instead, Mills is making plays against the Eagles number one receiver..not bad for a seventh round pick.

 

Wisniewski steps in for Brandon Brooks:
Brandon Brooks has reportedly picked up a hamstring injury and is said to be day-to-day. It’s not thought to be serious which is good news, but that hasn’t stopped Wisniewski from showing his versatility.

https://twitter.com/LiamJenkins21/status/758763528216084480

We know that Wisniewski is hungry to keep a starting role but he faces fierce competition if he is to do so. By covering the RG position as a LG who has also played Center, the offseason pickup is showing more and more value to the Eagles should they keep him on the roster.

 

Barner struggles to make most of opportunity:
Ryan Mathews was placed on the Active/ Non-Football injury list yesterday with an ankle injury, swinging the door wide open for the recently bulked up Kenjon Barner to assert his dominance and make a positive impression on Doug Pederson.

Unfortunately, in an Offense that needs reliable running backs to make screen receptions and catch passes out of the backfield regularly, this isn’t the way to capitalize on an increase in reps that won’t be around forever.

 

Wentz had a progressive day:
After starting off running the 3rd team Offense, Wentz continued to impress and show just how athletic he can be. In a day that reportedly saw some wobbly passes as well as those eyebrow raising completions he’s building a reputation for making..it’s always exciting to see the quarterback of the future improving and showing just how talented he really is.

 

Offensive shape:
The Eagles appeared to be running some up-tempo plays earlier today which was interesting, but not as interesting as some of the shapes shown.

Matthews is likely going to retain a hefty slot role as it’s where he seems to look most comfortable..but Chris Givens appears to be becoming more and more prominent in the Offensive plans. With Barbre still at LG despite Wisniewski and Seumalo both being at camp, the competition is well and truly on. The Eagles are going to be very experimental as Camp progresses from formations to rotations..it’s an underrated storyline that’s well worth keeping an eye on. Could the Up-Tempo concept still play a minor role in Pederson’s Offense?

 

Celek working with second team, showing physicality:
If there’s one thing the Eagles need, it’s a safe pair of hands. Brent Celek has been that and more for the Eagles during his career, but he’s burst into camp showing that despite Ertz being the “Golden guy”, he can still be extremely valuable to this Offense.

 

Marcus Smith shining under Schwartz?:
Marcus Smith is on what could be his last chance to salvage his NFL career and is in the best position to do so. In a scheme that fits his style, the former first round pick is looking to not only cement his roster spot in camp, but earn a more pivotal role.

Zach Berman’s observation is an interesting one. Could the Eagles have been trying to ask Smith to do too much in his limited snaps? His skill-set doesn’t lie in coverage..it lies in rushing the passer..and that could be his saving grace as Camp rolls on.

 

Barwin to switch sides as well as positions?:
Connor Barwin has reverted back to a DE..but he could also be shifting over to the other side of the field if early camp snaps are anything to go by.

Again, it will be an undderated storyline, but a pivotal one. Barwin’s presence on the roster isn’t yet determined..is he going to start opposite Vinny Curry, or will that honor go to Brandon Graham? By showing he can be effective on both sides, Barwin is trying to gain an edge in the early stages.

 

 

Photo credit: Chris Szagola/AP

More from our Sister Sites