Ten takeaways from day ten of Eagles Training camp

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles-Minicamp
Jun 9, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (11) and quarterback Sam Bradford (7) throw during mini camp at NovaCare Complex. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Tackling has made a return to Eagles Training camp and with it, a lot of intensity. With the positional battles heating up and the opening pre-season game approaching, this is a pivotal week for the Eagles. Here are ten takeaways from todays practice.

 

Injury update:
As expected, Ryan Mathews and Brandon Brooks were still absent along with Marcus Johnson and Wendell Smallwood. However, there are now three new injuries to report. b

The first came before practice even started. It was reported earlier today that UDFA DT Connor Wujciak underwent surgery on his shoulder yesterday and as a result will miss his rookie season.

Then toward the end of practice, two key players left the field early.

Jenkins and Peters are two guys who are going to be relied on heavily during Pederson’s first season as Head Coach. As of right now, there’s no timetable on the injuries although we can expect an update in the coming days.

 

Strong day for Quarterbacks:
Bradford and Wentz reportedly found their rhythm today in a practice of big throws and a series of impressive throws in the red zone. Daniel found himself picked off a few times today but otherwise had a strong showing. It was the rookie who appeared to have the best outing however, building on one of his biggest strengths at NDSU..the fade.

In a day where Defense seemed to dominate, for both Bradford and Wentz to still look as good as they did is a huge positive.

 

The Green Goblin returns:
Jalen Mills made another big play today, intercepting backup Chase Daniel. But as we’ve already seen, the Eagles are still pushing him as hard as they can.

This aggressive style of coaching is only going to help Mills who has easily been one of the standouts of Training Camp so far.

 

It’s a Given!:
We know that chemistry is important in any Offense, but for Sam Bradford..having Rams former teammate Chris Givens around is certainly proving to be a big help.

Givens is touted to become a deep threat for the Eagles and having played with Bradford previously who brings his pinpoint accuracy to the table, the two should be a match made in heaven. The chemistry the two already have is evident..and it’s only getting better the more time they spend out on the practice field.

 

Defense still dominant..not dominant enough:
The pads are on in Philly..and it’s evident. Jim Schwartz’s Defense looks rampant at this stage..

..but not rampant enough. The Eagles Defensive Coordinator had this to say after today’s practice:

“We saw what happened today … We’d make a play, give up a play, make a play and give up a play … That’s not a way to play defense. That’s not a way to play football. “

It’s encouraging to hear how had Schwartz is coming down on his Defense. You can’t help but feel slightly more pumped up every time he tears into the team..knowing it’s going to raise their game that extra notch.

 

OL depth looking good in 1-on-1’s..which is a relief:
With Peters leaving early with injury and the Defense overpowering the Offense at the best of times, the depth on the Offensive Line appeared to hold their own for the most part.

It may not be all that indicative, but hearing that the “backup” linemen are able to stand their ground in 1-on-1’s is encouraging when you consider how many are likely to be called upon in the regular season. The depth on the line is going to be absolutely critical this season..and having as many capable, versatile guards/tackles as possible can only bode well for the Eagles.

 

What do you “Means”?:
One man that has been widely overlooked this camp is former Raven Steven Means. Means was signed by the Eagles last year and is now competing as a Defensive End in a very tense position battle.

There’s a lot of uncertainty at the position in terms of who fills out the depth positions and Means is doing everything he can to prove he’s got what it takes to make the final 53-man roster.

 

Jaylen Watkins could be a dark horse:
After seemingly moving over to the Safety position, Jaylen Watkins is wasting no time in proving he can be efficient at both spots. Plus, with Jenkins now absent, he has a big  chance to show what he can do.

I posted a film review on Jaylen Watkins earlier this year (which you can check out here) and feel that in a Safety position that’s far less crowded..he has a huge opportunity to prove his worth. It’ll be interesting to see if he can keep up this impressive level of play as camp rolls on and pre-season nears.

 

The Sleeper:
Another player who has been flying under the radar is UDFA Paul Turner. However, he has been catching the praise of Doug Pederson..along with several passes in todays practice.

The depth spots at the WR position are becoming even more hotly contested, but Turner looks to be at the head of the pack in the week leading up to the team’s first pre-season game.

 

Cornerback strength:
I’ll have a full article coming up on this shortly, but the corners have been increasingly competitive in recent practices. From CFL standout Aaron Grymes continuing to make plays, to the ever consistent Leodis McKelvin and the now seemingly physical Eric Rowe. There are eleven defensive backs on the roster and likely only 5/6 spots up for grabs. In a process that’s designed to separate the men from the boys..the Eagles may need to up the stakes as many of the dark horses continue to make sure that their name is at the forefront of Jim Schwartz’s mind.

 

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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