Eagles Training Camp Notebook: Secondary steps up and sleepers emerge inside the Bubble

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It was back to the bubble for the Eagles today, who resumed their Training Camp program inside the NovaCare Complex. With just a few days between now and the first pre-season game, there’s plenty to keep an eye on. Here’s all you need to know from today’s action:

 

Injuries:
There were a few names missing from Eagles practice today. Surprisingly, Wendell Smallwood, Fletcher Cox, and Marcus Johnson were sidelined but with no real clarification, it’s likely that Doug Pederson decided to rest them. Alshon Jeffery participated in practice once again, shedding some positive light on his shoulder injury. Jaylen Watkins sustained what seems to be a neck-related injury today, while wideout Torrey Smith reportedly looked in pain during one portion of practice. Brandon Brooks and Jordan Hicks also endured a similar practice, while Nick Foles, Anthony Denham, and Josh Andrews all missed it entirely. Even though nothing serious has been confirmed across the board, the rigors of Training Camp are beginning to show.

 

C.J Smith steps up:
For what seems like the umpteenth practice in a row, media members inside the NovaCare Complex were once again highly complimentary of C.J Smith. With the cornerback battle showing no signs of ending soon, every positive play is huge for the former NDSU defensive back.

Smith may be becoming one of the most consistent cornerbacks throughout Training Camp…something that bodes extremely well for his future. He wasn’t the only corner to step up either. Patrick Robinson came down with an interception, while Aaron Grymes and Mitchell White both joined the former Colt in spending time after practice working with Eagles Legend and future Hall of Famer, Brian Dawkins.

 

Wentz wobbles:
After a streak of incredibly hot performances, Wentz has seemed a little cooler in the last few days in the eyes of those present. The second-year QB may have come on leaps and bounds from his rookie season, but there’s still a lot of development in the tank.

This shouldn’t be concerning however. Especially on a day where the Secondary was finally able to get one over on the offense (for the most part). With pre-season approaching, let’s just be thankful that Wentz (fingers crossed) can complete his first full offseason and have all four pre-season games to get ready for week one.

 

Agholor…wait…what?
This should be fun. Today, Nelson Agholor was the key talking point…but not for another scintillating performance. In what was a very up and down day for the former USC wideout, Agholor dropped a couple of crucial passes…and well, the rest was always going to write itself.

I think Matt Lombardo has said it best. Sure, its very easy to race into the sunset without much context on a good day, while expecting everything to collapse on a bad one. But the truth of the matter is, if Agholor has been regressing, it’s going to be noticed after such a hot start to the offseason. It’s amazing to see such a resurgence in fans changing their tune, but at the same time it’s important not to get too excited or too concerned just yet. It’s just Training Camp. One day at a time.

 

 

3 Safeties:
It hasn’t taken long for the Eagles to roll out their 3-safety personnel after signing Corey Graham. The former Bills Safety lined up in the slot in a 5-DB package, as Jim Schwartz was able to have a play with his new toys.

It’s only a small note, but the Birds are wasting no time in implementing some fresh looks into their Defense.

 

A sleeper at DT
One man who really upped the ante today was Gabe Wright. With Fletcher Cox absent, reps were there for the taking. Wright seized the opportunity with both hands and made sure he left a lasting impression. With Justin Hamilton and Winston Craig both fighting to make the depth chart, a big day was crucial for the former Browns DT.

Well, going up against the Eagles starting center in pass protection drills and dominating isn’t exactly a bad sign…right?

 

Cherry picking:
The Linebacker battle is an enthralling one to keep an eye on right now and with special teams contributions deciding the fate of many, it’s interesting to see Don Cherry’s name continue to pop up with the first and second team units. Today Cherry, who spent last season on the Eagles practice squad, continued to stand out.

Pre-season is going to be key for Cherry and that goes without saying, but big plays like this in opportunities that continue to present themselves leave Cherry in an extremely strong position heading into the showdown against Green Bay.

 

Taking a chance:
Chance Warmack’s run-blocking has long been applauded. After all, he is a former first round pick who decimated defenses at Alabama. With the Eagles looking to punch it up the gut once again this year, Warmack’s strengths may have value…and so may his versatility.

Warmack’s strong practice was rewarded by being called up to fill in for the injured Brandon Brooks. If Warmack can continue to prove that he can play at both interior spots, his place on the roster becomes increasingly likely.

 

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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