Frontrunners emerge in key battles: Ten Takeaways from the first day of Eagles Training Camp

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The sweet smell of sweat, cleats and pads fills the air once again, Eagles fans. Training Camp is upon us and we’re a mere six weeks away from the regular season. The Super Bowl Champions returned to the NovaCare Complex for the first time since May. Here’s everything you need to know.

 

10/10/10:
The Eagles kicked off their Training Camp with a 10/10/10 practice and a very light-hearted mood. This scripted format sees the Birds take on 10 offensive plays, then 10 defensive, followed by 10 minutes of special teams work. First adopted by Andy Reid, Pederson brought the format back to Philadelphia last season. The one thing to note is that because of this, a stunning defensive play or a huge eyebrow-raising offensive explosion may not hold as much value as it may suggest. The concept is to simply fine-tune skillsets and work on the niche aspects most overlook, so stray passes etc are often a regularity.

 

PUP List:
Before the practice started, the Eagles announced the following:

The big news here is that Carson Wentz remains on the active roster to start camp, while Jeffery, Graham and Maragos will be kept on the sidelines. It was later revealed that Treggs has sustained a lower-body injury.

 

The Wizard of North Dakota State:
Carson Wentz is back ladies and gentlemen and spoke very excitedly of the plan to get him back on the field by the dawn of the regular season. Not only that, but he also saw plenty of action on the field.

Seeing Wentz partake in 11-on-11 drills is a huge step forward, especially considering that he wasn’t doing this during the Spring. While Josh Sweat also seemed to bump the quarterback during a live-drill, raising blood pressures across the city, Wentz remains on the right path and optimistic of a week one return.

 

The front-runner at WILL:
The linebacker receiving first team WILL snaps was Kamu Grugier-Hill, which was music to my ears after breaking down the film not long ago. It could just be that Corey Nelson is taking a little time getting acclimated with the playbook etc, but Grugier-Hill appears to have the upper-hand early on.

 

The battle in the nickel:
One interesting development was that Sidney Jones was the cornerback seeing the majority of first-team reps inside. The second-year cornerback has widely been labelled as a breakout candidate, but with a clustered cornerback corps, nobody really knows where he will play. If Jones can continue to shine, there’s no reason why he can’t solidify a starting role and if anything, it may be the most important corner role on the defense, just ask Patrick Robinson.

It will also help him that a much more compact and nickel-suited cornerback in rookie Avonte Maddox appeared to have some teething problems early on.

 

The underdog shines:
South Alabama’s Jeremy Reaves had a very strong OTA period and hit the ground running once again. A pick six of Nate Sudfeld set the tone for the young Safety, who will be competing for the key 3rd role throughout camp and preseason.

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A change of heart:
Earlier this offseason, the Eagles shifted Isaac Seumalo to center, his natural position. After two disappointing years at left guard where he was unable to claim a very attainable throne, the Eagles refused to give up on Seumalo and have instead opted to move him out of a contested battle. However, it doesn’t seem to have started as hoped.

Under the guidance of Jeff Stoutland, the pressure will slowly begin to build on Isaac Seumalo and he will simply have to start turning heads while time is still on his side.

 

Continuing the trend:

De’Vante Bausby was easily one of the spring’s most notable standouts and looks set to earn the ‘Training Camp Darling’ reputation. If there’s one name that can throw the Cat among the Pigeons in this wide-open cornerback competition, it’s the former Pittsburgh prototype.

 

The road to recovery:
A sight for sore eyes indeed. The Eagles who were injured last season, heartbreakingly missing out on the illustrious Super Bowl, all returned to the NovaCare Complex in full capacity. Darren Sproles, Jason Peters and Jordan Hicks were all present, lifting the atmosphere and putting the work as a revenge season begins to take shape.

The ceiling is sky-high as progress continues.

 

 

 

And just for good measure…

 

 

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