The Eagles ventured out for their first evening practice of the Summer ahead of their first day of rest. For DeVonta Smith, that day couldn’t come at a better time. Here’s everything you need to know.
First and foremost, Nick Sirianni met with reporters prior to practice and stated that the team will be in pads on Tuesday, for those excited to see the intensity ramped up even further.
Jalen Reagor returned to practice today and was working in 1-on-1 drills against Darius Slay. Nick Sirianni mentioned how the team are wanting to help him get through what is a very tough period in his personal life in any aspect they can, and knowing he’s back on the field and working against the team’s top cornerback has to be an encouraging sign.
Outside of that, Quez Watkins returned to practice as well and reportedly lined up against Michael Jacquet in these drills, quite easily coming out as the victor. This shouldn’t come as a surprise given the intense dedication to his craft Watkins has displayed this offseason. Hopefully he continues to trend in the right direction.
DeVonta Smith picks up an injury
Don’t panic, it’s not severe. While the injury happened during a period when media members were not permitted to record, Josh Tolentino gave a very insightful description as to what happened to DeVonta Smith.
It was later revealed that the Eagles were just taking precautionary measures and evaluated him for a leg injury that they do not believe to be serious. This should bring a sigh of relief to Eagles fans, who would undoubtedly be heartbroken to see anything happen to the Heisman-winning wideout show as drafted in the first-round just a few months ago. With a rest day tomorrow, DeVonta Smith should be good to go for Monday.
He wasn’t the only wideout to pick up a knock. Former second-round pick J.J Arcega-Whiteside also picked up a knock. It wasn’t severe enough to end his practice early, but enough to spark some mild concern. Again, the good news is that it doesn’t appear to be serious.
I do think this is worth mentioning. I’ve stated in each of these recaps how Zach Ertz has been seen coaching up numerous players, and that energy has carried over to the defensive side of the ball now, where Darius Slay could be seen working with Michael Jacquet after practice.
This is quite a normal thing to see, I’m sure we all remember Jason Peters spending a lot of time after practice coaching up younger linemen, but it’s still refreshing. The vets change as time goes on and mentors and leaders naturally leave the team, meaning it can take a little while to find that again. Darius Slay spending time with an underdog CB is really nice to see, and it’s great that there are a few Eagles all taking that instinct to help their teammates beyond their call of duty.
*Side note – it’s hard not to love the energy from this very youthful coaching staff and it’s bound to bleed onto the field.
Jalen Hurts has a topsy turvy day
While a couple of interceptions will dent what he showed on the field, Hurts also looked to make some impressive throws down the field, showcasing the arm strength that we all know he has.
Accuracy and placement still look to be areas of improvement, but as Nick Sirianni said, what really matters is footwork. If the Eagles can help Jalen feel comfortable in the pocket and going through his reads, then the rest will follow.
In the hunt for a roster spot
It was another strong practice for RB Jason Huntley. While there’s a slew of backs ahead of him on the depth chart, the former Lions running back is making it very hard to be overlooked during the early goings of camp, which is absolutely something to keep an eye on.
I would walk 500 Miles
We all know Miles Sanders has that home-run potential, he flashed it on numerous occasions last season. That hasn’t gone anywhere. The Penn State product turned on the after-burners on Saturday night to remind those who may be overlooking him just how dangerous he can be when he finds a hole.
Jake Elliott earned the praise of new special teams coach Michael Clay on Friday, but fans won’t be forgetting his disappointing 2020 campaign or his heavy cap-hit in a hurry. Going 4-6 on field goals and missing from 33 isn’t exactly going to help matters.
Left tackle battle
Another day, another win for Jordan Mailata. It’s not that Andre Dillard is playing particularly badly, as you’ll see from most writers who are attending practices and noting his efforts against Derek Barnett, but for him to win the starting tackle role, he has to be significantly better than the man who held down the spot in his absence last year. Right now, that doesn’t look like it’s going to be the case…but time will tell as both continue to rotate.
The Eagles will have a well-earned off-day tomorrow and will be back at the NovaCare Complex on Monday. Enjoy your weekend, Eagles fans!
Photo by George Walker/Icon Sportswire