Eagles vs Dolphins Joint Practice Preview: Tua and Hurts reunite in South Florida

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 08 CFP National Championship
ATLANTA, GA – JANUARY 08: Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (13) celebrates a touchdown with fellow teammate quarterback Jalen Hurts (2) during the College Football Playoff National Championship Game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Georgia Bulldogs on January 8, 2018 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA. The Alabama Crimson Tide won the game in overtime 26-23. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire)

There are just two more practices and one preseason game to go before the final cutdown. The Philadelphia Eagles are on the precipice of beginning their 2022 season in Detroit, but before that happens, joint practices with the Miami Dolphins await the franchise.

As always, joint practices are important because they offer a controlled setting to determine just how good players are in reps that aren’t in a game setting. More and more teams are using joint practices to make roster decisions.

For the Eagles, the team successfully “won” joint practices with the Cleveland Browns, but a very different challenge awaits in Miami. We have the key storylines you need to know in regards to the practices over the next couple of days right here.


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Tua vs. Hurts

The college quarterback battle of the century has now spilled over to the NFL. Tua and Hurts’ past have intertwined many times, with Tua helping Alabama win a National Championship after Hurts was benched at halftime, to the latter bailing out Tua in the SEC title game.

Alabama chose Tua over Hurts. The Dolphins chose Tua over Hurts. The Eagles and their quarterback now have a chance to prove the other teams wrong.

Both quarterbacks had an infusion of talent at the skill position over the offseason with Tyreek Hill going to Miami, and AJ Brown joining Philly.

It’s important to also remember that as good as a storyline to follow as this is, joint practices are not an indication of how well a team is expected to do throughout the season. If Tua looks better than Hurts, that doesn’t mean all is lost for the Eagles or vice versa.

Both the Dolphins’ defense and Eagles’ defense pose unique challenges to each quarterback that will only make them better.

Dolphins Skill Group vs. Eagles Secondary

An underrated storyline from joint practices with the Browns is that the Eagles secondary was torched for big plays on numerous occasions. This isn’t a fire-drill type of announcement, because James Bradberry is still recovering from an injury, and we don’t know which specific personnel group was in at each time.

But it’s still something to keep an eye on with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle now the opponents. Eagles corners reportedly came away as clear winners in 1v1 battles with the Browns, but the Browns don’t have the speed or technical skills that the Dolphins possess.

This will be a great test for the Eagles as they continue to grow and get ready for opening day. There aren’t a lot of speed threats that pose issues for the Eagles early in their 2022 schedule, but it would help prepare the safety group, and the corners, for fast, technical receivers like this.

Trenches

If there’s a position group that should dominate for Philadelphia, it’s the trenches. The Dolphins made considerable strides to improve their offensive line with the signing of Terron Armstead, and Connor Williams is an upgrade, but the Dolphin’s OL is nowhere near the talent level of the Eagle’s defensive front. 

Philadelphia should dominate the trenches battle, and I would argue it shouldn’t be very close. The combination of Jordan Mailata and Lane Johnson has been successful against Melvin Ingram and Emmanuel Ogbah.

The Christian Wilkins/Landon Dickerson battle will also be a fun one to watch.

Ultimately, the Dolphins are a team that heavily invested in their quarterback as the Eagles did with Hurts. While almost all reporters and analysts will be dissecting the play of both quarterbacks, the other 21 positions will also be very enticing to watch as the Eagles get ready to find out who will make the final 53-man roster.

Photo by Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire

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