Eagles Training Camp: Kelly Green Leaks, Quez Watkins Wows on Military Appreciation Day

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Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Quez Watkins (16) carries the ball against Washington Commanders safety Bobby McCain (20) during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Nov. 14, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The Philadelphia Eagles were dealing with a leak ahead of the third practice of training camp. A fan somehow got a hold of their unreleased kelly green uniform designs and set them free. The team’s marketing plan was put into a tailspin, although the reaction to the throwbacks was overwhelmingly positive. The Eagles will officially put them on sale on July 31 at 9 a.m.

Head coach Nick Sirianni told reporters he was looking forward to outfitting his family in Kelly green, then purposely stopped himself before he unintentionally revealed the dates the Eagles would be wearing them in a regular-season game. He wasn’t going to be the one to ruin the rollout on the biggest off-the-field story of the summer.

“I think they look pretty cool. I look forward to … I won’t do it [reveal the dates], but my wife will buy my kids jerseys, and I’m sure that they’ll have Kelly green ones when they have an opportunity to buy them,” Sirianni said. “I think they look cool. I think the one Eagles jersey I have is a Mike Quick jersey that just so happens to be Kelly Green, I think they’re cool. Yeah, I’m excited that the fans are able to get those.”

Eagles Training Camp, Day 3 Practice Notes

Injury Report: Let’s start with the walking wounded: Haason Reddick (groin), Avonte Maddox (toe), Derek Barnett (knee) were all listed as limited participants on Sunday. It was good to see Reddick’s smiling face for the first time at camp as he stretched with his teammates and worked out on a side field. Reddick was relegated to individual work, with no updated timetable. “He has been getting better,” head coach Nick Sirianni said. “We know how much he changes a game when he is in there.”

Sultan of the Slot

Olamide Zaccheaus and Quez Watkins both dropped passes while going through receiver drills in the individual period of practice. Chalk it up as nervous jitters. Watkins put on a show once the whistle started blowing to signal the start of 11-on-11 work. He made a circus catch in traffic on the fourth play of the first series, on a perfectly placed lob throw from Jalen Hurts, to move the chains. Later, Watkins leaped out of his cleats to make a ridiculous contested catch where he snatched the ball away from Zech McPhearson and toed the sideline. Interestingly, Zaccheaus was working with the first-team unit on kickoff coverage.

Right Guard Static

Cam Jurgens took the first-team reps at right guard for a third straight practice, with Tyler Steen still waiting for an opportunity to rotate in. He may have to wait for the pads to come on to show what he can do, according to Sirianni. The head coach wouldn’t provide a date for when padded practices start. Nick Sirianni said: “Nothing is in stone, and we’ll just keep working to make sure that we put the right five guys out there when we go.”

Chemistry Lessons with the Eagles

D’Andre Swift made arguably the best play of camp when he lined up outside and streaked down the far sideline. Jalen Hurts threaded the needle, in between Nicholas Morrow and Terrell Edmunds, and dropped the ball in the bucket. The pass was a bowler’s strike and Swift easily secured it before falling to the ground. Later, Hurts and Swift showed off their budding chemistry as the quarterback called an audible at the line and signaled at Swift who transitioned to decoy on the play. Hurts took the snap and ran for a big gainer up the gut. (Safe to say that the fourth-year quarterback has full control of the offense, including checks at the line.)

Do the Eagles have a Rookie of the Year candidate?

Rookie linebacker Nolan Smith has been really fun to watch. Each rep feels like a birthday party, one where the guest of honor gets a toy car and lets it rip for the first time. The former Georgia standout filled in for Haason Reddick and received first-team snaps on defense, including a highlight-reel play where he exploded into the backfield and flushed Jalen Hurts out of the pocket. Hurts escaped the pressure, although there’s a good chance Smith would have recorded the sack in a real game.

Newly drafted Philadelphia Eagles’ Nolan Smith speaks during a news conference at the NFL football team’s training facility, Friday, April 28, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Stanford Pride

Standing tall in the pocket, with a strong and accurate arm to boot, Tanner McKee (6-foot-6, 230 pounds) looks every bit the part of an NFL quarterback. He was chucking darts during the individual period while hitting undrafted receivers Jadon Haselwood and Joseph Ngata on back-to-back deep balls. He also showed natural chemistry with tight ends Grant Calcaterra and Brady Russell. Not saying he’s going to beat out Marcus Mariota (see more below) for the backup job but the sixth-rounder out of Stanford has looked sharp. He appears to be ahead of Ian Book at this point.

Running Back by Committee

The Eagles have equally divided the first-team reps at running back as Nick Sirianni promised on the first day of camp. Boston Scott got the first tote on Sunday – actually, Jalen Hurts completed a dump-off pass to him – before giving way to D’Andre Swift, Kenny Gainwell, Rashaad Penny, and Trey Sermon. All five players devoured their touches, although Swift clearly looks like the biggest playmaker in the passing game.

Marcus Mariota

Being the star of a Netflix show doesn’t guarantee you a roster spot. Marcus Mariota had an up-and-down day at Sunday’s practice which was headlined by a great toss to Tyrie Cleveland during the 11-on-11 period. That was the good. The bad? Mariota was intercepted by James Bradberry on a head-scratching throw. No receiver was in the vicinity.

Military Appreciation Day

The Eagles honored retired and active service members on July 30 with a full day of tributes, including a special jersey swap with players after practice. All five branches of the military were represented and encouraged to line up for high-fives and autographs. (Spoiler alert: Jason Kelce and Jordan Mailata stole the show there). The Eagles also honored the non-profit TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) as their community group of the day. Afterward, alumni Hugh Douglas (Team Green) and Barrett Brooks (Team White) coached active service members in a competitive game of flag football.

AP Photo/Matt Rourke