Eagles training camp practice notes: Defense wins day as offense struggles

Today marked the sixth practice of Philadelphia Eagles training camp ahead of the 2022 NFL season. Here is what I observed at the NovaCare Complex. NOTE: Stay tuned for today’s BGN Radio Practice Recap Podcast which will be posted here once the episode is live.

• Man, it was hot today with temperatures approaching 100 degrees. Or at least it was like that.

• It’s clear: no one can reasonably claim that today was a stock performance for Hurts. The attack did not play well.

Hurts is not solely responsible for the struggles. To be fair to him, he was down on his two best left tackle options and was missing one of his best wide receivers.

But quarterbacks aren’t always surrounded by the perfect situation. Sometimes it’s up to them to do more with less and overcome such adversity. Hurts fell short on Thursday morning.

Let us recap his practice according to the different periods in which he was involved.

1 of 1: Hurts threw a ball to Quez Watkins on a slot fade, but it was knocked down and nearly recovered by Avonte Maddox until Watkins played defense to burst it. Hurts threw a fade pass into the left back corner of the end zone that didn’t give Watkins a chance to catch it in bounds. Hurts came back and corrected his mistake with a fade pass into the back right corner of the end zone to find John Hightower.

11 against 11: Hurts held the ball for a long time in his first two reps. He probably would have been sacked on one of them, if not both. And he didn’t even manage to complete a pass despite the advantage of having extra time to throw. Hurts’ third throw was a four-yard completion for Dallas Goedert. Three and out.

7 against 7: Hurts had a good ball in the middle (!) for a sliding AJ Brown in a tight window. The pass was thrown a bit back, but it could have been intended to give Brown a chance to play while keeping the ball away from the defence. Hurts again found Brown in midfield but this time in the back of the end zone for a score. It was the good games that stood out. Bad games include two reps where Hurts didn’t see anything he liked and started running. Not good when a QB has to use his legs in a 7-on-7 drill. Hurts also came close to being picked by a diving TJ Edwards, but referees in practice ruled him incomplete. Close one.

11 against 11: Hurts had a good zip on a quick pass to Goedert in the middle.

Red zone 11 against 11: Hurts sent the ball fast to Brown down an incline to beat Darius Slay for a score.

Critical time 11 against 11: Hurts connected to Brown on an out route to allow the receiver out of bounds for a 5-yard gain with 1:11 left on the clock. On second down, Kenneth Gainwell dropped a short pass down the middle with defenders close by. On third down, Javon Hargrave might have had a sack on Hurts in a real game, but the quarterback ran away to the sideline for a short gain. On fourth down, Hurts held the ball for a long time to the point where Josh Sweat stopped rushing it and just watched as the quarterback threw the high target/off target to the left sideline. Hurts had another pass through the middle knocked down by Edwards.

After practice, I asked several members of the media if they thought Hurts was stock, stock or stock. Everyone agreed that the stock was not an option. Some were between par and down…although even one of Hurts’ biggest supporters thought it was a clear down. After going through my notes, the bad outweighed the good. Too many times he held the ball forever. It’s kind of a feast or famine in that respect, with the ball either coming out very fast or taking all day to throw.

Falling stock.

JALEN HURTS STOCK TRACKING OVERVIEW:

Day 1 : Same stock

Day 2: Out of stock

Day 3: Out of stock

Day 4: Same stock

Day 5: Store

Day 6: Out of stock

EAGLE INJURY REPORT: The Eagles have added some notable names to their injury report.

DID NOT PRACTICE: DeVonta Smith (groin), Jordan Mailata (concussion), Andre Dillard (concussion), Greg Ward (toe), Grant Calcaterra (hamstring), Mac McCain (knee).

Smith returned to practice Tuesday after getting hit, but was absent today. The Eagles describe Smith as “hands-on.”

Mailata and Dillard are out until they can go through the NFL’s mandatory concussion protocol. Their absences left Le’Raven Clark as the Eagles first team left the tackle.

Ward, Calcaterra, and McCain are all bubble players who need to regain health quickly in order to properly fight for roster spots.

LIMITED PARTICIPATION: Zach Pascal (illness).

Pascal trained for the first time since the opening of the camp. He didn’t participate in team drills, but he did participate in 1v1s.

Quez Watkins was going full throttle today after leaving Tuesday’s practice early due to illness.

Boston Scott was on the ground for a while after taking a big pop from Marcus Epps, but was able to get away on his own.

Richard Rodgers was activated from the active/PUP roster on Wednesday night. Tighter final depth for practice, at the very least.

Tarron Jackson appeared to get pricked in the eye during one rep. We’ll see if he’s missing at any time.

JJ Arcega-Whiteside and Deon Cain both picked up injuries in practice and didn’t return.

• Although Hurts often held the ball too long (there is plenty of evidence that he did the same with the longest average throwing time over the last two seasons), let’s also give some credit to the defense. The cover didn’t make her life super easy. And the pass didn’t rush either, which didn’t struggle to make life difficult for him. The Eagles’ pass rush was too ineffective last year; It’s nice to see an improvement this summer.

• TJ Edwards is having a great summer. One of his two pass breakups was almost an interception. Edwards also did a good job diagnosing a short throw to Goedert to stop the offense for a 2-yard gain on a home run streak. Some thought Edwards could head to the bench with the Eagles signing Kyzir White and bringing in Nakobe Dean. It doesn’t happen. Edwards is the best linebacker on the team.

• Speaking of Dean, still waiting for a flash through six practices.

• Gainwell’s fall towards the end of practice was bad. But he had a nice 1-on-1 over-the-shoulder hold. He also broke up a good run in the middle for about 10 yards. And he’s been given a goal line that goes up in the belly with the team’s first touchdown offense.

• AJ Brown has feasted on Darius Slay this summer. Brown faked a road to the outside with his release during a 1-on-1 rep before quickly cutting inside and scoring a touchdown on an incline. Brown has been an oblique machine.

• Kary Vincent Jr. was flagged for defensive pass interference on Devon Allen 1v1. KVJ was also beaten by Covey on an angled route for a Reid Sinnett touchdown during red zone practice.

• Not a bad day for Covey. In addition to the aforementioned touchdown, he got another score after driving an out road to open up against Josiah Scott in the 11-on-11 red zone.

• Today was probably Gardner Minshew’s best camp practice. He was more solid than sensational. Minshew was Covey’s 1-on-1 touchdown thrower; he zipped the ball right past Scott. Minshew connected with Noah Togiai on a fade route with Jaquiski Tartt trailing. Minshew knocked down Zach Pascal badly on a 1-on-1 rep.

• Been a pretty quiet camp for veteran safeties Tartt and Anthony Harris.

• Brandon Graham continues to look good. He stopped Minshew from getting a pass by reaching the quarterback.

• Haason Reddick was able to tackle Miles Sanders for a loss or no win on a play where the Hurts option threw to his running back. The same could be said for an option pitch on the other side of the field (left) with Davion Taylor ready to wrap up Boston Scott.

• There was a day earlier at camp where Quez Watkins cut Avonte Maddox 1v1. Today it was Maddox who got the best of that battle with a close pick and a breakup. Really tacky Eagles slot corner cover.

• Devon Allen dropped a 1v1 pass. His hands have been a problem this summer.

• Jalen Reagor beat James Bradberry 1-1. Later in practice he got yelled at by Nick Sirianni during a rep where they were a ‘sack’ of coverage.

• Reid Sinnett delivered a good shot to Jaedan Graham in the middle of the end zone. Will be interested to see what Sinnett can do in pre-season as there will be a lot of snaps. He will have a chance to defend the interests of the Eagles by guarding three quarterbacks.

• Carson Strong isn’t seriously pushing for a roster spot yet. He threw a double cover duck and was lucky it didn’t get taken out.

• Reed Blankenship continues to stand out among the third strings. Doing good things in coverage and race support. He will at least be in the practice squad.

• Camp scenes: ball safety drill.

• Today in Jimmy Kempski’s daily training camp interview series for Radio BGN: Fran Duffy.

• It was an honor to meet the one and only Hoagi Dom to practice today. If you haven’t devoured one of his creations yet, you’re really missing out. Elite.

NEXT: No training on Friday due to a rest day for the players. The Eagles will be back in action on Saturday starting at 10:00 a.m. The team is holding its first and only practice open to the public at Lincoln Financial Field beginning at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday evening. [Click here for ticket information.]

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