Eagles

Eagles Training Camp: Highlights from Week 1

Training Camp for the 2019  Philadelphia Eagles began last week. The full roster reported for duty as the excitement of the upcoming season took over South Philadelphia. There were three days of action which concluded in a padded session on Saturday.  Here’s a rundown on all the wars in the trenches, catches, pass breakups, and celebrations coming of Eagles Camp 2019. 

Practice Highlights 

• Get a full glimpse of the drills and passing sessions during training camp this week. The sun was shining bright as Wentz, Ertz, Peters, Jenkins, Graham, and company took the field.

For the full-length video, click here

Press Pass 

• Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz talked to the media after the first session in training camp. Carson revealed his new diet, expectations for the season, and more. Coach Pederson talked about the talent on the roster, players coming back from injury, and outside pressures.

Key Quote 

Image result for Doug Pederson

(Philadelphia Eagles)

Q: As a coach, how do expectations change things for you? You’ve been on both sides of the coin where you go into a season, where maybe Super Bowl or bust isn’t legitimate, and you’ve gone into a season where it is. Does it change for you or not?

Doug Pederson: I try not to let it bother me, as well. I try to block it out. I have to go out here and do my job, coach, stay aggressive, and push these guys. Push them to their limit. At the same time, I have to listen to the guys, listen to the team, and understand the deeper we get into training camp, if I have to pull back, I’ll pull back.

Nothing is going to change from my standpoint. I have to maintain my aggressiveness with the team not only during games, but also here in practice to push and compete and make it as hard as possible out here so that games can become somewhat a little bit easier from the standpoint of that.

• Jim Schwartz touched on the pass rush without impact players like Michael Bennett and Chris Long. He also talked about Josh Sweat’s growth, the cornerback rotation, and new additions to the defense.

Key Quote

Image result for jim schwartz

(Philadelphia Eagles)

Your pass-rush group overall is way different than what you had last year on the defensive line. How do you see it? Is it better, is it not as good? Do you have a lot to prove there?

Jim Schwartz: I say it all the time to our players: the defensive line is the engine that runs this defense. Those guys embrace that. They know they have to set the tempo for our team being physical, swarm around the quarterback, chase the ball, all those different things.

But I think every team is a little bit different. I don’t necessarily view one as better than the other. Everybody has a little different strengths and weaknesses. It’s great to have Timmy [DT Tim Jernigan] back. That was one of the guys, that was the first question last year, when is he going to get back on the field. It was a tough time for him last year. Starting from the very first play yesterday, you felt his presence on the field.

[DT] Malik [Jackson], it took Malik half a minute to understand what we were doing on defense. He’s a tough out. He’s so long and big in there. He’s a really good pass-rusher in there.

You get a guy like Fletch [DT Fletcher Cox] and [DE] Derek Barnett back. A healthy BG [DE Brandon Graham], he wasn’t practicing this time last year.

• Offensive coordinator Mike Groh spoke outlined the new challenge of getting the ball to such a talented skill position group.

Key Quote

Image result for jim schwartz

(Philadelphia Eagles)

What’s the plan for T Vaitai Halapoulivaati this summer?

Mike Groh: He’s our right guard right now. We’re trying to prepare him that way. We’re obviously managing [G] Brandon [Brooks] through his injury, just trying to prepare to get ready to play in that first pre-season game.

Also building depth. As you know, as you go through the course of a 16-week season, you’re not always playing with the same 11 every week. We’re trying to do two things, kill two birds with one stone.

Practice Notes 

(Philadelphia Eagles)

 

Miles Sanders return to the practice field was a productive one. He ripped off a nice run in his first practice. The allure ran off a little later in the week when he had his official “Welcome to the NFL” moment. The rookie running back was clotheslined by Vinny Curry. It was good to see him back out there after an injury-riddled spring.

Carson Wentz is really good. The third-year and newly extended quarterback was electric on the field on both Thursday and Saturday. Friday was an up-and-down adventure for the former Pro Bowler. Overall, Wentz has come into training camp sharp and ready to lead the team.  

• Several reporters noted that Wentz and DeSean Jackson have been joined at the hip during practice. The duo worked after practice every day to get their timing down and build synchronicity on the field. It’s been paying off in practice.

The defense had several highlights each day. Anderson Sendejo has been active throughout camp. With the injuries to Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills, Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglass have taken over the starting cornerback positions. Avonte Maddox has moved inside and outside during different periods. Sidney has been very active each day. He even won a few battles against Jackson. It seems like a resurgent time for the former top prospect.

Kamu Grugier-Hill has taken advantage of being the mainstay in the linebacker room. Nigel Bradham remains sidelined with an injury. Kamu picked off Wentz last week and was making plays during the team period.

The Josh Sweat hype train is either one created out of need or hope. Regardless, the second-year pro stated he gained 20 pounds of muscle and feels great physically. This week he was going up against Andre Dillard often in one-on-ones. Dillard held his own for the first matchup. Sweat ultimately got the better of him in round two. After practice on Friday, Lane Johnson exclaimed  “Gonna be big f****** things from him this year,” in reference to Sweat.

Vinny Curry is still bringing all of the energy:

News 

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

• Carson Wentz’s Diet: Several reporters and fans have noted that Carson Wentz looks leaner. Wentz spoke about his focus on his health and diet in the offseason:

“I can’t promise that nothing is going to happen this year, next year, whatever. This is football. But I can set myself up for success. Whether it’s avoiding big injuries, but just on a daily basis feeling better. Body feeling stronger. Feeling mentally better, too, at the same time. Just finding the right training regimen and rehabilitation regimen was a big part of it. For me, that was like one of the hardest things that I’ve ever had to do. I Couldn’t eat steak, eat a burger, those kinds of things. And then you slowly introduce some of those things back. It’s about portion-controlling it and not overdoing it within the diet. I think it’s helped me to just feel physically better and have more energy in things.

I’ve been to a few vegan restaurants now and every time I do I feel very weird. I literally have an outdoor show where we hunt and we eat. I feel weird like I’m almost leaving my man card at the door, but there is some great vegan food. We’ve eaten some and I do enjoy it. But no, meat is still very much in the diet.”

• New Hire: It’s been reported that the Philadelphia Eagles have hired CFL exec, Catherine Raiche. Raiche will reportedly serve as the football operations coordinator. Prior to joining the XFL’s Tampa Bay franchise, Raiche served in multiple roles for the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts and Montreal Alouettes

• Cre’Von LeBlanc: The Eagles averted disaster last week with the injury to Cre’Von LeBlanc. He was sen in a walking boot last week and many speculated on the depth of his injury. The team confirmed that the young and talented slot is dealing with a foot sprain. Leblanc will be “out several weeks”.  If you recall, Jalen Mills has a foot sprain that ended his 2018 season. He’s currently on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list. The timetable is something to watch with both athletes heading into the season.

•Orlando Scandrick: To add depth to the position, the Eagles signed former Dallas Cowboy and Kansas City Cheif Orlando Scandrick. Scandrick will wear #45.

• Open Practice Commentary: Eagles president Don Smolenski was on the radio last week and he defended the lack of open practices this year. He touched on attendance as a cause, “What we found was, last year…only 2,500 people actually came to both [open practices]. We can do this in one practice and we can schedule the time.” Smolenski also added that the team must also compromise with the neighbors. The field will also be used for concerts, other sporting events, and more.

Bonus Points: The Best Player Interactions of the Week

(Photo by Tim Tai)

•  Rookie Showcase: The Eagles rookie showcase was Saturday night. Miles Sanders, Andre Dillard, and plenty other stunk up the joint. Rookie J.J. Arcega-Whiteside was the crowd-pleaser.

• Lowry in the Nest: NBA Champion, All-Star, and Philly native Kyle Lowry was at practice this weekend. Lowry had this to say, “The team is looking unbelievably great right now. Carson Wentz over there signing autographs … I appreciate the hospitality. We’re trying to go win a championship here this year. Let’s go out there and Fly, Eagles, Fly!”

• Skip Bayless’ Wentz Obsession: The Eagles were featured on FS1 Network’s Undisputed a few times last week. The team was rated above the Dallas Cowboys in several power rankings and Carson Wentz was rated as a higher caliber QB than Dak Prescott. These facts made Eagles-hater and Cowboy truther Skip Bayless lose his mind.


You can follow Candis McLean on Twitter (@CandisRMcLean) and e-mail her at candis.mclean@gmail.com.

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