The Philadelphia Eagles began week four of training camp looking to improve upon the inconsistencies in their loss to the Titans, upgrade the roster, and get some veterans back on the field. The team took on Jacksonville, prepared for joint practices against the Ravens, and added some much-needed depth at several positions.
• The players took the field last week with an added incentive. Each practice draws the team closer to its Week 1 match-up against Washington. The heat made the war in the trenches intense and the competition level was raised.
• Doug Pederson spoke about the team’s progression through the game week and the comfortability of the young players leading to better production on the field.
• Miles Sanders and several young playmakers talked about life in the NFL, how the game has slowed down for them, and their play against Jacksonville.
Offensive Coordinator Mike Groh
And what about Josh’s progression makes you think he can step in there right away?
Mike Groh: Well, it’ll be a process of indoctrinating him into our system, but he has the luxury of a lot of experience and background in a bunch of different systems. He’s played in them all, so I’m sure he’ll be able to draw on that experience. He’s already invested a lot of time since he’s been here in trying to learn our language and the way we call things. Obviously, there’s a rhythm and a cadence that’s different to every system and every offense, so he’s trying to acclimate himself to that, and I know that he’ll do that as quickly as possible.
Defensive Coordinator Jim Schwartz
I wanted to ask you about DE Daeshon Hall, the camp he’s had, the preseason, your thoughts on how he’s played. (Paul Domowitch)
Jim Schwartz: He got to us midway through last year and he was in the transition of going from outside linebacker to 4-3 defensive end. He had been asked to lose weight in Houston, but he was gaining weight here, so he was a little bit of a work in progress there. But he’s come back, had a really good spring and he’s stacked a good training camp on top of that. He has good speed, he’s long, he fits our stuff that way, and he’s really been tough. He plays physical football for us and that’s what we are looking for.
• The Eagles have already begun joint practices with the Baltimore Ravens. The connection between Wentz and Jeffrey still remains strong.
Carson Wentz just threw his best pass of the day. A deep ball to Alshon Jeffery up the seam over Earl Thomas, about 40 yards. #Eagles
— Dave Zangaro (@DZangaroNBCS) August 19, 2019
• Stefan Wisniewski has struggled through two preseason games with snapping the ball with consistency. During last week’s practices and during Thursday night’s contest, Nate Herbig took over backup duties for him. The rookie guard has never played center collegiately but was able to supplant Wis.
• Andre Dillard may have been the talk of recent discussions when it comes to practice haymakers but his play has been outstanding. Of the 35 rookie offensive linemen who have lined up this preseason for 40-plus pass-blocking snaps, Dillard is one of three that hasn’t allowed a QB pressure. Of Dillard’s 50 pass-blocking matchups, Dillard has only once been credited with a “loss”.
• Nigel Bradham, Hassan Ridgeway, and Ronald Darby both increased their snaps in practice. Fletcher Cox remains sidelined but has had no setbacks. Brandon Brooks was tested last week to see if he could ramp up team drills. The team determined that the Pro Bowl guard should remain in the same protocol. He will be tested again this week.
• With the return of Ronald Darby, both Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas have split time opposite the veteran cornerback. Avonte Maddox remains the primary slot cornerback.
• Jordan Mailata, Daeshon Hall, Miles Sanders, and Boston Scott all impressed last week during game action. Scott ended with 17 snaps – seven carries for 43 yards and a touchdown. Clayton Thorson, or “Thor” as some beat writers are calling him, finished the game 16 for 26, for 175 yards, with one touchdown, and one pick. The legend continues:
The Eagles QB right now: Clayton Thorson
— René Bugner (Rainbowcave) (@RNBWCV) August 15, 2019
• With Nate Sudfeld benched via injury and Cody Kessler in concussion protocol, the Eagles added a veteran backup last week. Josh McCown signed a one-year deal with the franchise. Kessler returned to the practice field on Monday. It’s anybody’s guess as to who will be the backup QB when the season starts.
• The NFL and NFLPA have been in CBA negotiations for several weeks. One reported conversation circling the talks is the shortening of the preseason and the addition of two playoff teams. The essentialness of the preseason becomes a topic of conversation each offseason. Eagles WR Alshon Jeffrey was asked his thoughts:
I asked Alshon Jeffery if he needs some work with Carson Wentz in preseason games?
“I’m ready for the regular season”
Are the joint practices beneficial?
“There’s no scoreboard. This s*** can’t get you in the playoffs”
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) August 19, 2019
• The Eagles signed former Army tackle Brett Toth, DT Aziz Shittu, and former Ohio State LB Chris Worley. Veteran LB Paul Worrilow, CB Jay Liggins, WR Braxton Miller, and S Blake Countess were all released from the team last week.
Bonus Points: The Best Player Interactions of the Week
• Eagles RG Brandon Brooks birthday was Monday, August 19. The team wished the offensive line stud a happy birthday in the Philly way, cheesecake.
Shout out to my dog Jason Peters having the kitchen whip this up on my b-day 😂😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/8dJHvm74eM
— Brandon Brooks (@bbrooks_79) August 19, 2019
• The guys on FS1’s First Things First debated Carson Wentz’s ceiling. If Carson remains healthy for a 10-year span, where would you rank him?