Hot hot humid day but the select hitting and tackling drills had to begin now. So far the casualties have been minimal for the Eagles. 90 miles down the road it’s a different story as Ravens training camp needs to bring in body bags to handle the casualties.
- Offensive lineman Josh Andrews didn’t practice due to a hand injury.
- Running back LeGarrette Blount was excused from practice for personal reasons.
- Quarterback Nick Foles remains out with elbow soreness.
- Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery was sidelined with a shoulder injury.
- Defensive end Alex McCalister didn’t suit up due to a hamstring injury.
- Running back Donnel Pumphrey missed practice with a hamstring injury.
- Defensive tackle Elijah Qualls has been battling a groin injury.
- Wide receiver Torrey Smith battled back spasms, and could not practice.
And of course as we already know, the undrafted rookie cornerback Randall Goforth is out for the year with an ACL injury. To take Goforth’s place on the 90-man roster, the Eagles signed Tay Glover-Wright on Monday. The 6-0, 180-pound cornerback previously spent time with the Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, and Indianapolis Colts. He played in two games for the Colts in the 2015 season.
After playing quarterback and wide receiver at the junior college level, he transferred to Utah State and was moved to cornerback. He started 10 games as a senior in 2013 and was signed by Atlanta as a rookie free agent following the 2014 draft. He landed on Green Bay’s practice squad in October of his first season. He spent 2015 Training Camp with the Packers, but was released and went to the Colts’ practice squad. He was promoted to the active roster at the end of the season and played in regular-season games against Houston and Tennessee. He began 2016 on the Colts’ practice squad, but was waived and is now an Eagle. One thing to note—he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.36 seconds at his Pro Day.
But Glover-Wright is probably not the answer to count upon at cornerback depth come Fall.
“Mr. Simpson” chimed in from the fan gallery at PE.com:
“I don’t know Glover-Wright, but it doesn’t sound like he’s the Eagles’ best solution at starting CB. I’m concerned that Robinson isn’t playing all that well in practice right now. Nor is Rasul Douglas ready to start either, by some reports. The pre-season games will better clarify the situation, of course, but right now, it looks like CB remains the Eagles one glaring weakness (even if Mills comes through ). The reports on Grymes & Brooks make it sound like they’re ready to get the job done in the slot, but the other CBs are still a big question mark. Is coach Pederson brave enough to start C.J. Smith? It may be the right move, but I doubt he sees Smith as experienced enough to be a starter. Smith also didn’t come to the Eagles as a high profile player, and that may mean more than it probably should. Therefore, the Eagles most likely need to make a move here–sooner rather than later–to get more help at CB, & hopefully, a real starter. How about acquiring Kyle Fuller from the Bears? or perhaps trading one of our WRs to the Chargers, who need another WR with the season ending injury to Mike Williams? If the Eagles don’t make a move soon, I hate to say it, but eventually the best option left on the table will be to re-sign Leodis McKelvin, who may at least be a better CB than Robinson or Mills.”
Anyway, as “Mr. Simpson” says, cornerback is where you want to keep a critical EYE upon this summer.
Some select practice notes from August 1 from the PE.com media observers:
“Rookie receiver Mack Hollins flashed as well on the outside, catching a deep dig route from quarterback Matt McGloin over the middle of the field where he had to reach out his hands and fully maximize his length, coming away with a tough grab away from his body. Hollins came away with a fade ball down the left sideline during 7-on-7 drills as well.” – Fran Duffy
“Hollins sported gloves for the first time at Training Camp, noting “the knuckles get a little messed up” when the pads go on for live hitting.” – Chris McPherson
“In a half-field passing drill, safety Jaylen Watkins perfectly defended a wheel route from running back/wide receiver Byron Marshall before earning a physical pass breakup on a crossing route from tight end Zach Ertz. As a blitzer, Watkins beat Adam Zaruba with a quick swim move inside on his way to the quarterback. Watkins picked off Wentz in the first live period of the day (on a pass intended for Ertz in the middle of the field).” – Fran Duffy
“For safety Terrence Brooks, he stood out as a blitzer in one-on-one drills, beating tight end Trey Burton with an inside move where he collapsed on Burton’s inside shoulder. Later in the drill, Brooks dropped back in coverage against Brent Celek and made a clean pass breakup on a curl route, getting the ball on the ground. In team sessions, he obliterated Wendell Smallwood on a screen play down the right sideline and got a diving pass breakup against Zach Ertz in the same area of the field (earning a roar of praise from his teammates).” – Fran Duffy
“ In 9-on-7 action, Wendell Smallwood stepped in as the starter for LeGarrette Blount, and cut back against the grain on the first play for a long run. Defensive tackle Tim Jernigan exploded into the backfield on the play, forcing Smallwood to cut back sooner than he would have wanted, but it was a great run by the second-year back. The next run went to the right side, but it was blocked up perfectly this time by the offensive line as Smallwood was left with just Watkins in the flat to make the stop.
“The second-team offensive line got great push on a couple of long runs, while on another play the entire second unit on the defensive line drew praise from position coach Chris Wilson, who let them know that their get-off on that particular rep was “big time.” Derek Barnett also made a great hustle play, chasing running back Corey Clement down 35-40 yards downfield on one long run.” – Fran Duffy
“In the first live period of the day, the Eagles’ offense would strike first with a swing screen to Smallwood down the right sideline. The down-the-field blocker for Smallwood was none other than Jason Kelce, who looked like the rare athlete that he is at the center spot as he released down the right sideline and helped escort the ball carrier for what seemed like a 30-plus-yard gain. On the first play of the second live period, the same two players were involved, with Smallwood taking a handoff and sprinting down the left sideline. Kelce was used as a puller on that play and he melted Rasul Douglas in the flat to help spring Smallwood. It should be noted that Douglas, who has consistently battled through his worst plays and responded with a strong rep, came up with an interception against Wentz on the very next play where he cut off a pass intended for Johnson.” – Fran Duffy
“The real star for me in the live periods, however, was Tim Jernigan. He made a huge stop where he split a double team in the first series, but he saved his best for the last period of the day. On the third snap for the first-team defense, Jernigan defeated a block and made a stop of Marshall at the line of scrimmage, screaming, “Let’s go,” with excitement as he got off the ground. Two plays later, he once again split a double team and worked himself free to make a play in the run game. On the next rep after that, the offense ran his way and he again engulfed the running back and threw him to the ground at the line. Jernigan has proven to be one of the toughest to block in pass protection drills, and when the team went live he was outstanding against the run.” – Fran Duffy