Agholor’s ‘Walk-Off’ TD Highlights Physical Practice
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - After nearly three hours practicing in the oppressive August heat of South Philadelphia, resurgent Eagles receiver Nelson Agholor ended practice in walk-off fashion for the team's offense, jetting by rookie cornerback Rasul Douglas on a go route down the left sideline and catching a bomb from Carson Wentz for the touchdown.
The crowd assembled erupted but Agholor and Co. had more in store for the fans as the embattled third-year receiver waited for his teammates to assemble like bowling pins. He then rolled the football and everyone hit the ground. It was a strike and the kind of choreographed celebration that the NFL will allow in the 2007 season.
For the offense, it left everyone on an upbeat note as Doug Pederson ended practice after the big play.
"You feel great," Agholor admitted after practice. "You work hard for that and your number is called and you do your job. That's what this is all about."
After two poor seasons to start his NFL career Agholor has carried over a strong spring into the summer.
"I think the things that impressed me with Nelson are two things," offensive coordinator Frank Reich said. "One, the number of big plays he's making. Two, the consistency in which he's making them. Not only making the big plays, but the consistency of which he's doing everything: his route running, ball catching. He's just at a good spot right now."
Thursday's practice was the second this week to feature live periods and there was a little testiness in the air as the pads started to pop.
Running back Wendell Smallwood, getting a lot of looks with the starters as LeGarrette Blount sat out a third straight day due to a family matter, embraced the physicality and came alive with a punishing running style.
"Live periods are big for running backs," Smallwood admitted. "it's where we get to show what we can so by bouncing off tackles."
Defensively, tackles Fletcher Cox and Tim Jernigan continued their impressive play on the interior while Jordan Hicks returned to team drills for the first time since breaking his pinkie during his Honeymoon in Greece.
Along with Blount, receiver Alshon Jeffery sat out for a third consecutive day with a shoulder injury and Mychal Kendricks was new to the injury report with a quad problem.
Najee Goode, who has been running with the first team for Hicks at MLB instead stayed in on the weak-side to replace Kendricks. Rookie fifth-round pick Nathan Gerry also got a few reps with the starters for the first time in Kendricks' absence.
DAY 10 NovaCare Notes:
-Also, missing practice was WR Paul Turner (shoulder), RB Donnel Pumphrey (hamstring), QB Nick Foles (elbow) and OL Josh Andrews (hand). DT Elijah Qualls (groin) and DE Alex McCalister (hamstring) were back on the field for some work.
-Nigel Bradham showed his acumen as a nickel linebacker when Matt McGloin seemingly had Trey Burton in stride on a seam route for a TD before Bradham expertly stepped in during the last moment for a PBU.
-Back up left tackle Dillon Gordon got a few looks at fullback in red-zone work and the former college TE even got targeted as a receiver in some group install work.
-Also in the group-install period was the halfback option in which Darren Sproles throws to Trey Burton.
-Reserve MLB Steven Daniels was pretty good in run support today.
-In pass-rushing drills undrafted free agent Victor Salako often held his own against first-round pick Derek Barnett.
-The most intriguing matchup in those pass-rushing drills was a stalemate between Fletcher Cox and Lane Johnson, two of the top five players on this team.
-CB Aaron Grymes and WR Jordan Matthews got into a little back and forth late in practice.
-Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz sent safety Terrence Brooks off the practice field after a questionable hit against RB Corey Clement.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen