Eagles TC Day 10: ‘Summer of Sudfeld’ is Underway
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - With the Eagles scaling it back with the rehabbing Carson Wentz and Nick Foles dealing with some "upper body soreness," Philadelphia's third-string signal caller, Nate Sudfeld, was the QB1 for the team's second consecutive practice session.
And that's likely to continue right through Thursday's preseason opener with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
After leading the Eagles' in team drills in front of 40,000-plus at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday, Sudfeld was back at it in the oppressive heat at the NovaCare Complex 12 hours later. Monday's practice was a 10/10/10 session with each unit working on their execution against scripted looks.
Sudfeld had his ups and downs at the Linc but has enjoyed the extra reps with the first team and the presumption that he is going to see a lot of playing time in August, as the Eagles keep the bubble wrap on Wentz and likely Foles.
"It's football. It's awesome," Sudfeld said when asked about working with the first team. "It's just getting used to personnel, getting used to personality. Keys in the huddle, things like that but it's been a lot of fun and you always want to keep improving so I've enjoyed getting a ton of reps with basically every player on our offense."
Sudfeld typically doesn't get a ton of work, however, with the top offensive linemen or playmakers and points to chemistry as the main difference.
"There is some difference because those guys have played together for a long time," Sudfeld said. "They got a lot of chemistry. The twos and the threes have a lot of talent as well they just haven't played together as much before. So yeah it's definitely a little bit different on each level but it's all valuable experience."
The next step is Mike Tomlin and the Steelers but everything remains in evaluation mode so it's not like Sudfeld will have a chance to game plan with the starters.
"The tough thing about Preseason 1 is we don't spend time game-planning for them so they if bring some exotic pressures, we won't be prepared for them but it will be good to see where my instincts go," Sudfeld explained. "What comes to my brain. How I get rid of the ball. How I protect myself, put the ball in the playmakers' hands so I mean it's all going to be valuable experience."
DAY 10 NEWS AND NOTES
-Pro Bowl Zach Ertz has missed three consecutive practices but nothing serious is going on. Any tweak this time of year and you are going to be extra cautious.
-Mike Wallace left Sunday's practice early and was again sitting on Monday with what the receiver said is tendinitis. Tight end Richard Rodgers also remains out with an upper-body injury and receiver Markus Wheaton was also given a day off. Shelton Gibson, meanwhile, was back practicing after passing through the concussion protocol.
-Jim Schwartz praised the play of starting cornerbacks Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby throughout training camp. Meanwhile, De'Vante Bausby was back at the first-team nickel back with Sidney Jones working with the second-team at left corner. With Corey Graham back, Schwartz also unveiled his big-nickel package with Malcolm Jenkins sliding down into the slot.
-The play of the day was a brilliant fade from South Jersey native Joe Callahan to Kamar Aiken in the back left corner on end zone for a touchdown. Rookie Avonte Maddox was in coverage as Aiken toe-tapped in bounds and ended up deep into the assembled fans after scoring.
-Sudfeld's best throw was a bullet in a tight window to Joshua Perkins for a TD. Perkins has stood out among the second group of TEs behind Ertz, Dallas Goedert and Rodgers.
-Second-year man Nate Gerry continues to get the most looks at weakside linebacker with the first team.
-In tragic news former Eagles GM Tom Heckert passed away at 51. Heckert was recently diagnosed with amyloidosis, a rare disease in which amyloid proteins build up in your organs. He was with the Eagles from 2001-2010 and was the team's general manager from 2006-10.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen