No Joint Practices for Eagles This Year
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - There was some speculation that the first rematch of Super Bowl LII would take place on the practice field in Foxborough with joint practices between the Eagles and the New England Patriots leading up to their preseason game in August.
That was scuttled by Doug Pederson on Wednesday, however, when the coach confirmed that Philadelphia would not be holding any joint-practice sessions this summer.
"I don't think it's an every-year thing," Pederson explained. "I think last year it was great for us. It was a great change up for us to go against Miami. Sometimes it just doesn't work out. Teams are already booked. Teams are already full. Teams are doing other things. For us, it's just let's just get better as a team."
Pederson also mentioned that cornerback Sidney Jones is dealing with lower-body soreness not related to his Achilles' injury in March of last year.
"We are just resting him," the coach claimed.
Jones missed two on-field OTA practices last week and again watched from the sidelines as minicamp began on Tuesday. He was at his locker after practice, however, and confirmed he was dealing with some soreness to 973espn.com but didn't offer any specifics.
The Eagles' talented second-round pick from a year ago, Jones played in just the Week 17 finale during his rookie season. He will miss the rest of minicamp but he and the team expect that he will be a full-go by the time training camp begins in late July.
"We're taking precautions," Pederson said. "This is not the time that we're going to push anybody. We're not going to put anybody out there that is nicked up, banged up."
In Jones' absence, second-year CB De'Vante Bausby has caught the eye of the coaches and is getting most of the first-team nickel work with Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby handling things outside.
WEDNESDAY MINICAMP NOTES:
-Kickoffs are going to look very different this season after significant rule changes designed to take the high-speed collisions out the play and the Eagles worked a significant special-teams period working on the KOs with Mike Wallace and Nelson Agholor serving as the upbacks. Meanwhile, Corey Clement and Shelton Gibson were the main kickoff returners.
-Rookie defensive end Joe Ostman tweaked his right knee setting up to block during a special teams drill and was down for a few minutes as trainers did stability drills and Pederson went over to check on him. Ostman was able to return and finish the session. After practice, he called it a hyperextension when talking with 973espn.com and said it "hurt for about five minutes" before admitting he "dodged a bullet."
-Dallas Goedert continues to be a star in spring work, combining an impressive catching radius with rare athleticism for a 6-foot-5, 260-pound player.
"Just the athleticism right now that you see pops," Pederson said when discussing his rookie tight end. "He's getting a lot better in his detail of his routes. [Tight ends coach] Justin Peelle has done a really nice job with him coaching him up this spring. And watching [TE] Zach Ertz, too, he’s really benefitted from that."
-It was a bit of a big day for the defense in passing drills with second-year linebacker Nate Gerry and first-year corner D.J. Killings picking off Nick Foles while Rasul Douglas victimized Carson Wentz in 7-on-7 work.
-The offensive play of the day was a deep corner route in which speedy receiver Bryce Treggs laid out for a nice deep ball by Nate Sudfield.
-Among the defensive highlights were a pair of PBUs, one by Jalen Mills, who blanketed Mike Wallace on a deep Wentz throw down the sideline. Also, spring standout De'Vante Bausby added to his resume by becoming one of the few people who've been able to shadow Goedert.
-Wentz and rehabbing WR Alshon Jeffery played catch during one team-drills session and Jeffery, who is recovering from right shoulder surgery, showed a pretty impressive left arm until Wentz got about 25 or 30 yards away.
-Isaac Seumalo returned to team drills at center for a bit and also worked at right guard during some individual work.
-A deep 50-50 ball between Gibson and rookie DB Chandon Sullivan fell to the turf on the final play of the session.
-The Eagles will finish up the minicamp with a shorter practice on Thursday and the players who were here last season will get their Super Bowl rings at a private event tomorrow might. From there, it's off until training where the veterans are tentatively set to report on July 25.
JEROME REID NAMED HEAD TRAINER
After practice the Eagles finally locked down their training staff for the 2018 season, naming Jerome Reid as the head trainer. Reid comes to Philadelphia from Tennessee where he was the Titans' assistant athletic trainer for the past four years.
The team also announced the promotion of Joe O’Pella to associate head athletic trainer.
Former trainer Chris Peduzzi stepped down after the Super Bowl to spend time with his family.
WORRILOW TO IR
The Eagles officially placed veteran linebacker Paul Worrilow on injured reserve. Signed as depth behind Jordan Hicks in the middle and possible competition for Corey Nelson on the weakside, Worrilow, who has extensive starting experience in both Atlanta and Detroit, tore his ACL in the first OTA practice this spring.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen