Eagles TC Day 15: Situational Work Aplenty
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) — The Eagles final official training camp practice of the summer was Tuesday at the NovaCare Complex and Doug Pederson punctuated things with his trademark, situational football.
The coaching staff went heavy on red-zone work and also drilled the offense when it was backed up against the goal line.
From a red-zone standpoint, one of the strengths of the offense is an array of targets who can make contested catches look easy, something that is obviously imported in close quarters. Often quarterbacks Carson Wentz and Cody Kessler gave their receivers opportunities near the back of the end zone.
Wentz connected with Zach Ertz and Nelson Agholor near the backline touchdowns, the former with the football whizzing by the ear of Alex Singleton, although secondary coach Cory Undlin joked that Ertz didn't get his feet down. Agholor, meanwhile, snared a bullet from Wentz, a positive sign because for the fifth-year receiver whose lone weakness is catching the football cleanly.
Kessler's best play was splitting cornerback Jeremiah McKinnon and safety Johnathan Cyprien to find tight end Josh Perkins for a score.
Perhaps the scariest moment of the session also came in red-zone drills when left tackle Jason Peters blocked defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan, who rolled into the back of Wentz’s left leg. Wentz quickly gathered himself and took a few reps off but was fine for the rest of team drills.
After practice, Eagles coach Doug Pederson said he still hasn't decided whether or not Wentz will play against the Jaguars on Thursday.
“I feel good either way," Wentz said. "Whatever Coach feels [is] best. I’ll be ready come Week 1 whether I get reps multiple times in the preseason or not at all.”
From a defensive perspective, the play of the day came from veteran cornerback Orlando Scandrick, who jumped a Keller pass on an isolation route to Marken Michel for an interception near the goal line.
On the roster front, the Eagles waived safety Blake Countess (hamstring) with an injury settlement and brought back defensive tackle Aziz Shittu.
Countess, an ex-Eagles draft pick who was claimed off waivers in May from the Los Angeles Rams and quickly given an extension, was an early favorite to make the team as a fourth safety and special teams player but the injury set him back, as did the presence of veteran safety Johnathan Cyprien, who was signed earlier in camp.
NEWS AND NOTES:
-Former Carolina and Denver coach John Fox was on hand with agent Bob LaMonte to take in practice.
-For the second consecutive day, Andre Dillard got into another dustup, this one with Penn State rookie Shareef Miller when the offensive and defensive lines were working on pass rushing.
-Brandon Graham revealed today that Nick Foles was planning to retire following the 2017 season due to lingering elbow injuries. Remember Foles was limited in camp at times that season while dealing with an elbow issue and acupuncture was recommended by Graham and others.
-Fletcher Cox hasn't been on the field recently but was at his locker after practice and said he hasn't had any setbacks from offseason foot surgery and he remains on the timetable the medical staff originally put together. He claimed that one week of practice would be fine for him for Week 1.
-Mike Quick spent some time after practice giving rookie receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside a few pointers.
-The best part of my day? Checking in with Giuseppe the Service Dog.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 97espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen