It was an eventful day in Berea, Ohio as the Philadelphia Eagles battled the Cleveland Browns on the day Deshaun Watson’s suspension was finalized. We’ll get to that in a moment, but let’s get to the practice notes first.
• I thought Jalen hurts was OK. On the plus side he had one of his best camp shots today. He stepped into the pocket and then to the left while keeping his eyes on the field, and threw toward the train AJ Brown, who headed about 25 yards to the touchline. The ball was on the money between the cornerback and safety. Great throw.
Hurts also found something like a crutch throw in this camp. He’s probably hit Brown on the right side of the field on about a dozen 10-yard out routes. Brown always seems to get plenty of separation this route, and it’s a throw Hurts pulls it out with very good anticipation. Be aware this is a popular 3rd and middle route this season.
On the other hand, in a similar play to the one mentioned above, where Hurts advanced to the pocket and then to his left, he threw across his body to center court and missed at the back Dallas Goedertwhere security Ronny Harrison could resolve it. He was lucky that this throw fell incomplete.
Hurts Verdict: He made some good throws and didn’t turn it over (he avoided INTs throughout camp), but the offense really struggled to move the ball for any length of time today and that’s when the Browns were absent Myles Garrett, Denzel Wartand CB2 Greg Newsome. I’m going equity neutral. 😐
• De Vonta Smith had an active day. He had a midfield catch with some room to run, and he looked like he had some juice in the open field. There were a few times during camp that I was surprised by Smith’s athleticism when he made me think, “I didn’t know he could do that.” For example, in each of the last two practice sessions, he’s had jumping catches near the touchline in which he’s showing serious jumps. Today’s flashy run after the catch was another example.
Smith also came in a bit with security Richard LeCounte, who played for Georgia and faced Smith when he was at Alabama. Apparently, Smith and LeCounte have a history.
Joint exercises become sharp! Brown’s Richard LeCounte expanded his trashtalking direction #Eagle De Vonta Smith. Smith says the last time he saw LeCounte, he benched him in a nod to the Alabama-Georgia days.
— Josh Tolentino (@JCTSports) August 18, 2022
This incident actually happened in a high school All-Star game.
This is also fantastic:
It’s funny trash talk and all, but I think it goes beyond that. I can imagine Smith appreciating that his head coach had his back, and with a rather sweet reciprocation, too.
Players from both teams cheered for each other during the final 11v11 session of the day.
• Dallas Goedert had another very active day. In the past we’ve found that AJ Brown, DeVonta Smith and Quez Watkins are all capable of playing on all three levels of defense. Ditto for Goedert, who was fifth in the NFL — and by a wide margin first among tight ends — in yards per goal.
When you have four guys on the field at once who can get vertical, that’s a great addition to an elite rushing attack.
• Added a trio of late 2021 draft picks Tarron Jackson, Marlon Tuipulotuand PatrickJohnson have had very encouraging camps. Jackson got first-team reps today and looked good as he turned the corner on the first snap of the day Jedrick Wills. Jackson’s start at the snap was excellent.
Tuipulotu dominated the one-on-one, and today he did it with speed instead of power.
And finally, Johnson disrupted the backfield all day. He had at least one sack and came close to it a couple of times. Jonathan Gannon praised Johnson for the “violence” he played with this summer.
• I was impressed by Brown’s RB Kareem hunt. Howie Roseman should at least find out what the Browns would need to trade him. He would immediately be the best defender on the team.
• Today there were two outstanding celebrations.
• For the first time all camps, Arryn Siposs had a long punting session where he went the distance. I’m torn by his performance. He had some bangers, but he also hit two low line drives that I’m pretty sure weren’t supposed to be low line drives. His punt distances and hang times:
|5 (bad snapshot)||51||4.38|
Again, those distances are good, but I’d worry about two misses that had less than 3.5 seconds of hangtime. Regarding hangtime in general, back then Donnie Jones when the punter was the Eagles, he routinely surpassed 5.0 seconds of hangtime and peaked at about 5.5 seconds. Siposs never really got close to five-second punts.
• Three players were repeated on the punt returner front today:
• Thank God the Eagles didn’t trade Deshaun Watson. It would have been really hard for Eagles fans to cheer for him, and personally, covering his entire saga would have really sucked. This guy has no regrets at all.
Deshaun Watson on why he apologized at the time: “For everyone affected by this situation. There were a lot of people that got fired.”
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) August 18, 2022
Villain, plain and simple.
• During training camp I will occasionally do one on one interviews with Eagles beat writers/other media people while the players stretch and do other boring stuff, as well as our regular post practice podcast recaps. Oh, and here’s the iTunes link. Rate, subscribe, etc.
In these beat author interviews, I ask each author four different questions:
The predictions so far:
|writer||recording||endgames||playoff wins?||Pain in 2023?|
|7/27: Eliot Shorr-Parks, WIP||10-7||Yes||none||Yes|
|7/29: Jeff McLane, investigator||10-7||Yes||none||no|
|July 30: Bo Wulf, The Athletic||11-6||Yes||A victory over the Vikings||Yes|
|8/2: Les Bowen, NJ.com||11-6||Yes||A win against the 49ers||draw|
|8/4: Fran Duffy, Adler||17-0||Yes||A victory, undecided about which team||Yes|
|8/9: Ruben Frank, NBC Philly||12-5||Yes||A win against the 49ers||Yes|
|8/10: Mike Quick, Eagles||11-6||Yes||Declined to answer||Yes|
|8/16: Zach Berman, The Athletic||10-7||Yes||A victory, undecided about which team||Lean yes|
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